Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Global Service, Global Connections: Humane Pedagogy in a Technological Age

Marlene Tromp.

In this presentation, I will discuss the vital role of the humanities in helping students become engaged and compassionate citizens. First, I will argue that the critical thinking skills we teach are the ideal framework for humane service projects that can change the lives of both our students and those whom they serve. Moreover, service-learning is one way in which the benefits of our work in the humanities can become immediately perceptible to those who cannot understand how a novel or photograph or philosophical treatise can change someone's thinking and his/her life. When such a pedagogy is employed in even a few of our classrooms, it renders visible the benefits in the work that all of us do.

The second question to which I will turn is the pragmatic one of how we might refigure technology as a part of this project. In other words, to what humane use can we put the computers that are beginning to emerge in our classrooms and lab spaces? When we put technology in the service of the human, it can make service-learning in the classroom possible. I will discuss an array of projects, from work in battered women's shelters to benefit concerts for women in Juarez, Mexico. Using these examples, I argue that the humanities can sustain its leadership in reshaping both the academy and the consciousness of our world.


Marlene Tromp  (United States)
Associate Professor of English and Women's Studies, Director of Women's Studies
Department of English Women's Studies Program
Denison University

Associate Professor of English and Women's Studies, Director of Women's Studies. Author of _The Private Rod_ and articles on Victorian literature and domestic violence, and on Victorian Spiritualism.

  • Service Learning
  • Technology
  • Women's Issues
  • Pedagogy

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)