Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Period of Performance

5/1/2014 - 10/31/2016

Funding Totals

$59,994.00 (approved)
$59,903.62 (awarded)

Orientation for the Mississippi Freedom Project: An Interactive Quest for Social Justice

FAIN: HD-51918-14

Miami University (Oxford, OH 45056-1846)
Ann Elizabeth Armstrong (Project Director: September 2013 to June 2019)

Development of a prototype for a location-based game centered on historical events surrounding orientation sessions at Western College for Women in preparation for the Mississippi Summer Project, in which students trained for civil rights activism in Mississippi in June 1964. The grant would fund a prototype of the first level, which provides historical content and context, drawing in a number of humanities consultants and offering an initial evaluation period.

Freedom Summer brought together a diverse group to advocate for citizen rights. The two orientation weeks represented a microcosm of the civil rights movement. During that period, disparate groups met in Oxford, Ohio. While there, they shared stories, leveraged networks, and enacted change. Because of this experience, this project will prototype a location-based game that interprets the Mississippi Summer Project on the site of the 1964 orientation at Western College for Women. Using Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling (ARIS), the game will inspire interest in these events and facilitate skill building for citizen engagement. Furthermore, this project draws from the prototype process to conceive a web-based platform for nonlocal audiences. An interdisciplinary team of game designers, public historians, historic participants, educators, and museum professionals will consider how the tools of place-based learning and distance learning animate civil rights movement themes.

Media Coverage

“Freedom Summer veterans at Miami University 50 years ago meet to remember and inspire others to act.” (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Driehaus, Bob.
Publication: WCPO, Abc local affiliate
Date: 10/10/2014
Abstract: Coverage of Freedom Summer Conference with profile of Freedom Summer App.

“Interactive app and Web-based game will share the story of Freedom Summer.” (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Margo Kissell
Publication: Miami University Website
Date: 5/22/2014
Abstract: Profile of NEH digital humanities project

“Oxford,Ohio Ceremonies Mark 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer”. (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Cheri Lawson
Publication: WNKU, Northern Kentucky NPR affiliate
Date: 6/20/2014
Abstract: Radio feature and interview about programming and Freedom Summer App

“Freedom Summer app being developed by Miami U. team.” (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Michael Pitman
Publication: Journal and News, Hamilton Ohio
Date: 6/2/2014
Abstract: Profile of NEH digital humanities project

“Freedom Summer volunteers return to Miami for commemoration.” (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Eric Robinette
Publication: Dayton Daily News
Date: 10/9/2014
Abstract: Profile of 50th anniversary programming including Freedom Summer App

“Interactive app brings Freedom Summer to life.” (Media Coverage)
Author(s): David Shoemaker
Publication: The Miami Student
Date: 9/26/2014
Abstract: Profile of App and NEH project

"53rd Anniversary Service for Philidelphia civil rights workers" (Media Coverage)
Publication: WTOK
Date: 6/26/2017
Abstract: Description of annual services to commemorate Freedom Summer and awards from the National Civil Rights Movement Conference
URL: http://

Associated Products

"Our First 9 Months with ARIS" (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: "Our First 9 Months with ARIS"
Author: Elias Tzoc and Ann Elizabeth Armstrong
Abstract: This video presentation provides a case study of the NEH Digital Humanities Start Up Project "Orientation for the Mississippi Freedom Project: An Interactive Quest for Social Justice." The discussion focuses upon the us of the open source software, ARIS (Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling) and the process of developing a location-based game.
Date: 07/07/15
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Vimeo uploaded video
Conference Name: ARIS Summit at Games Learning and Society Conference, Madison, WI