07 November, 2012

Tech Gets Medieval

Title: Tech Gets Medieval Symposium
Time: Tuesday, November 13, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Student Success Center, Press Room B
Hosted by GT/LMC Writing and Communication Program

This symposium highlights the connections between 21st-century and medieval/early-modern technologies, showcasing Georgia Tech faculty who have found innovative ways to teach the past in their classrooms. Faculty speakers include Brian Bowen (College of Architecture), Hugh Crawford (LMC),  Krystina Madej (LMC), Celia Pearce (LMC), Chrissy Spencer (School of  Biology), Richard Utz (LMC), and Brittain Fellows Leah Haught, Diane Jakacki, Amanda Madden, and Katherine Tanski.


Opening Remarks: 12:00-12:30 (Richard Utz, Chair, LMC)

SESSION 1 (12:30-1:45): Modern Ramifications of Medieval Traditions:
Medieval and early modern events and traditions have lingering, visible effects in the contemporary world.

Medieval Construction – Foundation of Today’s Industry (Brian Bowen, Professor of Practice, School of Building Construction, College of Architecture): A major transformation in the organizational framework of modern construction practices has interesting echoes of its medieval origins, which are relevant to understanding today’s challenges.

Blacksmithing and Timber-Framed Houses: Pedagogy of Risk (Hugh Crawford, PhD, Associate Professor, LMC):This presentation focuses on two forms of medieval technological practice--timber-frame construction and blacksmithing, and how teaching students how to forge iron and chop timber is an invaluable pedagogical tool, especially in the literature classroom.

Biology and Germ Warfare (Chrissy Spencer, PhD, Academic Professional, School of Biology): This presentation argues that biological or “germ” warfare is by no means a modern invention and explores the evidence for whether germ warfare may have contributed to the devastating spread of the “Black Death” in the middle ages.

SESSION 2: (2:00-3:15): Technical Communication in the Medieval and Early-Modern Periods: The traditions and conventions of medieval and early-modern technical communication connect with contemporary technical communication.

Tried and True Methods (Krystina Madej, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, LMC): This talk exemplifies how two modern teaching methods; conversational role-playing and practical application, were successfully premiered in 1000 AD by Aelfric of Eynsham, who wrote The Colloquy to help students learn Latin.

The Afterlives of Gawain:  Illustration as Annotation in the Cotton Nero Ax Manuscript (Leah Haught, PhD, Brittain Fellow, Writing and Communication Program): This presentation illuminates the relationship between text and image within one of the most-well known medieval tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, adding much needed information about the context of its composition and reception.

Bind Him Together and Say, “God speed”: Mnemonic Devices in a 15th-Century English Fencing Poem (Kate Tanski, Brittain Fellow, Writing and Communication Program):This paper discusses the rhyming verse poem “On Fencing With the Two-Handed Sword,” an example of 15th-century technical communication that offers a historical precedent for modern military instruction in today’s “popular” forms.

SESSION 3 (3:30-4:45): Using Modern Technology to Analyze and Teach the Past
Modern technology not only incorporates medieval and early modern tropes but also has revolutionized the way we research and teach historical content.

Tracing the Steps of Touring Actors: Using REED Records and GIS to Illuminate Sixteenth-Century Performance Practices (Diane Jakacki, PhD, Brittain Fellow, Writing and Communication Program)
This paper addresses how historical records can be combined with geospatial information systems (GIS) to generate touring patterns by acting troupes; an invaluable new temporo-spatial methodology for generating a robust model of the movements of the 16th-century Queen’s Men.

Neo-Medieval Fantasy in Video Games (Celia Pearce, PhD, Associate Professor of Digital Media, LMC)  This paper will explore the prevalence of neo-medieval themes in video games and pose some potential reasons why these themes are so pervasive in modern-day, high-tech media.

Your Mission is to Rescue Lorenzo di Medici: A Demonstration of the Pedagogical Potentials of using Assassin’s Creed II for Teaching the Italian Renaissance (Amanda Madden, PhD, Brittain Fellow, Writing and Communication Program)
Based on teaching Assassin’s Creed II in an undergraduate composition classroom during the Spring and Fall semesters of 2012, this presentation explores the pedagogical potentials of a game as text to bring alive for students the social and cultural world of the Italian Renaissance.