Mapping the University

Mapping the University is an interdisciplinary, collaborative research project that will analyze Virginia campus histories using university archives, digital mapping, and aerial photographs. As universities across the U.S. reckon with their institutional histories—including difficult histories of slavery, exclusion, segregation and bias in higher education—it is essential to examine how these histories left traces on the physical structures of the campus.

MTU recently received funding from the 4VA consortium for timely inquiry into the planning, construction and expansion of the campus at George Mason and Old Dominion University. In a collaborative effort that will prioritize building undergraduate and graduate research skills, students at the two universities will work with university archivists, historians, and digital scholars to better understand student life on campus, academic priorities, historical exclusions, and town-gown relations, and to contextualize recent discussions about building naming, monuments and memorialization on campus.