Modes of Migration and Creative Expression
By Caitlyn Hunter (English PhD)
My goal for this project was to map the migratory movements of Mina Loy and Georgia Douglas Johnson. I knew that it was difficult to situate both women in New York as Johnson is the only Harlem Renaissance writer to never live/work directly in the city. I used the Negro Motorist Green Book as a contemporary Baedeker legend to guide the narrative of the map. As Johnson was African American, this suggested that there were places the writer and those affiliated with her were incapable of going to. Additionally, as the project required connecting other people within the Harlem Renaissance and modernist circles, this suggests that the Green Book would have been a useful navigation tool to those who were involved in both Johnson and Loy’s lives such as heiress Nancy Cunard and Carl Van Vechten.
To best visually depict this information I used KnightLab StoryMap JS to approach this project’s scope. Initially, I was attracted the usability of this tool as it allowed for the incorporation of multimedia components (e.g. videos and images) to embed within my visual narrative and required very little web coding. Additionally, it was essential to me that my individual project could embed within my larger group project seamlessly. KnightLab’s tools typically provide hyperlinks and embed codes for their users which was ideal and highly marketable. The ease of the website and the provided examples in KnightLab’s website were beneficial in terms of seeing how other projects were structured, thus providing a baseline of how I wanted to frame my own. One thing I particularly liked about this tool was the visual representation of my data. Having my data strewn across a map of the United States with such clear imaging of the icons helped me to understand and strategize as to how my data would appear on both a macro and micro level—as some of the locations reference cities or states, and other location points are much more specific and reference addresses.
To view this StoryMap in the context of the larger group project, navigate to Women With Voice: Mina Loy & Georgia Douglas Johnson.