Mississippi River Open School

Mississippi Studies

Mississippi Studies is a new initiative to encourage intercollegiate collaboration on publicly engaged projects that center on the Mississippi River watershed and its inhabitants. Mississippi Studies will re-imagine the river and its tributaries as a coherent cultural, research, and educational corridor and foster new ways of thinking about this shared environment, its heritage, and its rich role in the history of the United States. We anticipate that Mississippi Studies will enhance faculty career development by creating off-campus opportunities for faculty to work with colleagues at other colleges and cultural and scientific institutions in this region.


Designing for the Fourth Coast

A collaboration with Dunwoody College. This design studio introduces students to the importance of design research in relationship to making. This year the studio will be exploring the Mississippi River as a building site, a cultural corridor, and a microcosm of global issues that threaten to overcome us. As cities around the world begin to face uncertainties associated with climate change, one significant challenge is rising water levels and their impact on the future inhabitability of coastal and riparian zones. The studio begins with the premise that cities must actively develop resilient approaches to building, and that architects will have a growing and integral role in innovating these alternatives.

Link: http://mississippistudies.org/designing-for-the-fourth-coast/


Mississippi Barge Project

The (Mississippi River Research Barge) is a floating cultural and scientific platform that travels the length of the Mississippi River to create research, educational, and exhibition opportunities for translocal collaborations. The Barge supports projects that re-imagine the Mississippi River as a coherent cultural corridor, in order to open up new ways of understanding the Mississippi’s environment, cultural heritage, and vital role in the history of the United States. As a performance and educational space, the Barge shares the results of these collaborations with audiences along the Mississippi River and throughout the world.

Link: https://mississippistudies.org/barge/


Data Sensing

Ongoing development of data sensing equipment and analysis and visualization techniques about the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River is one of the most heavily monitored and studied river systems in the world. The United States Geological Survey, the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Weather Service, along with numerous NGOs contribute to the collection and interpretation of the river across a variety of environmental and hydrologic parameters. This data plays a central role in constructing ways of sensing and understanding the river, the impact of human activities on it, and efforts to manage it.

Link: http://mississippistudies.org/data-sensing-testing/


Previous Projects


Mississippi. An Anthropocene River.

The Mississippi region presents a remarkable landscape for understanding the rapid shift into what scientists and humanists are calling the Anthropocene—the geological epoch of humankind. Over the course of a year, Mississippi. An Anthropocene River (2018–19) explored how the river—as ecology and human habitat—has been reshaped over time, understanding its present as a product of a history of human-environmental interaction, but also violent intervention.


Partners: Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (MPIWG)

Link: https://www.anthropocene-curriculum.org/project/mississippi

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