Professor George Legrady earns new National Science Foundation Grant

Data Visualization & Digital Cultural Atlas: James Bay Cree Visual Ethnographic Resource: A Collection of a Photographic Archive from 1973

Operational Date: June 1, 2012-May 31 2013

Funding: National Science Foundation Arctic Social Science, 2GSRs, pending budget $209,250

Keywords: Data Visualization, search algorithms for cultural/information access anrepatriation, ethnographic studies of image reception, museum installation, monograph publication

Participants: 2GSRs in MAT to realize online database; 2 ethnography doctoral students, McGill University dept of Anthropology; The Cree community of Wemindji, James Bay

This project will contribute to the visual ethnographic and historical record of the James Bay Cree in northern Quebec through the creation of a dynamic online data resource of a selection from a over 2800 photographs I have taken in four coastal James Bay villages in the summer of 1973 in support of the Cree’s historical negotiations over land rights. The project involves digitization of images, online publication, and design of appropriate search algorithms for this cultural repatriation resource to engage collective discussion, with ethnographic study of how such historical media-based material is received within today’s shifting contexts of represented and representation. The digitization of the images in high-resolution quality will further increase circulation for a broad range of applications in media, publications and exhibitions, contextualized according to a range of interests from indigenous history, ethnography, social research, studies in visual communication, and the arts.

Research Outcomes: Digitization of images and placement into the public domain. Ethnographic research on reception of returned historical photographs in indigenous communities.  

Follow-up Funding opportunities: NSF Arctic Social Science, 3 year $400,000 funding to repatriate images all 4 communities through the development of a dynamic cultural atlas 

Potential Artistic outcomes: Museum exhibition and monograph publication. This will require conceptual planning, publication design, and concept development. Currently I do not have funding or time allocated for the artistic component of this large project but it is a significant goal of this work.