2019 City as Text

City as Text refers to structured explorations of environments and ecosystems. Designed as on-going laboratories through which small teams investigate contested areas and issues in urban environments, or competing forces in natural ones, these exercises foster critical inquiry and integrative learning across disciplines. Please note that these are NOT guided tours. Students will be given instructions, maps, and reflection questions to consider when exploring different areas of Baltimore.

Please read the descriptions below and choose your City as Text excursion when you register for the conference.

As we get closer to the conference, look on the NRHC website to find more information that corresponds with your chosen excursion and potential entrance fees and public transportation costs associated with each excursion. On Friday April 12th, we will gather for the City as Text Orientation, divide into destination groups, receive assignments, maps, and suggestions for where to eat. The larger cohorts will be grouped into teams of 4-5. Please note that some of these destinations (denoted by *) involve entrance fees, depending on what you choose to do in each of the neighborhoods. You will need to purchase your lunch on your excursion. You should come to the CAT Orientation Session promptly at 9:00 am, wearing good walking shoes, dressed appropriately for the weather, and armed with exact change for public transportation if needed. Depending on distance of route, public transportation may not be necessary and easily walked within a 3 mile radius.

City as text Schedule Friday, April 12th :

•              9:00am: City as Text Orientation and Keynote Address

•              10am-3:00pm: City as Text Excursions

•              3:30pm-4:30pm: Wrap-Up and Reflection

 “Arts in Baltimore: Influence and Power”

Across the world and throughout history, the arts play a central role in the identification, definition, and demonstration of power. In some cases, artistic creations suggest imbalance or dominance related to power, while in others they indicate balanced relationships. These implications of power extend to the collection and display of art, from well-known objects purchased and exhibited by industrial magnates to the anonymous artists who pursue their craft in public spaces. Every community has a relationship to art, and this City as Text experience invites you to consider the ways power and influence expressed through art across the city of Baltimore.

The following transportation options and/or entry fees apply:

$10 for student for admission to American Visionary Arts Museum

Please note you may be able to travel for free via the Charm City Circulator in lieu of the water taxi. Visiting the historic sites and museums recommended is at the discretion of CAT participants. However, we highly recommend visiting these attractions.

“Defending and Developing American Democracy”

“When you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.” -Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

With the founding of the United States, Baltimore became a key point in the fight for freedom and democracy. From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the World Wars, and the fights for civil rights, the city has held an important place in military, political, and cultural battles amongst both external and internal actors that defined and developed American institutions, American civil rights, and American sovereignty. This strand follows Justice Marshall’s edict and takes you through this journey of American political and social development by showing you unique artifacts of the Revolutionary War, exploring Baltimore’s defense of the United States in the War of 1812, and engaging in critical thinking on the evolution of justice and civil rights.

The following transportation options and/or entry fees apply:

$10 for Fort McHenry

$14 day pass for Water Taxi

Please note you may be able to travel for free via the Charm City Circulator in lieu of the water taxi. Visiting the historic sites and museums recommended is at the discretion of CAT participants. However, we highly recommend visiting these attractions.

“Environmental Impact”

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor was once known as a foul-smelling cesspool. Today, it is a bustling tourist destination as exemplified by the annual Light City event – “a festival of light, music, and innovation” – being held during the NRHC 2019 conference. Through observation of the environmental responsibility theme embedded in many of the Light City exhibits and participation in learning activities, students will be able to reflect on the need for all of us to engage in environmental stewardship.

The following transportation options and/or entry fees apply:

$14 Water Taxi day pass

Please note you may be able to travel for free via the Charm City Circulator in lieu of the water taxi. Visiting the historic sites and museums recommended is at the discretion of CAT participants. However, we highly recommend visiting these attractions.

“Generating Power: Struggle for Black Freedom in Baltimore”

Frederick Douglass was born a slave on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. At different times he was sent to Baltimore to work. Here he learned to read, became a ship caulker, and later escaped to freedom in the North. As an abolitionist, Douglass sought to generate support to end slavery. He learned that “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

This City as Text strand will allow you to explore how the black community in Baltimore was a source of power in the struggle for freedom. As home to the nation’s largest free-black population in the 1850s, Baltimore offered opportunities and support for abolitionism. Local activists later mobilized the community and teamed with NAACP lawyers Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall (Baltimore native) to challenge segregation, with Murray v. Pearson (1935) becoming the first step on the road to the Brown decision in 1954. The 1930s activists became civil rights movement leaders and then supported students in the 1960s as the freedom struggle evolved.

