Drama as a Digital Learning Space in the Political Science Classroom

Abstract

The richness and complexity of the study of conflict can easily overwhelm students and impact their retention of knowledge, especially during the pandemic and its challenging instructional modes. Yet, remote communication tools can offer advantages in promoting learning, enhancing pedagogy and fostering student community. Employing innovative peer-to-peer, experiential techniques, like asking students to use remote learning platforms to read parts of an ancient tragedy in a performative way and connect it to their written assignments, can increase engagement with the material, foster cooperation and mutual learning, and provide a memorable learning experience. This paper illustrates this application to a remotely-taught undergraduate course ‘On War’ at the University of Toronto Mississauga via a collaborative exercise co-designed with Classics and Theater Studies, and an award-winning Scottish director and her associate towards a student-led virtual performative reading of an adaptation of Euripides’ The Women of Troy to the modern conflict in Syria.

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Supporting data from survey included.

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