Jackson Tucker of LLC Cohort 25 has been awarded the Language, Literacy & Culture Program's Publicly Engaged Research and Digital Storytelling Fellowship for a portion of his long-term public humanities project, "The Electric, Immortal Weirton Steel Corporation." Weirton Steel Corporation was founded in West Virginia in 1909 as a vertically integrated steel production facility, the bulk of which has been torn down; the remaining finishing plants are now owned by Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc., the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America.
For the scope of this award, Jackson will be collaborating with industrial museums. His overall research goal is to interrogate the ways in which power relations have changed over the last century as union power has diminished. His research will explore lives and personal histories through an economic lens to better understand U.S. working-class positionality within a broader global framework. The Rust Belt is emblematic of the volatility and environmental degradation of globalization, thus providing a model within which to explore these ideas.
The end result (which is beyond the scope of this initial award) will be a fully interactive, virtual reality museum exhibit that will provide an opportunity to present a social and cultural history that has been lost to many.