Project Idea

Last week was probably the worst week for me to be sick, because we got to share our ideas with everyone. Lilly and I had a great idea for our project, and we decided that we should look into reporting on Montevallo’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance. Montevallo is the second city in Alabama to establish an NDO. (Birmingham was the first, in case you were wondering.)

The Montevallo NDO was a huge issue in our community for a while. There were many meetings about it, and many people on both sides were very heated over the NDO. My major advisor was very active in helping educate the city on the importance of having the NDO, and she has many stories to tell. Our mayor Hollie Cost is also a great source for information, and it helps that she is a professor on campus as well. So, Lilly and I think that a great way to get information about the NDO is to talk to the people who were an active part in the conflict. We could also do some small profiles on the people, because Lilly and I believe that to best understand your community, you must understand the people that live there.

I feel that our library will be a huge help, because I am highly positive that they have many resources on what happened during the time the NDO caused some conflict in Montevallo. We have an awesome Historian here, and he will definitely be a big help. He is very great about preserving the history of Montevallo.

1/21/19: First Post

My partner, Kayla, first had the idea of looking into conflicts related to Native Americans in NC, and I think it seems like a very good one. I am very interested in choosing a topic related to the Eastern Band Cherokee, though at the moment I am not very familiar with specific conflicts we could look into. I do know the construction of the casino in Cherokee, NC was at least the subject of extensive debate within the Cherokee community. Apart from that a lot work is left to be done to narrow this down.

Last week I spent some time looking into the city of Asheville directly. There was a great deal of controversy from the late 60s through the late 70s when it was decided Beaucatcher Mountain, right in the middle of town, would be sliced clean through the create the giant cut for an interstate (Currently I-240). The conflict was “resolved” when the courts refused to hear the challenge presented my local activists, so I am not sure this is a particularly good example of conflict resolution. The only attempted resolution was via legal action, and the challenge was never even hashed out.

I also tried to look into the construction of the Tennessee Valley Authority dams across the region, to see if there were any notable challenges. That lead to a dead end, though I have heard UNCA’s Special Collections has some documents related to the TVA.

Finally, I looked into the Lumbee Tribe further east in North Carolina. They apparently have spent a great deal of time trying to gain federal recognition, so far unsuccessfully. This seems interesting and I wonder if it might be a possible choice.

WordPress is Confusing

WordPress has proved to me that editing the look of a blog is just as frustrating as it was when I was an avid Tumblr user. Creating a post is no problem, and I love how I can manipulate the text to make it look however I want. However, creating a theme for my blog is frustrating. It could be because I am very indecisive about how I want things to look, but I have no clue to link certain pages within my blog to my homepage. So, I am hoping that YouTube will be a big help.

My face when I am trying to figure out WordPress.

01/17/2019 [about me]

Hey everybody, as I said before, my name is Lillian Rouse. I am a junior at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama! I am studying for my Bachelor of Science in Political Science with minors in Pre-Law and Human Rights & Public Service. I have worked on several campaigns since I was 17 years old. My interest in politics draws mostly from learning about poverty and healthcare.

I am originally from Memphis, Tennessee. I have family sprawled across the country in Tennessee, California, and Florida. I love to travel and have visited China twice since 2008. During the summer of 2016 I traveled with my Dad for two weeks through different geographical areas, experiencing some of the best food the world has to offer, and meeting some of the most interesting and kind people.

Upon moving to Birmingham, I met all kinds of interesting people! Including, but not limited to, my boyfriend Joshua! He is a pinball repair technician and an industrial copy/print machine technician. His job has taken us to some pretty cool events, and I have learned to love playing pinball as much as he does!

Some of my hobbies include participating in local political campaigns, doing yoga, and drinking tons of coffee (in every form you could imagine) and of course, hanging out with my cats. I am glad to be participating in such an interesting class this semester, trying new things. I believe this will be beneficial to my education in a formative way!

I look forward to spending time with you all throughout the semester and hope that you have enjoyed this [lengthy] post, learning a bit about me along the way!

See you all soon and have a wonderful weekend!


My first blog post made for COPLAC Conflict in America course! My name is Lillian, I’m 20 (turning 21 on 01/28, yay!) and this is my first online course! I’m excited to learn more about digital humanities & conflict resolution in my community of Montevallo, Alabama!

I will be updating today or tomorrow with some photos and a better explanation of how it was logging in for the first time!

Enjoy a photo of my cat!

His name is Lil Boy!

Class Resources, January 17

Here are links to the sites we’ll be looking at in class today, so you have them for future reference!

Projects Referenced in “What Is Digital History?”

Past “Conflict in America” Student Projects

(you can access all 5 student team projects here)

Your blogs!

You should each have received an email from Leah earlier in the week with the information on how to access your blog for the course. Each of them has a similar URL structure: http://conflict/[your last name here]. This will get you to your site. To log in, you can add “/wp-admin” to the end of the URL, or you can scroll until you see the “log in” option, usually near the bottom of the page. Type in your username and password, and you’re ready to start creating your first blog post!

Helpful Getting Started Resources

Hello world!

At the outset of this semester, I had it in mind to detail a conflict between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the State of New York, wherein the Seneca Nation had stopped paying the State on casino revenues. Yet as I began to dip my toes into the metaphorical pool of resources on this conflict and its ‘resolution’, I merely found that the arbitration the Seneca Nation had entered with the State decided the Seneca Nation was wrong, and owed the State a bunch of money.

Given that our focus in this class is perhaps supposed to be microcosmic of the large-scale conflicts plaguing our national political and social atmospheres, I felt the outcome of the Seneca Nation and State dispute fell flat. Their case would, as I saw it, likely preclude any broad, constructive conclusion about the nature of settling disputes.

So I turned my focus elsewhere. As of now, I am reading materials about a labor dispute between union workers and Momentive Performance Materials, which encompass cut benefits causing a 105-day strike which ultimately led to State-aided negotiations yielding a new three-year contract for workers. At the end of the strike, workers signed contracts which still included many of the initial cuts the company sought to make, namely to health insurance benefits, vacation time, and retirement benefits, but cuts that weren’t quite so deep as those of the original proposal.

As my father is fairly active within the realm of worker’s rights and labor unions in our local area, (Albany) I was able to attend the picket line for this strike during one of the days it was going on. Looking back on the immediacy of this experience, the interactions I had with the plant workers, and my memories of the entire scene of the strike, I could only feel my interest level rising.

If I am able to get in contact with the relevant individuals, both within the union that struck and the company management that made the initial cuts, I think the strike will make for an excellent case study on the intersecting nature of workers’ rights, corporate interests, and the role of the state in bridging the gap.

Welcome to “Conflict in America”

This COPLAC digital liberal arts course is focused on exploring the nature of social conflict and exploring examples of conflict resolution. Our students will be designing websites that illustrate conflict resolution in their home communities.

“We The Resilient” by Ernesto Yerena