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Dana Coester & Joel Beeson, War Poems: Critical race theory and database narrative in digital public histories


War Poems: Critical Race Theory and database narrative in digital public histories.  This research explores database narrative as a “counter-storytelling” process using oral history and Critical Race Theory (CRT) as part of an ongoing digital humanities project in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. The project uses a rare book of social protest poetry, War Poems, written by two young black women, Ada and Ethel Peters, while students at the West Virginia Negro Collegiate Institute in 1919. The research proposes a paradigm shift in theory and practice for cultural workers engaged in mining invisible voices in digitally interactive public histories.


Dana Coester, Assistant Professor, Reed College of Media (formerly PI Reed School of Journalism), West Virginia University. Coester's work focuses on community media and technology disruption. Her research examines the future of storytelling with special interests in wearable technology and experiments in new narrative forms at the intersection of digital storytelling and neuroscience. Her award-winning experiments in interactive media span art installation, poetry and documentary film. Coester earned her master's degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993.

 Joel Beeson, Associate Professor, Reed College of Media, West Virginia University.  Beeson's work focuses on community media, digital divide and the representation of race and class in media. Beeson's research explores the cultural history of transmedia production as social practice, and has pioneered uses of ethnographic and oral history methodologies to guide community-generated content. Beeson earned his master's degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993 and his doctorate in American Studies from The Union Institute & University in 2012.

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