Behind the Tower
Behind the Tower is a website produced by The Public History Seminar, a graduate course in the Department of History. Eleven graduate students from various departments wrote historical essays researched in local archives on issues surrounding the shooting including the police response, student life and Texas gun culture in the 1960s, Whitman’s drug use and physical and emotional condition, campus counseling services, the symbolism of the Tower, the university’s response, and the nature of remembering and forgetting traumatic public events. Short biographies of everyone injured or killed by Charles Whitman are also featured. The project is intended to serve as an educational tool for people everywhere to learn more about the tragic event and its aftermath. Professor Joan Neuberger and graduate students Isaac McQuistion and Rebecca Johnston will be present to discuss the project.
Joan Neuberger has been teaching history at UT Austin since 1990. She is the editor of the History Department’s public history website, Not Even Past, and co-host of the podcast series 15 Minute History. In the Spring of 2016, she and her students put together the website Behind the Tower: New Histories of the UT Tower Shooting based on research in local, Austin archives.
Isaac McQuistion is an Asian Studies master’s student focusing on modern South Asian history at UT-Austin. Prior to coming to UT, he worked in web content and digital media for a community college in upstate New York, and also held internships with The Onion and MPA-The Association of Magazine Media. He’s interested in how new tools in digital media allow us to expand the reach of public history and access to archival sources. Isaac will discuss his work on Behind The Tower: New Histories of the UT Tower Shooting at the Austin Archives Bazaar.
Rebecca Adeline Johnston is a doctoral student studying the history of Soviet cultural policy at UT-Austin. She has previously worked in translation, political analysis, and academic publishing. She is interested in finding ways to broaden the application of public history within the policy world and to make history relevant to students in the classroom.