by Emma Wilson, Digital Scholarship Librarian and Assistant Professor of English

It is my pleasure to invite you to join us for the Alabama Digital Humanities Center’s visiting speaker events next week on Thursday, October 20 and Friday, October 21 in the University Libraries, when Bryan Carter, Associate Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Arizona, will be presenting a formal lecture followed by a hands-on workshop introducing ways of incorporating Digital Humanities techniques such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and digital communication methods into the classroom. Are you interested in engaging Digital Humanities for your teaching? Are you looking for ways to enhance engagement and foster new levels of interactivity in your classrooms? Professor Carter’s lecture and workshop will showcase ways of doing just that.

Professor Carter’s lecture and his hands-on workshop showcasing a variety of easily-accessible digital tools for use in the classroom offers a great opportunity for professional development, and if you are inspired by what you hear, the Alabama Digital Humanities Center will be glad to talk with you to find ways in which you might be able to pursue these approaches in your own teaching.

Full details are below, and it would be my pleasure to welcome you to one or both of these events. For further information, please contact me at eawilson8@ua.edu.

Lecture Details

Title: “Experiencing the Digital Humanities”
Date and Time: Thursday, October 20 @ 4:00 p.m.
Location: Alabama Digital Humanities Center, 109a Gorgas Library

The Digital Humanities have continued to gain traction on a number of college campuses with the advent of evolved technologies and faculty who are willing to experiment with the use of new tools for visualization, communication, and engagement. This lecture introduces exciting ways in which faculty can engage students differently using free or low-cost tools, encouraging a different level of interaction in the classroom. We will take a close look at technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Digital Communications and Multimedia Production and how they are being used in both online and face to face settings.

Workshop Details

Title: “Introduction To Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Multimedia Tools For The Classroom”
Date and Time: Friday, October 21 @ 10:00 a.m.
Location: Alabama Digital Humanities Center, 109a Gorgas Library

It’s one thing to discuss using technology in the classroom; it is, however, entirely different to try many of the new, low-cost or free, digital technologies and discuss learning theories, case studies and pros/cons of using various digital tools in the classroom. Participants will be introduced to, and encouraged to try, Audio and Video Broadcasting, Multimedia Creation Tools, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Digital Communications. Please bring your mobile devices, Tablets and or Laptop computers to this session.

About the Speaker

Dr. Bryan Carter received his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri-Columbia and is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Arizona. He began working with virtual environments during his thesis work, when he created Virtual Harlem, a representation of Harlem, NY, as it existed during the 1920s Jazz Age and Harlem Renaissance; the project is one of the earliest full virtual reality environments created for use in the humanities and one of the first for use in an African American literature course. In 2004, the University of Paris-Sorbonne funded the development of Virtual Montmartre, and as leader of the project, Dr. Carter was awarded the prestigious “Professeur Invité” to spend 6 months in Paris developing this resource.

He has published extensively on creating and implementing virtual environments for research and teaching, including articles on Virtual Harlem and on teaching using virtual reality environments, as well as his 2013 monograph Digital Humanities: Current Perspectives, Practices and Research. His research focuses on advanced digital visualization, and how sustained and varied digital communication affects student retention and engagement in literature courses taught both online and face-to-face.

If you are interested in learning new ways to enhance learning and engagement for students in your classes, or if you are seeking, at an administrative level, new ways of making classroom experiences more interactive with a view to retention, Dr. Carter’s sessions promise to provide valuable insights.

Further, if you are engaged in online education, Dr. Carter’s research considers the incorporation of Digital Humanities techniques in both in-person and online classes, so his lecture and workshop will be great sources of inspiration for new potential approaches in both our physical and our virtual campus, so I really hope you can join us at the ADHC for one or both of these occasions for what promises to be stimulating and also very practical presentations.

About the ADHC

At the Alabama Digital Humanities Center (ADHC) in the University Libraries, myself and my colleague, IT Specialist Tyler Grace, partner with faculty members and graduate students interested in incorporating digital techniques into their teaching and research. We work with faculty members with a wide range of Digital Humanities experience, so whether you are accustomed to teaching with digital tools or whether this is something that you would like to experiment with for the first time, we will be happy to collaborate with you to bring your ideas to fruition to enhance student engagement and the learning experience.

We run a regular series of events including brown bags, workshops, and visiting speaker lectures and workshops to introduce a broad spectrum of approaches to digital scholarship to the campus; all of these events are open to the public, and we would love to see you there!