VideoPoetry: Evocative Representations of Cultural Pioneers in Southern Idaho

By James Armstrong, Peter Lutze and Laura Woodworth-Ney.

Published by The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the early 1900s, federal irrigation projects transformed the sagebrush desert of southern Idaho into arable land. This article tells the story of two Idaho cultural pioneers from that era, Clarence E. Bisbee, and Annie Pike Greenwood. The photographer Clarence E. Bisbee spent thirty years documenting the growth of the city of Twin Falls and the surrounding agricultural area. Annie Pike Greenwood, a mother, farmer’s wife, teacher and professional writer, wrote a memoir of her experiences over twenty years of living on a farm near Hazelton. To represent the experiences of Bisbee and Greenwood, the authors used the technique of evocative representations. Evocative representations use the genres of fiction to report research data, to “re-create lived experience and evoke emotional responses” (Richardson 1994, 521). In this case, the authors developed evocative representations of these historical figures in two media: original poetry and subsequently in VideoPoetry, a genre which integrated the poems (as voice-over narration) with historical images, other historical data, and contemporary videography. By making DVDs of this VideoPoetry project available to general and educational audiences, the authors hope to increase public awareness of the region’s cultural heritage.

Keywords: Video, History, Poetry, American West

The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, 2012, pp.65-87. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.158MB).

Dr. James Armstrong

Professor, Department of Literacy, Boise State University, Boise, ID, USA

James Armstrong has been a professor at Boise State University since 1992, where he teaches courses in reading and study strategies. As an undergraduate at Stanford University, he majored in English and completed the Honors Program in Humanities. He went on there to receive his Master degree in education with a California teaching credential in English. He received his doctorate in reading education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has written two textbooks, Reading Tools for College Study and Patterns and Connections, and two books of poetry, Landscapes of Epiphany and Moon Haiku.

Dr. Peter Lutze

Professor, Department of Communication, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, USA

Peter Lutze grew up in Oklahoma where his father served as pastor to black parishes. After graduating from Valparaiso University, he obtained an M.F.A. in filmmaking and a J.D. at the University of Wisconsin, where he also completed his doctoral dissertation on the German film director and social theorist, Alexander Kluge. Dr. Lutze taught for 22 years at Boise State University, serving as Director of University Television Productions. He was a founder and board chair of Treasure Valley Public Access Television and has produced numerous films and videos. Currently he chairs the Department of Communication at Valparaiso University.

Dr. Laura Woodworth-Ney

Professor, Department of History, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, USA

Laura Woodworth-Ney serves as provost at Idaho State University. The former chair of the ISU Department of History, she serves as executive editor of the Center for Idaho History and Politics at Boise State University, and is the founding co-editor (with two colleagues) of the Idaho State Historical Society’s Idaho Landscapes: The Magazine of Idaho History, Science, and Art. From 2003 to 2008 she served as editor-in-chief of Idaho Yesterdays: The Journal of Idaho History, and she currently serves as the editor of a scholarly book series published by the University of Arizona Press, entitled Women’s Western Voices. She is a prolific scholar, having published nearly 30 articles, book reviews, and scholarly encyclopedia entries, as well as several books. From 2000 to 2007 she served as co-director of Women’s Studies, and from 2006 to 2007 she served on the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. She earned her PhD in American history and public history from Washington State University.