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
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 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,