Blog Posts Reflection

Reflection: Juliet Glenn-Callender

Juliet Glenn-Callender (Campus Librarian, University of The Bahamas-North) shares how she incorporated minimal computing techniques she learned into a digital course project after Hurricane Dorian.

I was encouraged to attend the NEH Caribbean Studies and Digital Humanities Institute by my coworker Dr. Sally Everson of the University of The Bahamas English Department. I was working with her to provide guidance in describing the artifacts and information, that students of the ENGLISH 119 and 120 classes had collected about historical sites and events in Grand Bahama. The goal of the project was to collect stories and images that were not documented before. The students would learn how to do research and describe the items that they had collected. We would provide technical support to put items on a platform that could be easily accessed by the class initially. 

Attendance at the NEH Institute assisted me in gaining valuable skills that were needed in order to create small scale digital projects that could be used within the University. The project that Dr. Everson and myself had proposed to work on fell through as a result of Hurricane Dorian which destroyed our campus in September of 2019. However, having gone through the workshops and materials that were provided and in an effort to utilize the skills and knowledge gained, I decided to propose a small Digital Humanities assignment to be completed by the students of Academic Enhancement History – Topics in 20th Century History of the University of The Bahamas. I taught students in the Spring semester and would teach them again in the Fall, so I took the opportunity to create an assignment that would be more engaging for students at the College Prep level.

The objective of this assignment entitled The Road to Majority Rule in Bahamas (1942-1967) and Independence in The Bahamas is to explore the significant events in Bahamian history leading up and emanating from Majority Rule and culminating in the country achieving its Independence in 1973.

Students would make a narrative map using StoryMap JS to create a story of the series of the events with a slide and a short narrative describing the following:

  • Process/summary
  • Effects/outcomes

The key events to be explored would be given and some resources supplied for students to utilize in their presentations. The rest of the resources would be sourced through their research efforts.

The goal of the assignment would be to create an activity that students would, not only learn about their history, but also put into a format that they could be easily accessed by others. It would be suitable for use by high school seniors.

The Timeline created would be made accessible through a LibGuide for HIST013 which would be created for the class projects and course resources.

The assignment would also allow students to interface with the technology for capturing information digitally. They would learn how to research, document, and make information available to the wider community.  

I enjoyed this workshop as it highlighted that in many cases, there was no need for sophisticated equipment to capture items digitally.  As a librarian, I had worked on digital projects before, but this Institute really brought home the concept of minimal computing in terms of doing work with the University community and the wider community. It also, highlighted resources that were either free or at minimal cost and with minimal training that could be used to capture digital data and make it accessible to users. If this institute is offered, I would definitely participate again. This is especially so, as I am now teaching a course that I can explore the realm of the digital humanities.

Projects and Courses

Decolonizing Haitian Studies through Digital Scholarship

Natasha Joseph (Howard University, formerly University of Florida)

What is most special about digital humanities is the ability to reach people and areas that may not have had access to certain academic works and help to broaden the scope of research as well as magnify the voices of marginalized populations.

Project Goals

In her presentation, Natasha calls for new Haitian narratives that decolonize research. She examines who Haitian women are, including what trials, tribulations, successes, failures, and obstacles hinder their progress as agents of environmental change.


Natasha’s Presentation

Watch the full video recording of “Decolonizing Research and Shifting the Narrative of Haitian Scholarship Through Digital Humanities”

Presentation slides

Download slides in PDF or PPT formats

Projects and Courses

Dutch Caribbean Digital Platform

Dr. Margo Groenewoud (University of Curaçao)

Margo Groenewoud presenting at the institute.

This digital repository includes unrestricted and restricted materials from special collections such as the Dutch Heritage Collection, as well as collections from the University of Curaçao and partner institutions.

