Identification as Civic Literacy in Digital Museum Projects: A Case Study of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

H. Brooke Hessler


Scholars have observed that rhetorical identification is a common strategy used by both physical and virtual museums to engage the public in their narratives of civic history. This essay explores what happens when service-learning students enter this context to build digital projects as agents and as objects of identification. Drawing from my ten-year partnership with the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, I illustrate how identification can arise within a museum-based digital project, how it can enrich and complicate the project, and how my students and I attempt to balance our insider/outsider roles as authors and interpreters of community history.

Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.