Activism and Inclusion at Princeton University

Motivation for the Map

  1. What historical narrative are you trying to express?

The historical narrative that I am attempting to express is that of the rich history of activism and attempts of inclusion at Princeton University. I believe that inclusion and activism are intertwined. When a community has a greater focus on inclusion, it is forced to look in more detail at its potential faults and faults of the world around it. For instance, as observed in the story map, the inclusion of people of color and women at university changed how the community viewed racism and sexism. As a result, more activists demonstrations were made in order to promote anti-racism and anti-sexism. This mindset of questioning brought on by inclusion can be applied to other issues as well. For instance, Princeton had anti-war protests during the Vietnam war. In my opinion, this form of activism did not just appear coincidentally at a time when women and people of color were entering the community. Rather, their entrance helped to make people question assumptions they held and institutions more broadly.

Story Map

  1. Which sources did you choose to use and why?

The sources I used came mostly from two areas. The first area is that of oral histories. I used oral histories for a few reasons. First, oral histories were easily available online through the Princeton University Archives. Second, oral histories were useful since they gave a sense of how the environment and culture of Princeton was changing. Third, the testimonials were useful in terms of finding quotes for the story map and often gave a timeline of events that I could use as a starting point. The second source I used was university websites for images. There were some images available via the archives. However, I was able to find better and more detailed images via other websites. For instance, the Women’s Center and the LGBT Center both have sections on the website that detail their histories. Additionally, the Daily Princetonian was a useful source since they had images from the time stories were developing. These images either of newspapers or demonstrations at the time helped to give a sense of how people were treated and what others thought.

  1. What dates and places are essential to your narrative and spreadsheet?

The dates and narratives that are deeply impactful to my narrative are the times of major institutional changes. For instance, the date of women being allowed to attend Princeton University and the dates when allyship centers were established Another series of major dates comes from bigger demonstrations at Princeton. For example, the dates for Vietnam War protests and Black Justice League protests were important.

  1. What do we learn by seeing this historical narrative unfold in space and time simultaneously?

By viewing the narrative in space and time simultaneously, we get a greater sense of how history progresses as well as how that history is situated in space. This situation is particularly useful for examining a community like Princeton since it demonstrates how insular the community and changes within it can be.

  1. What text or images will be helpful to supplement the results in order to create an engaging visual narrative?

Some additional images that would be worth looking for are more images of protest at Princeton since most of them seem to not yet be uploaded for online viewing. Additionally, it would be useful to see people of color and women in general spaces on campus to see how the community changed when they were around and potential struggles they had. For instance, in his oral history, Jimmy Tarlau ’70 discusses how some students still had confederate flags hanging in their dorms. Seeing images like that would emphasize how the transition to a more inclusive environment was not, and still is not, seamless.