Becoming Historic: Unsettling Preservation as “Activism” in the Memphis Neighborhood of Central Gardens
Based on an interdisciplinary research course for graduate students, this paper describes a project that combines arts-based research, walking methodology, and posthuman theories to design a research-creation. The purpose of this assemblage of photographs, archived newsletters, online information, maps, and other materials is to aid in the suspension of linear thinking and offer a unique contribution to the discussion of what gaining “historic” status can do in a particular place/time. This paper describes how the neighborhood association, formed 50 years ago, had the primary mission to lobby for historic status in order to protect property values and prevent multi-dwelling homes and businesses from moving in. By embarking on a multisensory inquiry employing walking methodology, I demonstrate how this insular, exclusive, historic neighborhood continues to be entangled within the surrounding geographic areas, as well as within the socio-politico-and economic dimensions of the city.
Copyright (c) 2020 Leslee Bailey-Tarbett
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