Savannah History Remix: Georgia Southern students' digital walking tours shed light on Savannah's untold storiesNovember 13, 20202 min read
Savannah is drenched in history, but many of the city’s stories often go untold. Four Georgia Southern University history students aim to shed light on these untold stories as a part of their project, Savannah History Remix.
The project, developed by graduate students Lauren Della Piazza Hartke, R. Dalton Bryant, Noah Prince, and Dalton Blackmon, is a series of walking tours featuring lesser-known stories of Savannah’s history.
“The walking tours seemed like the safest bet and a good opportunity to learn some digital skills,” said Assistant Professor of history Alena Pirok, Ph.D., who is overseeing the project. “The tours intend to bring new and useful historical information to the city, its residents and the historical tourism industry.”
When the project began, the students identified subjects not found on commercial tours of Savannah, including modern immigration, laborers, common people of Savannah and the LGBTQ community. Hartke created the tour, “A Seat at the Table: A Social History of Savannah’s Foodways,” which revolves around the culinary history of the city.
“My goal for this project was to show how Savannah’s food scene today is the product of many years of input and contribution from many different subgroups of peoples,” she said. “I want people to understand how our notion of southern food is the product of English, West African and Native American foodways, combined with regional practices unique to Savannah’s economy and ecology.”
Pirok said the Savannah History Remix tours have more freedom than commercial tours.
“A non-profit tour like ours does not have to worry about losing customers and money,” she said. “This gives us the freedom to take more risks and to offer new, but academically sound, historical narratives that people do not find familiar or ones that might challenge their vision of the world.”
Despite COVID-19, students at Georgia Southern University are combining innovation, technology and creativity to see the projects they want to fulfill come to fruition. If you’re a journalist looking to know more about the Savannah History Remix or similar projects, simply reach out to Georgia Southern Director of Communications Jennifer Wise at email@example.com to arrange an interview today.