Now, with four days between myself and Carleton College’s HumLab, with time to process my work and to admire mine and my co-collaborators’ final products, I feel ready to assess!
Although I am biased, I’m very happy with my own piece of our larger project. (Which can be found here.) I feel like the 50+ hours I put into my map show; creating it was truly a labor of love. I’m also vicariously proud of everyone else’s products, as I understand how tedious and difficult using a world-mapping software can be for mapping mythological places.
Having finished this project, I’m now contemplating how Neatline could be used in classroom settings. Because the software is so, so specific, unless you’ve used Neatline before, the program requires several hours to learn. Unless a professor has room in their syllabus to devote at least one class to learning the software’s nuts and bolts, I feel that Neatline needs to be relegated to the realm of final projects: if a professor enjoys assigning more creative finals, outside of papers or exams, making a Neatline map could serve as one option for students.
Would I encourage the proponents of this summer’s HumLab to do another, maybe next summer? Yes–I very much enjoyed my lab and being able to “take home” a “tangible” product. Would I encourage students of Classics and other disciplines to attend the next HumLab? Yes–especially humanities students, who don’t often get that “tangible” result from semester courses. Usually, our products are reformed ideas, the takeaway of conversations between our peers and professors and between ourselves and texts, formalized in papers and exams. Neatline provides a viable means of creating a more “tangible” product, one that is still a result of those aforementioned and ever so important conversations.