Dr. Bender Publishes Article on Creative Mapping Project with K-State Spanish Students

Dr. Bender has contributed an article to the most recent issue of HISPANIA, the official journal of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). This was a special issue dedicated to Digital Humanities in Spanish & Portuguese classrooms. Her article, From Snaps to Maps: Using Literature, Mobile Applications, and Mapping Software to Design an Engaging L2 Curriculum,” is based on the collaborative work her students completed in the Fall 2019 seminar, Span 735: Gender & the City in 20th-Century Spanish Literature. This course featured three urban novels with settings and plots centered in early 20th-century Madrid.

Dr. Bender’s article demonstrates the pedagogical potential of combining two free digital tools: the Snapchat and Northwestern University Knight Lab’s StoryMap. By combining Snapchat and StoryMap in the second language (L2) literature classroom, students adapted their L2 language skills to 21st-century modes of communication, collaborated with peers, and creatively crossed disciplinary boundaries. Below is the experimental, collaborative map that her entire class made for their midterm project on Carmen de Burgos’ novel, LA RAMPA (1917). Their midterm served as a practice-run for the Snapchat-StoryMaps that they would work on in smaller groups for their final course project.

Dr. Bender’s published essay offers a case study of a “medium-inflected DHL2” approach (Cro 2020) to a Spanish literature seminar. It demonstrates how non-traditional assignments increase student engagement with literature by fostering creativity and productive language play in communicative and analytic contexts. She demonstrates that a creative DHL2 approach that adopts an alternative view of traditional L2 literature content to generate non-traditional assessments will improve L2 literature pedagogy and make literary content more relevant to students’ personal and professional experiences.

Below are K-State Spanish students’ final StoryMaps from this course (Span 735):

Half of the seminar’s students worked on Margarita Nelken’s social-realist novel, La trampa del arenal (1923):

The other half worked on José Díaz Fernández’s avant-garde novel La Venus mecánica (1929):

Read the full article here via ProjectMuse: “From Snaps to Maps:Using Literature, Mobile Applications, and Mapping Software to Design an Engaging L2 Curriculum

If you ever have an idea for a creative project in her course, Dr. Bender would love to hear about it! Or if you’re a graduate student interested in Spanish Literature, the Digital Humanities, or teaching literature and culture, get in touch with Dr. Bender about incorporating these themes into your MA portfolio, report, or exams.


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