Our Land, Our Literature
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The Kitselman CenterThe Seminar

The Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry (VBC) is an extension of the Ball State University campus that allows interdisciplinary study in a non-traditional atmosphere. The Center was established in the Fall of 2000 as a place where knowledge could be acquired and applied in the same semester. A student who participates in a seminar receives fifteen hours of credit in different subject areas for the fifteen-week semester. The headquarters for the VBC is the Kitselman Center (above), located a short distance from Ball State’s campus. The Center offers a different learning atmosphere for about fifteen students selected by the professors each semester.

"Our Land, Our Literature" was one of two seminars at the Center during fall 2002. Its goal was to create an educational electronic resource on Indiana’s environmental literature. The project was the brainchild of Dr. Barb Stedman, Ball State University assistant professor of English. She personally recruited the fifteen students of various majors and skills for the seminar. The list of authors researched during the semester was compiled by Dr. Stedman and her students.

The students worked to thoroughly research the lives and works of the authors they chose, seeking connections to Indiana's landscapes. The articles that arose from these efforts are featured in the Literature section of this website.

In order to accomplish all of the work that creating a website entails, the students divded into three teams. The research team looked for all the information needed to write other articles on the site, as in the Environment section. Students on the design team worked with images, color schemes, and graphics, such as the banner that graces the top of each page. Members of the development team put together templates for individual pages and ensured the overall functionality of the site. From time to time, and Australian ethnographer, Sharn Rocco, observed our goings on for her study on the culture of the Center.

The semester was not all work in front of computers. There were camping trips to explore Indiana, restoration of land at the Limberlost "Swamp," and other interesting adventures. To read a narrative of these events, click here.