Scott Mann, Coastal Carolina University
Alli Crandell, Coastal Carolina University
Jennifer Boyle, Coastal Carolina University

This paper provides a detailed discussion of the process of creating A War on Two Fronts, a multimedia and interactive physical and virtual museum exhibit and accompanying book on African American soldiers in WWII. The project has also been adapted into a traveling exhibit. This professional level, multi-dimensional installation was conceived and executed by an entirely student-run publishing lab, The Athenaeum Press, at Coastal Carolina University. This case study offers insight into the multiple stages of digital and analog production among a select group of students who are immersed in a year-long process of collaboration and convergence across disciplinary practices. The presentation mirrors key phases of the experience. In phase one a diverse group of student makers come together under the direction of faculty drawn from disciplines across the humanities and arts and work towards a cohesive and accessible story to a given project idea. Phase two challenges students to grapple with the different design and research demands of the project and its ethos among stakeholders in the community and anticipated audiences. The final phase applies the concept of “critical making” to how students realize the final project across form and content. This model of experiential learning emerges as a space of creative reflection and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Scott Mann is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at Coastal Carolina University.

Alli Crandell is Director of Digital Initiatives at Coastal Carolina University.