On Tuesday April 4, Professor Thomas Herron of East Carolina University traveled to UGA to share his recent, innovative work with eager English students as part of the colloquium series hosted by the Wilson Center for Humanities and Arts.
Bringing together the digital humanities, visual art, and literature, Herron has created an online virtual world to show the environment in which master poet Edmund Spenser wrote most of his epic, Elizabethan poetry. As Spenser often drew inspiration from the rolling hills and regal castles of southwestern Ireland, the project aims to help students and scholars understand how Spenser’s environment shaped his writing.
Herron began by traveling to Ireland to take photos of the settlements of Munster and Kilcolman Castle where Spenser was thought to have lived while writing his most famous work, The Faerie Queene. From there, students artists at ECU made sketches and drawings to recreate the photos. The final step was to digitize the sketches using software such as Photoshop to piece together the 3D virtual world. Adding music and realistic sound effects, including the croaking of frogs native to the swampy lands, Herron brought life to the words of Spenser and can now share his work to help place students in the world of Edmund Spenser.
Thomas Herron is an associate professor of English at East Carolina University.