Prof. Rachel Havrelock & English Students Launch Digital Storytelling Site “The Backward River”

Rachel Havrelock, Director of the Freshwater Lab and Professor of English at UIC, has launched a new digital storytelling site called "The Backward River," its name a reference to the famous reversal of the Chicago River at the beginning of the 20th century. Built by industrial capitalism on the backs of communities of color, the Chicago Area Waterway System's stories are not often told--until now.

Along with students and professionals from disciplines as varied as public policy and biochemistry, the Freshwater Lab Media Group includes Justin Raden, English Studies PhD candidate; Kathleen Blackburn, PhD Candidate in the Program for Writers; and English major Tristen Ortiz.

Professor Havrelock and Ortiz were featured on the WBEZ radio program Reset on December 2, 2020, to discuss the launch of "The Backward River" and Ortiz's research project on the six branches of the river. (Listen to Part 1 and Part 2.)