Mapping Violence recovers cases of violence at the hands of law enforcement, U.S. soldiers, mobs, vigilantes, and everyday people who have engaged in anti-Black, anti-Mexican, anti-Indigenous, and/or anti-Asian violence. Creating a record that includes multiple forms of violence offers an opportunity to recover cases that previously fell outside early recovery efforts. Considering victims of racial violence from multiple racial and ethnic groups also helps to expose interconnected histories of violence, the legacies of colonization, slavery, and genocide that intersect in Texas.
Mapping Violence adds to foundation recording efforts by researching violent events as well as the lives of individuals involved. Researchers document biographical information about the victim, known aggressors, and survivors. This wider collecting effort can develop a record that provides insights into patterns of violence, both for the victims as well as for the aggressors. In addition, the record will include information about the aftermath of violence (police investigations, diplomatic investigations, arrests, indictments, prosecutions, media accounts, public protests, efforts by survivors or witnesses to seek justice). Recording details about the aftermath of violence can help expose the failures of the judicial system, the denial of justice for victims, cultures of impunity in policing, as well as the multiple strategies that were used to seek justice.
Collecting histories of violence requires researchers, first and foremost, to look for lost humanity. With this in mind, Mapping Violence moves beyond collecting data to creating content about cases that help humanize victims and recognized the lives interrupted by this violence. Case records include historical data as well as short historical essays. These essays provide known details about victims before death, place the events in a broader historical context, describe events that took place in the aftermath, and speak to the lingering injustices. The selected cases below provide examples of the historical essays included in case files.
So far, the research team has studied 175 cases of violence, over 100 events are in the queue to be researched, and new cases are being added to the queue. For more on research methods, early findings, and pedagogical practices, see the publications included below. The team will add our findings, educational resources, and curated content over the course of the next months and years.
Selection of Cases:
Monica Muñoz Martinez, “Lives, Not Metadata: Recovery Methods for Digital Histories of Racial Violence,” ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science – Special Issue: Legacies of Racial Violence: Clarifying and Addressing the Presence of the Past. March 2021 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/00027162211014424
Monica Muñoz Martinez, “Racial Violence in the West,” The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Vol 20, Issue 1, January 2021 pp 114-21. Special Forum: Lynching in the New South A Quarter of a Century Later. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1537781420000535
Monica Muñoz Martinez, “Mapping Segregated Histories of Racial Violence.” American Quarterly Volume 70, No. 3 (September 2018): 657 – 663. doi:10.1353/aq.2018.0049