I’d like to build a tool that would help students learn historical and cultural references in order to strengthen humanities undergrad liberal arts education. Many Freshman don’t know the most basic references of historical figures, myths, objects, monuments, literary references, cultural moments, etc. I see this as an interactive platform, perhaps in a blog/vlog form or in a technology format that I’m not yet versed in and/or that I might design and build.
One of the models for this idea is the 2010 BBC’s Radio 4 series, a “History of the World in 100 Objects” and the 2017-18 MoMA exhibition titled “Is Fashion Modern?” of the 100 most influential fashion items.
I see this tool being of use and value, through this example: I was teaching Media Studies 101 one day and the subject of Iago came up. The class stared at me blankly—no one knew who Iago was, shockingly. So rather than “lecture” them on Shakespeare I asked them to name any other antagonist or “villain” they knew. Silence. So I took it down another notch and asked them to identify an “evil” character or a “nemesis”. Still nothing. Enter the tool I’m envisioning which could be accessed and searched at that moment to bring up Iago, and then other references. Iago could be made to “ping” Shakespeare, Othello, the year/s Othello was written, actors who’ve portrayed Iago on stage and on film, and additional cross references.
I’m interested in learning and exploring Twine for this project idea, and recently, Omeka was recommended to me for it also.
These are my initial thoughts and conceptions, and I look forward to exploring them toward building this.