Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Field School Summer 2021 call for participants due June 10

15 May 2021 8:30 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

Summer 2021 (Modified)[i] Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Field School

Dates: July 6—August 7, 2021

The BLC Field School is a nationally recognized award-winning project that combines immersive learning with civic engagement. The Field School welcomes the participation of members of the community, and it is open to anyone who is interested and can make a full-time commitment (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm) over five weeks. Students are eligible to receive academic credit for the Field School, which may be taken as an Independent Study (3 cr) or Internship (3 cr).  


For further information, please contact Arijit Sen at

What will be the focus of the 2021 field school?

Our goal is to write urban histories that reflect the lived realities of people in Milwaukee’s marginalized and segregated neighborhoods.  In Summer 2021 we will examine community spaces such as streets, sidewalks, alleys, open spaces, gardens, empty lots, and parks. These are sites where community members sustain human relationships and practice mutual aid and self-care. Using methods such as material culture and architectural documentation, history harvests, short and long form oral histories, community led walks, asset mapping, and spatial ethnography, we will document the geography, layout, and stories of everyday life in these spaces.

During the 5-week period, we will learn the following:

  1. Current thinking on concepts such as “black ecologies” and feminist practices of “radical care.”
  2. We will learn how to interview people and will interview selected community residents.
  3. We will learn how to observe and map physical spaces.
  4. We will learn and practice other ethnographic methods such as community led walks and history harvests.
  5. We will search the archives in innovative ways to find underrepresented stories.
  6. We will examine how local community knowledge about place, environment and ecology is produced, nurtured, and passed down to the next generation and how we as scholars can help archive and preserve these forms of knowledge.
  7. Finally, we will plan and stage a final event in August that will include a walk through the neighborhood with stations where we will present our findings.

Detailed Schedule

Meeting times: M-F 9AM-4PM

Location: Washington Park Week 1-2; SARUP Week 3-5

Week 1; July 6-9: Workshops and preparation

Week 2; July 12-16: Oral History and ethnographic data collection

Week 3; July 19-23: Archives and continue ethnographic data collection

Week 4: July 26-30: Analysis and dissemination

Week 5: August 2-6: Dissemination and Final events

August 7, 2021: Final event

[i] The summer 2021 field school is modified to ensure all pandemic related safety and health precautions. All participants have to be vaccinated.  We will not be entering homes and measuring these spaces.  We will try and keep most of our data collection to the outdoors. All interviews will be held in ventilated spaces and preferably outdoors. Class meetings will take place in large, ventilated spaces. All safety precautions, social distancing, and masking will be followed by all participants at all times.

© Vernacular Architecture Forum

For more information or questions contact
the secretary or the webmaster.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software