Welcome to April Veness' web site. As a faculty member in the Geography Department at the University of Delaware, I've had the opportunity to work with some incredible community partners and students on projects related to Delaware people and places. A question that threads through all of these projects is: "What is home?" Thus the work I do in and out of the classroom focuses on how people define and experience those intimate home places that shape their identity, support them in their dreams, and welcome them without pause. When those places we call home fail us, I also ask "why?".
Digital storytelling has played a significant role in my effort to understand the nature of home places and the complicated, often conflictual experiences that make up those geographies. The storytelling projects showcased on this web site follow different formats, focus on different people and places, are based on the work of different combinations of storytellers, and serve different purposes.
For example, the "Making it Home" video ethnography focuses on the Guatemalan immigrant community of southern Delaware and their hometown villages in western Guatemala. It was researched and produced by me (with the valued assistance of several students) to help explain why Guatemalan immigrants in Delaware left home. The "GeoStories: One Story at a Time" web site that focuses on Newark, Delaware, presents stories researched and produced by students involved in a series of town-gown collaborations, and it is intended to help smooth town-gown tensions in UD's hometown. The "Cuentos Compartidos" storybook, "Global at Home: Our Stories" video, "Who is Newark?" video segments, and "Under the Dalo Leaf" video focus on people and places near and far. They were researched and produced by students and geography faculty, and designed as teaching tools for engaging UD students in the process of building the infrastructures that support home.
Please feel free to take a look at some of the digital stories about home.