Dr. Nancy Comorau: Using Technology in the Humanities

Too often technology and the Humanities are assumed to be mortal enemies, but the Scholars of Sturges are using their liberal arts expertise to change this perception. Dr. Nancy Comorau was recently interviewed by Inside Higher Education about her use of technology for student final projects in her “Queering the Cannon” first-year literature tutorial and her “Re-Placing Great Britain” Travel-Learning Course.

For their final projects, students had to use the school’s WordPress server to create a site that would provide resources, reading recommendations, and reflections of different forms of media and literature pertaining to their class’s focus. Each class worked together to choose the site design, and students were broken into smaller groups that focused on particular topics within the genres.

Dr. Comorau’s Travel-Learning Course in front of Manchester’s Imperial War Museum.

“I really liked using the technology and learning how to create and edit a site as a project,” Adriana Rodriguez ’18, a double major in Literature and Theatre and a minor in Woman and Gender Studies, said. Rodriguez participated in the Travel-Learning Course and focused on the theatrical works of postcolonial writers for the website.

“It was a nice reminder that what we do and what we study isn’t simply relegated to the classroom and definitely has an outside purpose,” she said.

Capri Pappas ’20, a Medieval Studies major, said her own passion for finding and promoting queer media made working on “Reading the Rainbow” a fulfilling project. Crafting a reference of sources for others looking for queer media was her favorite part.

“Queer representation is so important and I cannot stress that enough,” she said. “Queer people like myself need to see people like them in media, to be displayed as normal people in normal relationships and having experiences like anyone else, like heterosexual people have been shown in media for centuries.”

Papas is currently president of PRIDE, a club dedicated to providing educational resources about and a safe space for members of the LGBTQIA community. “To have a comprehensive guide of different media in one place is super helpful for anyone seeking out queer content, including the creators. I was so excited to see what everyone else had to add onto the guide and look for their recommended books, movies, shows, authors, podcasts and games as well,” she said.

To see what Prof. Comorau’s students created, check out the “Black British Literature” website here, and the “Reading the Rainbow” website here!

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