Digital Humanities Colloquium to Examine Promise of 3D Immersion for Study of Medieval Culture

Lynn Ramey, associate professor of French, will present Learning Medieval Culture through 3D Immersion: Problems and Possibilities on Wednesday, April 19, at 4:10 pm in 344 Buttrick Hall. Her talk, the final event in the inaugural Vanderbilt Digital Humanities Colloquium series, will examine the exciting promise of 3D immersive environments for the study and research of the culture of the Middle Ages, while also touching on some of the technical and ethical problems these models raise.

“3D modeling has become commonplace in certain academic fields like archeology and art history because of the ability to safely explore and share fragile or inaccessible artifacts and environments,” said Ramey in an interview with Madeleine Casad, coordinator of Vanderbilt’s Center for Digital Humanities. “However, literary and language studies have not embraced the use of 3D media to the same degree. A 3D game engine can allow virtual immersion in a now inaccessible time, but immersion in medieval life would not simply mean navigating the space and society of a time where people spoke differently and lived in a different landscape and used different tools. While that is a part of what we can try to reproduce, the very meaning and experience of ‘medieval space’ was likely very different a thousand years ago.”

A specialist in medieval French literature and media studies, Ramey is one of the Andrew J. Mellon faculty fellows at the Digital Humanities Center and is currently working with re-creations of medieval literature and culture in video games. She is the author of Christian, Saracen and Genre in Medieval French Literature (Routledge, 2001) and Black Legacies: Race and the European Middle Ages (Florida, 2014), and co-editor with Tison Pugh of Race, Class and Gender in ‘Medieval’ Cinema (Palgrave, 2007).

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