Herron Completes Work on Castle to Classrooms

Dr. Thomas Herron, Doug Barnum (ITCS), Laurie Godwin (ITCS), and colleagues from outside ECU have completed their prototype teaching modules for the Castle to Classrooms project.

Made possible by a collaborative NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant (2020-23), the project adapts for teaching and public use in Virtual Reality a highly detailed 3-D digital model of Kilcolman Castle, the late-medieval Irish building compound known for being the adopted home of the early modern English poet and colonial administrator Edmund Spenser (c.1552-1599). Five discipline-specific “teaching module” prototypes were created for university curricula. A sixth module for teaching renaissance pastoral poetry in high schools was created by Pitt Co. high-school English teacher (and ECU English MA) Sara Painter. The modules can be accessed on computers or VR headsets. The project helps students, teachers, and the general public better understand the life and works of Spenser within the context of the imperial and Irish colonial developments he participated in and wrote about. The project also aims to bolster the study of medieval-renaissance, Irish, castle, poetry, colonial, and English literature studies on the web while deepening our understanding of the humanities through DH and VR.

English MA students who have helped with the project as GAs include Alexander Pickens, Lea Shirley Oliver, Jackie Derritt, and Anna Bradley.

Jonathan Valle did most of the castle modelling while an undergraduate in Animation and Interactive Design at ECU. He now works for the Center for Faculty Advancement at NYU.

The digital castle was built at ECU (2012- ) by digital arts students under the direction of Herron and Godwin and is featured on Centering Spenser: a digital resource for Kilcolman Castle.