Project Goals

  • Develop a research program based on the playlist pedagogy concept that uses Zikinzá collection materials available in the Dutch Caribbean Digital Platform
  • Improve Zikinzá collection metadata to increase accessibility and use
  • Encourage more use of the Zikinzá collection in educational settings

Outcomes & Deliverables

The research program will bring local sources into the classroom to increase historical awareness and decolonize education. Students will learn to contextualize and build critical thinking skills through discussions about engaging with playlist recordings.


Dutch Caribbean Digital Platform

Access the DCDP to search and view collections.

Playlist Pedagogy

Margo’s presentation about incorporating auditory playlists into educational settings with an example from the DCDP collections.

The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast

Read the transcript from the podcast’s 50th episode: Using Playlists to Differentiate Instruction.

Zikinzá Collection

Search this collection in the DCDP for songs, music, and stories about life on Bonaire and Curaçao.

Example Recording

Listen to this MP3 song recording from the Zikinzá Collection.

Projects and Courses

Introducing Digital Humanities in Creole Language Teacher Education on Curaçao

Dr. Margo Groenewoud (University of Curaçao)

Margo Groenewoud presenting at institute

Project Goals

  • Catalyze innovation in the language education of a small and in many ways vulnerable Creole language, Papiamentu
  • Introduce a basic set of DH teaching tools to new Papiamentu teachers, such as TimelineJS and StoryMapsJS
  • Observe and analyze readiness of the students to innovate their education by offering a semi-guided approach, leaving choices for selection of tools with students.

Outcomes & Deliverables

  • Student presentations were planned in March 2020. Given the partial lockdown because of the COVID pandemic, only a few students could finalize and present their work in a physical setting with full interaction and reflection. Nevertheless, rich material has been collected by the teacher that can be used for further analysis and planning of follow-up.
  • A general observation is that most students were able to complete the assignment with some help. They generally enjoyed working on the assignment. They seemed to embrace using digital material, though primarily as something of added value for them in the role of teachers. Though this is a valid starting point, follow-up needs to be given to building awareness of added value for our language students’ pupils.

Projects and Courses

The Road to Independence: The Bahamas

Juliet Glenn-Callender (University of The Bahamas)

Assignment Goals

  • To identify social and economic conditions existing prior to independence
  • To identify key personnel involved in the Women’s Suffrage Movement
  • To identify events leading to The Bahamas achieving Majority Rule
  • To identify what challenges were overcome in achieving independence
  • To explore major events through the use of StoryMap JS

Outcomes & Deliverables

  • Identifying how major events, such as the Burma Road Riot, Suffrage Movement, birth of the PLP, General Strike of 1958, Black Tuesday, Majority Rule Day, and Education for all in Nassau, led to Bahamian Independence
  • Successfully utilize StoryMap JS to create multimedia story of Bahamian Independence

Module 3, Topic 2 focuses on the Bahamas and the Caribbean since the 1950s. Students become familiar with events leading to 1973 Bahamian Independence, and the adjustments and challenges the population experienced after this time.


Assignment Description

Learn more about this course project, assigned to students in Academic Enhancement History – Topics in 20th Century History. (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Assignment Video

Bahamas Journey to Majority Rule, Part 1 (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Assignment Video

Bahamas Journey to Majority Rule, Part 2 (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Assignment Video

Bahamas Journey to Majority Rule, Part 3 (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Women’s Suffrage

Read the University of The Bahamas LibGuide from the 50th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in The Bahamas

Women’s Suffrage Videos

Access the YouTube channel for the Women’s Suffrage Movement in The Bahamas 1948-1962

Tools and Topics

Teaching Guides in dLOC

dLOC holds a wide range of teaching materials for K-12 and college/university-level courses that are primarily in English. Below are a sample of highlighted courses and teaching materials.

Courses & Syllabi

Puerto Rico Syllabus

Yarimar Bonilla, Marisol Lebrón, and Sarah Molinari developed “Puerto Rico Syllabus: Essential tools for critical thinking about the Puerto Rican debt crisis.”

