Editing and Authenticity

by Cole Richard

Cole Richard is a junior from Orlando, Florida double majoring in English and Italian Studies and minoring in Linguistics. This is his first summer working on the Race & Racism project. He is also a resident assistant, DJ at the campus radio station, and student worker at the music library.

In reflecting on the entirety of the oral history process — from interviewing to creating a podcast — I’ve gained a better understanding of how to interview in order to get quality material. Interview material moves through a multitude of contexts. There’s a pretty big difference between the interview itself and the final product, the podcast. Although my podcast was created from the audio collected in an oral history, its shorter length and more polished production result in it having a larger audience. Because of this, material that may have been sufficient for the purposes of the interview and oral history wound up being not as well suited for the podcast.

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Let Sleeping Dinos Lie

by Cole Richard

Cole Richard is a junior from Orlando, Florida double majoring in English and Italian Studies and minoring in Linguistics. This is his first summer working on the Race & Racism project. He is also a resident assistant, DJ at the campus radio station, and student worker at the music library.

Having grown up a frequent visitor of Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, I have fond memories of walking through the mythic arched gateway to Jurassic Park. The iconic logo flanked on either side by torches that are lit no matter the time of day; the surrounding flora that somehow feels more prehistoric than regular Florida vegetation. Walking under that arch, a whimsical transportation takes place and you feel, if just for a moment, that you’ve really stepped into Jurassic Park.

From the road, Dinosaur Kingdom II, an attraction outside of Lexington, Virginia, strikes a similar chord. The design of its stone archway evokes that of Jurassic Park while drawing inspiration from the nearby Natural Bridge (an important location to the park’s fabricated narrative). The attraction’s entrance trades the pyrotechnics and immersive foliage of Spielberg’s masterpiece for a Tyrannosaurus Rex, bursting through a railroad car, about to eat to Union soldier.

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A More Perfect Museum

by Cole Richard

Cole Richard is a junior from Orlando, Florida double majoring in English and Italian Studies and minoring in Linguistics. This is his first summer working on the Race & Racism project. He is also a resident assistant, DJ at the campus radio station, and student worker at the music library.

The American Civil War Museum sits on the banks of the James River, a short 20 minute walk from downtown Richmond. Located on Tredegar Street and housed in the ruins of the Tredegar Iron Works, the museum opened just a few months ago, the result of a merger between the former American Civil War Center and the Museum of the Confederacy. Although that merger took place in 2014, it took six years of work for the new combined museum to open. Drawing artifacts from both defunct institutions, the new museum’s expressed aim is “to be the preeminent center for the exploration of the American Civil War and its legacies from multiple perspectives: Union and Confederate, enslaved and free African Americans, soldiers and civilians.” This objective was apparent to me upon entering the museum.

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Where Information Would Have Been: Using the Internet Archive in Research

by Cole Richard

Cole Richard is a junior from Orlando, Florida double majoring in English and Italian Studies and minoring in Linguistics. This is his first summer working on the Race & Racism project. He is also a resident assistant, DJ at the campus radio station, and student worker at the music library.

Accounting faculty with Professor Slaughter, third from the left, 1980.

When I was assigned my interview subject, Professor Raymond Slaughter, I began my research through the two avenues I thought would be most fruitful: The Race & Racism Project website and the Collegian archives. Unfortunately, relevant search results were rather paltry: One photograph from the project website and a handful of mentions in the Collegian. Although I was thankful to find anything at all, it seemed I had little to write interview questions from. Most of all, I was missing biographical information similar to what Team Oral History had been provided in preparation for our mock interview; I had no idea where Professor Slaughter had grown up or gone to school before coming to work at UR in 1977. Simply searching on Google (using terms such as “Raymond Slaughter,” “Ray Slaughter,” “Professor Slaughter,” “Dr. Slaughter,” and “Richmond,” or “University of Richmond,” etc.) was not especially helpful either. Although my searches yielded over two million results, only a few pertained to the Raymond Slaughter I would be interviewing, and these consisted mostly of outdated UR course catalogs or Whitepages search results that contained nothing more than a matching name. Lacking a profile of biographical information, I decided to put a pin in this and instead focus on considering the ways a faculty experience differs from that of a student, and how the interview and questions asked must differ to accommodate this.

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What’s in a Namesake: Admittance to and Omission from Public Memory

by Cole Richard

Cole Richard is a junior from Orlando, Florida double majoring in English and Italian Studies and minoring in Linguistics. This is his first summer working on the Race & Racism project. He is also a resident assistant, DJ at the campus radio station, and student worker at the music library.

Sometimes I reflect on how little I knew about the University of Richmond the day I decided it would be my first choice school. Towards the end of the summer before my senior year of high school I went on a college visit road trip up the East Coast with my dad. The schools selected were a combination of ones that I was already interested in (Bard, Pratt) and ones my dad thought would be a good match for me (Duke, Washington & Lee). The night before we left from our home in Florida, my dad added one more the itinerary: Richmond. Flash forward two days, and my dad and I were being taken on an admissions tour of this school I had never heard of, yet instantly wanted to attend. Our tour inundated us with those facts familiar to any prospective student: that Ryland Hall is the oldest building on campus, named after Richmond College’s first president; that E. Claiborne Robins’ 1969 donation to the University saved the school from bankruptcy (hence the statue and various buildings bearing his name). I took this all as it was presented to me and continued on, paying greater attention to the way the sun broke through the tree canopy between the business and law schools, and the circuitous motion of Westhampton Lake’s ducks and geese. For that year between my first visit to campus and freshman orientation, these were the images that defined the University of Richmond in my mind.

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