Watching Pan’s Labyrinth with her students ten years ago launched Dr. Lora Looney on a journey that she’s still on today. Dr. Looney, Associate Professor of Spanish Language and Culture, became interested in films and fiction that use juvenile protagonists to tell about the Spanish civil war and the dictatorship that followed. As part of her Academic Technology Roundtable project, Dr. Looney will design a website that explores working theories on a group of films that center on a variety of themes such as fairy tale, hunger, and national grief. She’ll provide a variety of materials, including lectures and talks, to engage students and other scholars. Her goal is to inspire independent scholarship and research. She hopes students and scholars from all over the world will contribute to the site.
In my heart the goal of the website it to teach genocide because genocide is still happening today around the world and it is a way of getting students to simply not have a knee-jerk reaction.
complete transcript of this podcast in MS Word format
From Our Conversation:
Maria: When we talked about the website a little bit, you have this idea of having polls and sort of interactive spaces on your website. Do you want to say a little bit about how you plan to engage young people especially in the material?
Sam: Mini Ted Talks no longer than 4 minutes?
Lora: Mini Ted Talks to engage and then bibliographies, primary and secondary. I’m not thinking about a lot of images but if I could have some film clips that would be great. Engaging the student would happen with quizzes that were less fact based and more reflection based. Reflections about maybe what other fairy tales do for that individual’s memory travel if we want to call it that. I mean just connecting the dots in your world and how could you apply this in a different context. I’m not imagining it as an academic, much more of a … I don’t want to call it moral either but an intellectual reflection
Sam: As far as the contributors to the site, do you see yourself as the main contributor to the site? Will you be asking students or other colleagues to contribute Ted Talks or content to the site? I’m just curious to know your broader vision for content contribution.
Lora: Forums would be a way that students could, at UP and outside of UP, make contributions. I have worked with research assistants and it is true that I will be giving them credit in a very big and bold way for a few of the theoretical frameworks and I may just … they’ve graduated but I may just grab them and say, “Okay, I’m creating the Hunger Portal, I need some help” and absolutely giving credit. The outreach would be the following. I’m going to excavate, plum whatever, all my teaching materials and there are many years of teaching materials and then publish film guides, reading guides.
I think that when I get the word out to colleagues nationwide, there will be … it will start to become an exchange with other Spanish Peninsular professors who want to contribute and not just make use of materials. Then also establishing some ties with, there are some centers around Spain that are important for 20th century Spanish Peninsular Studies. For example University of San Diego that happened to take a lot of exiled intellectuals coming out of Spain … there are archives. In fact they have a memory project of their own that I’ve looked at. Reaching out to them or there is a group in Spain that actually propelled the Law of Historical Memory and promoted it and got it passed so that would be a group to collaborate with also.