Students’ Re-visioning Hartford projects, from two sections of Introduction to Academic Writing (Seminar), respond to local photographer Jack McConnell’s project “Hartford Parallax,” where he applies methods associated with various lenses to displace common images and meanings of the city he has worked in over many years—and which he loves. Our creative compositions sought to cascade interconnected variables within Hartford to articulate our own revisions to the staid insurance vs danger dichotomy that most assign to the city. Students first walked the downtown area and sought to, as writer and city-enthusiast Jane Jacobs suggested, interrelate the variables of seemingly disparate places. Our purple markers map these interconnected spaces. As a result, students offer images and text to inventively re-see spaces in Hartford marked by the dropped purple pins.
Then, students devised groups to assemble their own found-spaces in yet another creative composition, resulting in Public Service Announcements, designed to advocate for their re-visioning. Articulations at least resound through images, video, music, and text, so these projects serve not only as engagement with Hartford but also are assembled with specific audiences in mind, who may still be swamped by stereotypes of the city in which we study—and in some cases live.
We are proud to contribute to the ongoing conversation about Hartford.