Around Here: The Places Project is the community-based research project of Margo Shea and her students at Sewanee: the University of the South. Margo, a public historian, works with the Collaborative for Southern Appalachian Studies. The project research assistant is Halie Monroe, a recent graduate of Grundy County High School who currently studies at Motlow State.
The purpose of this project is to make people’s history visible and shareable and to tell the many stories about attachment to place in a way that allows them to “share space” without diminishing the unique cultures and experiences of those of us who share this mountain and its valleys. The Places Project aims to create a living archive of place from a diverse array of community members’ perspectives — from the seventh generation local to the newly arrived student.
The GIS map will be available and accessible to all and a traveling art exhibit will be shared with all the communities on the mountain as well as valley communities of Pelham, Tarlton Valley, Winchester, Estill, Cowan and Whitwell.
It will serve as a tool for grant-writing, environmental stewardship and conversations about cultural and historic similarities and differences among groups who share this mountain and the valley that surrounds it.
The Places Project discovers and demonstrates how our diverse knowledge and experiences of the South Cumberland Plateau make it what it is and how together we can help envision and create a flourishing future.