XR and the Humanities: Virtual Education in the 21st Century

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Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at 12:00 AM (PDT) to Friday, October 15, 2021 at 5:00 PM (PDT)

Event Details

We are developing an edited volume of the latest in XR (virtual, augmented and mixed reality) and other interactive technologies being used for liberal arts education, specifically in the Humanities. While these relatively nascent technologies have been applied most visibly in the STEM fields, we seek to show through this volume that the technological divide between sciences and the humanities is not as wide as many believe. Many academics and researchers working in the humanities often utilize these kinds of technologies, even though they are not generally accepted tools for research and teaching in their respective fields. Recent creations involving various humanities disciplines include digital reconstructions of ancient and medieval environments, archaeological and anthropological projects which seek to digitize material artifacts, language acquisition projects for both modern and ancient languages, and more. XR technologies offer unique opportunities for research, teaching and learning.

Possible Questions/Angles of Approach:

- With technology taking a larger role in the classroom, what role does XR technology play in the development of humanities education in the 21st century, and vice versa?

- What discoveries have been found by exploring XR technology in the classroom?

- How do projects involving XR technology offer opportunities for faculty-student collaboration and/or interdisciplinary collaboration?

- How can XR technology help to advance modes of research in various humanities disciplines?

We welcome other approaches in addition to these questions. If you think your ideas may fit this volume but don’t fit those exact criteria, please feel free to submit.

Eventual contributions would include how you conceived of the project; any relevant background from the standpoint of education and/or humanities education; how the work got done; how you used the builds in your courses and/or research; case studies, user studies and/or student responses; and where you think things are heading, more generally and/or more specifically to you.

Please submit 500-word abstracts by Friday, October 15, 2021 at 11:59 pm Pacific to Brian Beams (beams@stanford.edu) and Lissa Crofton-Sleigh (ejcroftonsleigh@scu.edu) with the subject line reading “XR Edited Volume Proposal”.

For more information, go to https://tinyurl.com/XRHumanitiesCFP. Questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact either of Brian or Lissa.

About the editors:

Brian Beams is currently the lab manager for the Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) at Stanford University. Prior to this he managed interdisciplinary projects for the Soft Interaction Lab at Texas A&M University, and later VR lab director and lecturer at Santa Clara University. Brian assisted in the development of creative anatomy virtual reality applications, interactive performance art, and research in the application of new technologies for art and education.

Lissa Crofton-Sleigh is a Lecturer in the Classics Department at Santa Clara University. Having received her M.A. and Ph.D in Classics from the University of Washington, Seattle, her research focuses on ancient Latin literature, in particular the connections between poetry and built environments, which helped to spark an interest in the uses of XR technology in the humanities.

Brian and Lissa have been working together on XR-Humanities projects since 2018 and have presented their work at several conferences.