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Ursuline College professor wins national grant to learn to create digital exhibitions

April 20, 2018

Ursuline College Professor of History Pamela McVay, Ph.D., is one of 22 people nationwide recently accepted into a program that will help her bring history alive by creating digital exhibitions that incorporate text, images, footage and sound.

The Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities are training programs for scholars, humanities professionals, and graduate students. The extended seminar McVay will attend is titled “Textual Data and Digital Texts in the Undergraduate Classroom” and will meet online during spring and in person at Mississippi State University in July.

McVay’s students are already creating digital exhibitions. This semester, her Modern European History students have been working on an exhibition exploring Englebert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.” The class attended and filmed a performance of the Opera at Cleveland Institute of Music. They also photographed the set and interviewed CIM student performers.

Using a digital presentation software called Prezi, they are relating the text of the libretto to the performance, the costumes, the staging, and the history of 19th century Europe.

“The point of doing digital work with texts is to engage with them in different ways,” she explained. “Creating digital exhibitions requires builders to plan together and communicate regularly, think carefully about their audience, and understand the original materials well enough to explain them in an engaging way.”

The NEH program will introduce McVay to several new tools for this work. 
“At the end of the process each of the participants will devise, present, and make public a teaching method involving digital texts,” she said

Ursuline College President Sister Christine De Vinne, OSU, Ph.D. is delighted for McVay. “What a wonderful opportunity for Dr. McVay. She and her future students will be able to use digital technology to its fullest to create engaging and meaningful experiences. It certainly will be a productive summer for Dr. McVay and her future students will be the beneficiaries.”

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