The following transportation options and/or entry fees apply:

$8 for admission to Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Please note you may be able to travel for free via the Charm City Circulator in lieu of the water taxi. Visiting the historic sites and museums recommended is at the discretion of CAT participants. However, we highly recommend visiting these attractions.

“Maritime Power: Military Innovation and the Defense of America”

Baltimore has been at the forefront of military innovation from the country’s founding through the first third of the nineteenth century. With virtually no effective naval force, the new United States government, by the Naval Act of 1794, ordered the construction of six top-of-the-line frigates to compete with France and Britain as well as aggressively fight the pirates in the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, the U.S.S. Constellation was constructed in Charm City. But Maryland’s claim to fame militarily has be Fort McHenry. Built between 1798 and 1800, Ft. McHenry is well known for defeating the British in the War of 1812 and the location where Francis Scott Key’s penned the Star Spangled Banner. With success of the Battle of Baltimore, the United States government authorized construction of forts to guard major ports along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Many of these forts later were significant in the Civil War.

The Inner Harbor also showcases the 7 Foot Knoll Lighthouse (the first screwpile lighthouse erected in Maryland), the U.S.C.G.C. Taney (the last serviceable warship that fought at Pearl Harbor), U.S.S. Torsk (using the newly invented Mark 27 torpedo, this submarine was credited with sinking the last enemy ship in World War II), and the Lightship Chesapeake.

The following transportation options and/or entry fees apply:

$16 for USS Constrllarion admission and 3 other ships

$10 for Fort McHenry

$14 day pass for Water Taxi

Please note you may be able to travel for free via the Charm City Circulator in lieu of the water taxi. Visiting the historic sites and museums recommended is at the discretion of CAT participants. However, we highly recommend visiting these attractions.

“Maryland Religious History”

“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Almost from the moment of its founding in the seventeenth century, Maryland has played a significant role in the religious history of the United States. For instance, with the passage of the Maryland Toleration Act (also known as the Act Concerning Religion) in 1649, Maryland became only the second English colony in America to grant religious toleration to Trinitarian Christians. The Act protected Roman Catholics and other religious groups who did not conform to the dominant Anglican Church. This milestone was followed by the building of the first Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States, the Baltimore Basilica, in the early 1800s.

As demonstrated by Maryland’s own history, religion is a dynamic force that can conjure powerful images of belief, community, conflict, and redemption; and can motivate individuals and societies to perform acts of unbelievable grace as well as unimaginable cruelty. Using Baltimore as its canvas of exploration, this Strand will examine how religion has shaped – and continues to influence – the evolution of the city and the state.

“Service Learning”

Service to others and society-at-large is a cornerstone of honors learning. Thanks to the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), 22 lucky students will get a chance to make a difference in people’s lives and to see the effects of homelessness. Students will be split between two service-learning sub-strands:

• My Sister’s Place (Lodge) Meal Service Opportunity – includes meal prep, meal service, and clean-up (10 students) • Paul’s Place – includes meal prep, meal service or donation sorting (12 students). Tour after service.

“Shifting Power: Then and Now, Changes in the Urban Landscape”

The land use of a city both reflects and influences the changing dynamics of economic, political and social power structures. As a port city Baltimore quickly became an important center for manufacturing, and the Inner Harbor area was heavily industrialized for much of the city’s history. However, beginning in the 1950s, and greatly accelerating in the 1970s, land use around the Inner Harbor basin shifted towards recreational and commercial interests. This strand will help you discover the profound implications of these changes for the city and its inhabitants.

The following transportation options and/or entry fees apply:

$14 Water Taxi day pass

Please note you may be able to travel for free via the Charm City Circulator in lieu of the water taxi. Visiting the historic sites and museums recommended is at the discretion of CAT participants. However, we highly recommend visiting these attractions.

* Admission charges may apply. Bring documentation of student/senior status.