Clothes-conscious: Shared geography project brings together students from three colleges

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditEmail this to someone
The world map is on display through Oct. 11 at the University of Kentucky Student Center patio. Members of the campus community are invited to place a pin on the map to show where their clothes were made. (Photo by Laura Greenfield)

The world map is on display through Oct. 11 at the University of Kentucky Student Center patio. Members of the campus community are invited to place a pin on the map to show where their clothes were made. (Photo by Laura Greenfield)

 
Students from three state schools – Berea College, Northern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky – will collaborate this month on a clothing project. They won’t be sewing or designing fashion, but studying the parts of the world where the clothing they wear is made.
 
UK is coordinating the project through its Center for Community Outreach in conjunction with the Common Reading Experience, Center for Student Involvement, Department of Geography and the School of Art and Visual Studies.
 
The university’s annual Common Reading Experience involves everyone reading a single book and basing a variety of lectures, exhibits and other activities on it. This year’s CRE selection is Where Am I Wearing?: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes written by Kelsey Timmerman. This is his second book looking at issues of globalization and things we take for granted.
 
Laura Greenfield, director for education and advocacy at the CCO, decided to prepare for Timmerman’s upcoming UK visit by initiating a map project similar to one designed by the Peace Corps in the ’80s. Inspired by the Peace Corps’ vision, Greenfield’s goal was to “promote geography literacy in an engaging way while also building a sense of community among mapmakers.”
 

Students, faculty and staff from the University of Kentucky gather to design, draw and paint a world map in two days. (Photo by Laura Greenfield)

Students, faculty and staff from the University of Kentucky gather to design, draw and paint a world map in two days. (Photo by Laura Greenfield)

Some 50 UK students, faculty and staff answered Greenfield’s call for mapmakers in late September. They gathered together in the CSI to draw and paint an 8-by-5 foot world map, using the Peace Corps’ model.
 
“It was incredible to see UK students from as nearby as Lexington working side-by-side with students from as far away as Saudi Arabia,” Greenfield said. “In that way, the project accomplished its mission.”
 
This map, now painted and mounted, is on display on the Student Center Patio 10 a.m.-2 p.m. daily through Friday, Oct. 11. Members of the campus community are invited to participate in phase two of this interactive art project, to show Where Am I Wearing?
 
“Campus community members are welcome to come and place a pin on the map in the country where an article of their clothing comes from,” said Sarah Hermsmeier, program director for civic engagement in the Office of Student Involvement. “This is our way of bringing themes from the common reading book home to UK students. Students don’t have to travel to the countries Timmerman visited in order to be knowledgeable about where their clothes come from. They can start their journey toward conscious consumerism today ― simply by looking at their clothing tags.”
 
The World Map Project is only one of a number of programs and events planned for students to further explore themes from the common reading book.
 
The CCO will sponsor a “Where Am I …” Road-Tripping Series including free field trips across the Commonwealth to set themes from the book in a local context. On Oct. 26, the CCO will take a group of students to visit the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea to see the origins of Appalachian crafts. This field trip will be free to students and is sponsored in partnership with Berea College.
 
Then, the CCO will take a group of students to visit the Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and will specifically visit the interactive exhibit, “Slavery Today,” on Nov. 16. UK students who participate will join students from Northern Kentucky University in exploring issues of modern-day slavery.
 
“This is a wonderful opportunity for UK students to explore themes from the book alongside students from Berea College and NKU,” Hermsmeier said. “We were thrilled to learn that students from NKU are also reading ‘Where Am I Wearing?’ as a part of their Book Connection program.”
 
The map will be presented to Timmerman during his visit to UK’s campus on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
 
For more information about other CRE programs and events, click here.
 
From UKNow

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Related Posts

Leave a Comment