The Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures has added a new course to Special Investigations for spring 2023: Humanities in the Metaverse.
This course will explore the myriad intellectual, technological, and aesthetic phenomena emerging from the intersection of the humanities and the Metaverse(s). Students will critically reflect on the ideas of the innovators who paved the way to the age of the Metaverse, from science fiction authors (Neal Stephenson and William Gibson) to media theorists (Ray Kurzweil and Janet Murray). Students will also review (Digital) Humanist responses to the Metaverse(s), from its birth to its current state, by discussing texts from an international range of thinkers, including André L. Brock, Gundolf S. Freyermuth, Benjamin Beil, and Melody Jue.
Over the course of the semester, students will develop extensive experience with a VR collaboration forum, with which they will create their own space within the Metaverse(s) as a means to engage with the theoretical and cultural issues from the course readings and discussions. In this way, the course will blend theoretical and practical means to approaching the questions: What is the metaverse? What is the place of the humanities in the metaverse? And how/should we engage with it?