Final Project Ideas #3: HIST 689

I’d like for one of the activities in my project to focus on an image from the Robert Runyon Photograph collection at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, “Texas Rangers with dead suspected Mexican Bandits.” I’d also like to utilize a video created by C-SPAN in 2014, “History of the Texas Rangers” that features a cropped version of the Runyon photo. I chose this image because it closely relates to my topic — the lynching of Florencio Garcia. While the photo does not depict Garcia, it does address the topic of racialized violence against Mexicans by Texas Rangers. It’s almost like the photo can be analyzed from two different perspectives: the photo as it was used in 2014 and the photo in its original, uncropped state. I plan on revealing information to the user in small fragments — first the photo as it was used in the 2014 video (the bottom half containing the dead bodies cropped out), then revealing more contextual information about the photo and photographer, ending with a full reveal of the original photo.

TX Rangers with dead suspected Mexican Bandits. The Robert Runyon Photograph Collection, RUN00097, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin. Via flickr.

I’m also aware of the existence of other photos in the Runyon collection that I would like to draw on — they are companion images to the image in question and would aid in the understanding of the Texas Ranger photo. However, I have not been able to locate digital versions of these companion photos, so I will need to continue searching or adjust my project accordingly. I know my original source material (Joint Committee Testimony) also contains information about the Runyon photographs so I need to locate that as well. For other parts of my project I need to dive deeper into the source material to further pull out the “German propaganda” thread I’ve seen in passing and the connection with Ranger violence against Mexicans.


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