Paulina F. Przystupa, a member of The Alexandria Archive Institute (AAI) team recently talked about the overlap between archaeological data literacy and comic books. Specifically, the talk focused on how Paulina brought a love of comics to the Data Literacy Program (DLP).
The super cool Dr. April Kamp-Whitaker invited Paulina to guest lecture because this brand new class at California State University – Chico focuses on using digital storytelling to share archaeological research with the public. Exactly what the DLP loves to do!
With this opportunity, Paulina discussed how the DLP cultivates data literacy by defining data literacy, understanding the current state of archaeological data literacy in the field, and making resources to fill educational needs. In particular, it was a great chance to talk about all the cool things that provide a foundation for our awesome Data Stories. Because Data Stories don’t grow on trees.
Although… Data Stories do grow out of ideas and important foundations, like doing the work to review the literature and define literacy, data literacy, and archaeological data literacy. They also come from doing the background reading necessary to ensure we’re ethically teaching relevant archaeological data literacy skills.
These help us create a range of Data Stories we have already shared with y’all and the data stories that we have in preparation. Regarding work in preparation, Paulina also explored how her love of comics influenced the creation of an upcoming Data Story.
Paulina got to reuse this slide in a slightly different format for this talk, which was awesome.
Paulina has discussed their work on comics previously for the Archaeological Research Facility at Berkeley and for a Public Archaeology Twitter Conference. She talked briefly about those experiences and the kind of issues that come up when the public uses of archaeology, which Paulina writes about for public venues such as WWAC.
All of this has come together into our Tome Reader Data Story. Part of the Aggregative Series, Tome Reader is a comics, book club. For it, we’ve picked comics that centered around questions like:
- How do comics materialize the past?
- How can material culture help bridge the past and present?
- What do comics think archaeology looks like in the now(ish)?
- How have comics illustrated xenoarchaeology?
The students had some great questions and enjoyed chuckling along with some of Paulina’s bad jokes. Unfortunately, Paulina’s guest lecture was not recorded. So you’ll just have to imagine the jokes. Regardless, it was a great chance to engage a new community with the DLP.
And we got to highlight how many resources already exist to teach archaeological data literacy! Furthermore, it was a great chance to promote Data Stories as a format and our future resources. We hope you stick around to see what we have in store for Tome Reader!