Climate Change and the Stories We Tell: The Making of a Collaborative Digital Archive in Rural Maine

Read the full article in Digital Engagements; Or, the Virtual Gets Real.

How can digital engagement deepen the relationships celebrated by community-engaged-learning (CEL) pedagogy—between students and residents, scholars and community members? And how can we prepare our undergraduates—both practically and ethically—to conduct field research that they will later make accessible to a larger public? This article will explore these questions in the context of a Creative Writing and Environmental Studies seminar taught last spring in a small liberal arts college located in rural Maine. First, this essay will examine how community-engaged learning and digital pedagogy practices, when applied together, have the potential to broaden the climate change dialogue by recording and disseminating the voices of those living in rural communities. Second, this essay will outline the principles and procedures that shaped the creation and implementation of the Climate Change and the Stories We Tell course, highlighting student experience and take-aways. Finally, the essay will conclude with a reflection on both the opportunities and limitations that arise when applying CEL and digital pedagogy practices alongside one another.

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