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Using Digital Projects to Teach Cultures of Latin America

Author: Clayton McCarl
Faculty Mentor: N/A


In Fall 2020, I have experimented with a new approach to teaching a 3000-level course in Spanish about cultures of Latin America. I have built the course around two assumptions — that the study of Latin America must include a diversity of voices, and that we can access many of them through the use of technology. These ideas are in line with general trends in Latin American studies, in which matters of inclusion and equity inform much contemporary scholarship, and in which much digital work seeks to recover narratives that have been forgotten or erased. In this presentation, I discuss how I have organized the course around the exploration of a series of digital projects, corresponding to periods from the colonial era to the present, and involving methodologies that include textual editing, digital archives, spatial analysis, oral history, and documentary filmmaking. I also explain the interviews that I recorded with project creators and other scholars in order to provide context and frame these experiences for the students.
Research Types: Undergraduate Research


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10 Responses

  1. I’m always impressed by how hard you work on behalf of your students and to give them authentic experiences, Dr. McCarl!
    I can imagine this was a memorable class, bravo!

  2. I loved the combination of the poster and your video discussion of it. I would have loved to have been a student in this class…especially during the exploration of the Codex Mendoza. I’ve used codices in my own research and would love to have heard the class’s interpretations.

  3. Wow, what a combination of important and interesting projects that do indeed provide other voices using new tech tools. Students are really benefiting from these experiences, and it’s obviously interesting to you to. Well done.

  4. You have created such wonderful learning experiences for students in SPN 3524! Contributing to unique digital projects and the chance to exchange ideas with scholars and archivists has surely been a transformational learning opportunity for the class. Congratulations to you, Clayton, and to your students on this beautiful and informative poster presentation.

  5. What an amazingly thoughtful course and application. It’s lovely how you incorporated the underrepresented or lost stories into the digital format, capitalizing on a system that can connect your students to those stories. Beautiful work.

  6. What a powerful experience you’ve given your students. The level of connection you’ve been able to create for your students in the midst of a pandemic is truly inspirational. It’s wonderful to see fellow colleagues being mindful of giving voices to those groups who have been marginalized for so long. Well done and congratulations.

  7. I loved the collaborative spirit reflected in this work. It began with the premise that multiple voices were necessary, then the methodology matched the philosophy. Great work!

  8. Thank you for everything, Dr. McCarl. I really enjoyed and learned a great deal in your class this semester. Hopefully, I will able to pass it along to my students in the not far future.

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