The exhibit began as an exercise in the virtual classroom for The Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University. At that time, the exhibit concentrated on working conditions and gender relations surrounding the famous 1912 strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
With the support of the Linden grant, the exhibit has been greatly expanded to include other topics of the early 1900’s. Although not yet complete, these sections deal with the development of the suffrage and temperance movements, violence against women, and problems of class, race and immigration. With the help of my students, I hope to complete these sections, and make the Bread and Roses Exhibit available as an open educational resource.
The exhibit opens with an orientation area that allows visitors time to get used to being in a virtual environment. Visitors can learn to focus their camera and move in the virtual space with few distractions, and as they learn to do this they can watch a video giving a background on the Lawrence strike. An information card is also available, and can be used as a guide to the exhibit, or, if the participant is a student, questions on the card can be used as an independent assignment.
Visitors may explore the site at their own pace, clicking on the photographic representations of people of the time to learn about different attitudes to social issues. They can also play the role of a young factory worker, and learn about the hardships of factory life, or explore the slums and upper-class neighborhoods. The exhibit does not depict the actual town of Lawrence, Massachusetts, but it is a large and immersive space, and gives the impression of visiting a small town. It takes at least half an hour to view.
LINK TO THE SITE IN SECOND LIFE:
(admission is free; open until December 31, 2014)
If you are new to Second Life, begin with the instructions on this page:
JANUARY – FEBRUARY 2015: The B&R will transition to a new site, hopefully with public access. Links will be posted here.