Caribbean Syllabus

Francis Negrón-Muntaner, Mimi Sheller, and colleagues developed “Caribbean Syllabus: life and debt in the Caribbean,” an 18 unit thematic course.

Introduction to Advancing Sexuality Studies

The Caribbean Region of the International Resource Network created “Introduction to Advancing Sexuality Studies: A short course on sexuality theory and research methodologies”

Teaching Materials

Digital Collection

Hyacinth Simpson worked with Olive Senior to create an online edition of her poetry collection “Gardening in the Tropics” that includes text, audio, and author notes.

Archival Materials

Our Americas Archive Partnership is “a multi-institutional digital humanities project that aims to develop curricular models and teaching materials that embody a hemispheric approach to the study of the Americas.”

K-12 Lesson Plans

This handout includes links to prize winning K-12 lesson plans as well as a series of teaching guides produced for undergraduate teaching, primarily of Caribbean literature.

Panama Teaching Resources

Video Presentation

A recorded video of Sonja Watson’s presentation “The Politics of Race in Panama”

Afro-Antilleans in the Panama Canal Museum Collection

Margarita Vargas-Betancourt’s presentation “Finding the Silver Voice: Afro-Antilleans in the Panama Canal Museum Collection at the University of Florida”


Isabel Silver compiled a selected bibliography of digitized materials in the Panama and the Canal digital library. It also includes search items for each topic and photos for teaching

Book Lecture

Olive Senior’s lecture about her book Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal

Literature Example

Olive Senior discusses Caribbean labor mobility in her article titled “The Colon People: Part I, Jamaica the Neglected Garden”

Panama Silver Asian Gold

Course materials for “Panama Silver Asian Gold: Migration Money and the Making of the Modern Caribbean”

Projects and Courses

Panama Silver, Asian Gold: Migration, Money, and the Making of the Modern Caribbean

Dr. Rhonda Cobham-Sander (Amherst College), Dr. Donette Francis (University of Miami), Dr. Leah Rosenberg (University of Florida)

Students in the course undertake archival research, digital scholarship, and literary studies of the Caribbean through an interdisciplinary lens. Through class assignments, they consider the colonial dimensions of archives, examining how particular facets of identity and subalternity influence Caribbean writers and scholars.

Outcomes & Deliverables

Students examine topics of intersectionality across archival material and produce digital projects using Scalar, Wikipedia, and the Wiki service PBWorks.


Course Syllabus

The “Panama Silver, Asian Gold” syllabus is included in Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities, a born-digital, peer-reviewed resource available on Humanities Commons


Examples of course assignments shared at the institute.

Example PBWorks Site

Wiki for Dr. Rosenberg’s course “Tourism and Caribbean Literature”

Tools and Topics

Challenges and Successes of Bilingual Metadata

In a virtual session, Margarita Vargas-Betancourt (Latin American and Caribbean Special Collections Librarian at University of Florida) discussed the importance of increasing bilingual access to Latin American collections found in online exhibits and digital repositories.


Challenges and Successes of Bilingual Metadata: Online Exhibits at LACC

Margarita Vargas-Betancourt shows us that decolonizing digital collections requires specialized labor. She analyzes three case studies from the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida to illustrate how faculty and staff are implementing bilingual metadata to improve access to Spanish-speaking audiences.

Case Study 1: Florida and Puerto Rico Newspaper Project

Metadata language should match the original source to make content more accessible. FPRNP has worked to include Spanish language assays with collections.

Case Study 2: The Cuban American Dream

During the development of this exhibit, a Spanish authority file was used to organize bibliographic information of Latin American content to ensure access for Spanish-speaking viewers.

Blog Posts Reflection

Reflection: Margo Groenewoud

Dr. Margo Groenewoud (University of Curaçao) shares how her experience helped increase her impact as an educator and develop a collaborative oral history project.

