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Augmented-reality experience helps tell Academy’s history

WSUV program’s app will enhance historic site’s Dec. 8 anniversary.

Mother Joseph and her fellow Sisters of Providence arrived in Vancouver, Wash., on Dec. 8, 1856. The 161st anniversary of that event will be celebrated when an augmented-reality experience and some other visitor-friendly features are unveiled at Providence Academy.

Dene Grigar

The augmented-reality feature is a new mobile app created by the Creative Media and Digital Culture program directed by Dene Grigar at Washington State University Vancouver.

The app will provide a virtual history of Providence Academy through mobile devices. Visitors will be able to point their phone at sites around the building and interact with the videos and graphics that appear.

One augmented-reality segment is built around an animated version of the building’s bell. Visitors will be able to pull their phones downward in a tugging motion, ringing the 400-pound bell.

Students in professor Grigar’s class have also visited the Providence Archives in Seattle to review historical documents and images.

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The Columbian

Electronic Literature’s Contemporary Moment: Breeze and Campbell’s “All the Delicate Duplicates”

Dene Grigar

In the Electronic Book Review, Dene Grigar, professor and director of the creative media and digital culture program at WSU Vancover and president of the Electronic Literature Organization, points to those barriers that have marginalized electronic literature in classrooms and popular culture, arguing that resistance to the form emanates from “deeply-held views of the proper relationship between humans and machines, of what constitutes the good, the beautiful and the true, and of the nature of art.” In many respects, such barriers persist, and electronic literature has generally remained marginalized among publishers, critics, and institutions of education. It has, however, crept into popular culture, and its readers don’t even know it.

At WSU Vancouver, there is a densely packed room in the heart of the campus that resembles something of a Mac museum. It is Grigar’s Electronic Literature Lab, and it holds what is possibly the greatest collection of first-generation e-lit in the Western world. Grigar has dedicated her career to ensuring that future generations know that this stuff existed — she does so because she loves it and wants to see it survive. Electronic literary history is already fractured, with many of the canon’s earliest works now rendered obsolete as a consequence of their reliance on defunct proprietary formats. The ELL contains a wide catalog of e-lit works, largely from the 1980s and ’90s, alongside the hardware required to experience them as their authors/creators/coders intended.

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Los Angeles Review of Books

Augmented Reality Experience at Providence Academy

The Historic Trust, formerly titled the Fort Vancouver National Trust, is partnering with the Creative Media and Digital Culture program at Washington State University Vancouver in the development of a new engagement tool that will allow visitors to experience the history of Providence Academy through mobile devices.

Once the project is launched, after December 6, 2017, visitors to the site will be able to access a free app and point their smart phone or tablet toward areas outside and inside the Providence Academy. This will activate visual and auditory episodes created through augmented reality applications. “The app will bring history to life and showcase the Academy’s stories, people, and cultural significance in inventive and imaginative ways,” said Richard Burrows, Director of Community Outreach and Programs at The Historic Trust.

The WSU Vancouver class of 21 students will create ten episodes, starting with Mother Joseph, the architect and founder of Providence Academy, welcoming visitors to the building. Other virtual experiences will include ringing the bell in the tower, lighting a candle in the Shrine to the Blessed Mother, viewing buildings no longer standing on the grounds, and retracing the Sisters of Providence fundraising excursions throughout the West.

Dene Grigar

“This collaboration is representative of The Historic Trust’s commitment to new, innovative, and interactive programming that is at the forefront of technologies,” said Burrows. “Access to the visionary leadership of Dr. Dene Grigar, Director and Professor of WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture, in combination with the extraordinary abilities of the students, will result in groundbreaking opportunities for the public and visitors to gain deeper understanding about our roots and history.”

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Vancouver Family Magazine

WSU-led cultural preservation initiative wins award

The Society of American Archivists has presented its Council Exemplary Service Award to the Sustainable Heritage Network, a project led by Washington State University for digital preservation of cultural heritage.

Kim Christen

The SHN is managed by the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation (CDSC) at WSU and works in partnership with the Association for Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums to complement the work of indigenous peoples globally to preserve, share and manage cultural heritage and knowledge. Kim Christen, associate professor of English and director of the Sustainable Heritage Network (SHN) and the CDSC, accepted the award at the archivist society’s annual meeting, July 26, in Portland, Oregon.

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WSU News

When death comes, survivors cope with digital afterlife

As more of our lives exist online, the need to plan for an online legacy becomes vital.

Digital accounts—known in the legal world as assets—include online banking, photos, email and social media profiles. When family members or other executors don’t have access to the deceased’s digital assets, and no instructions are left behind, complications arise.

Grigar“If you die without a will, you’re leaving a mess for your family,” said Dene Grigar, director of Washington State University Vancouver’s Creative Media & Digital Culture Program.

The problem is that online users are not taking care of their digital afterlife. People need to make arrangements ahead of time for handling their digital assets, just like they would for their physical belongings.

Last year, Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, outlining the process of handling someone’s digital assets upon their death or if they become incapacitated. A fiduciary is someone appointed to manage the property — now to include digital property — of another person.

“People can’t just do what they want with your stuff when you die. And they shouldn’t be able to in the virtual world either,” Grigar said.

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The Columbian