At the start of my involvement with the NEH Institute, I observed that the project could not have come at a better moment for my island and my institute, the University of Curaçao. I wrote:

“As one of the leading institutes for higher education in the Dutch Caribbean, it has been a key challenge to balance our target to educate global citizens with specific local and regional educational needs and ambitions. Small scale, limited resources and historical ties to the Netherlands make it hard to decolonize learning material and to optimize the impact of education and research for the future of our communities. With our digital library and our network, we are ready to achieve much more in this area than we had ever envisioned, but we need collaborative action and support in capacity building.”

By participating in the NEH Institute my ambition was to boost my impact as an agent, collaborator and teacher. In particular I expected to further the use of oral history and Caribbean tales, songs and rhythms in education, and to collaborate on innovative ways to involve students in the validation, enrichment and valorization of local data in open spaces.

Three experiences in particular have had a major positive impact on my development in these areas. First and foremost, the in-person session had great added value as a pressure cooker, where tools and insights were not just presented, but practiced and shared in teams of colleagues with similar backgrounds. Second, because the NEH institute made an exceptionally successful effort in bringing together this group of teachers and scholars, every second was worthwhile, and I am still in contact with many of them. Thirdly, being introduced to the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program has been, and will be, of great value to my work as scholar. I have introduced the work of the institute in my research for Traveling Caribbean Heritage, a Dutch NWO-funded  research program, and hope to work together with the institute on capacity building and history projects in the future.

In 2019-2020, as part of my learning and teaching agenda for the Institute, I have developed the “Introducing Digital Humanities in creole language teacher education on Curaçao” project in our university. This project is based on an assessment of staff of the Faculty of Humanities, in which we discussed various opportunities and challenges relative to the introduction of Digital Humanities tools in our specific setting. One of the major observations was a ‘fear of the unknown’ in the current generation of Papiamentu teachers & researchers. This challenge could be met by introducing the use of an important Oral History collection, Zikinza, and the user-friendly tools learned at the Institute, to the youngest generation of Papiamentu teachers.

Together with a young Papiamentu language teacher, Rendel Rosalia, I have set up an assignment within the ‘Listening and Speaking’ course for first year Bachelor students training to become Papiamentu teachers. We introduced various DH tools and sources that teachers can work with in the classroom, leaving choices open for them to apply and adjust to their needs. Also, we gave the students a responsibility to share project outcome, such as transcriptions of oral history data, to the university repository. Our overall project goal was to observe and analyse readiness of the students to innovate their education by offering a semi-guided approach leaving choices for selection of tools with students. Unfortunately, given the partial lockdown because of the Covid-pandemic, only a few students could finalize and present their work in a physical setting with full interaction and reflection. Nevertheless, rich material has been collected by the teacher that can be used for further analysis and planning of follow-up.  A general observation is that using the digital material seemed to be embraced primarily as something of added value for our students in the role of (future) teachers. Though this is a valid starting point, follow-up needs to be given to building awareness of added value for our language student’s pupils.

Projects and Courses

Experiential Learning through Virtual Exchange (VE)- Global Perspectives

Dr. Mary Risner (University of Florida)

Virtual Exchange is an economical way to collaborate across borders and bring diverse content and practicing experts into the classroom.

Project Goals

  • Engage group of learners in extended periods of online intercultural interaction and collaboration.
  • Develop partnerships with other institutions and cultural contexts across a variety of geographic locations with the guidance of educators or professional facilitators.

Outcomes & Deliverables

Virtual Exchange courses provide a feasible stepping stone to study abroad experiences while increasing digital literacy and greater awareness of cultural diversity.


Mary’s Presentation

View slides from Dr. Risner’s overview of the Virtual Exchange program.

Introduction to Virtual Exchange

The International Center at the University of Florida provides information on Virtual Exchange, including course models and partnerships.

Example Course Model

Here you can view materials from the collaboratively designed Virtual Exchange course, “Panama Silver, Asian Gold.”


View the global network of higher education institutions working with the Collaborative Online Learning (COIL) Center at SUNY.

Soliya Connect Program

Learn about University Partners involved in Soliya’s Virtual Exchange Connect Program.