February 2024 News
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Congratulations to Dr. Phillip Lobo for winning a Robert P. Bell Education Grant to fund his project: “Let’s Build a World! – Collaborative Game Setting Construction.” According to Dr. Lobo, “The [May Term] project is to collaboratively create a world-setting and then populate it with converted game mechanics. It will be split into two phases. The first week will be spent creating the world itself, using a variety of games to generate the setting; the second week will be dedicated to playing games in that setting, and compiling ‘source books,’ either producing a key component in a larger game or a smaller game within the larger setting. The end result will be a robust, interconnected set of collaborative creative works, united in a single brand new world.” The funds from the grant will go towards purchasing reusable maps and drafting materials, graph paper and journals, as well as dice and tokens and because of the generosity of the Community Foundation, according to Dr. Lobo, “…I should be able to run my May Term free of cost for our students!”
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County has awarded a Robert P. Bell Education Grant to Dr. Phillip Lobo and Dr. Jeff Smith to fund a project which will partner Academy students with local community organizations to educate themselves on local ecosystems and promote biodiversity.
Under the guidance of a trained botanist, students will learn about the interplay between native and invasive species, and the efforts the community makes to maintain the natural world that lives alongside us every moment. With the help of partners at the Cardinal Greenway, students will, over the course of a weekend in spring, seed the Greenway with local grasses and flowers. These include little bluestem, prairie gayfeather, purple coneflower and the endangered royal catchfly.
The method of planting is a hands-on process combining organic compost, dry clay, water and a blend of seeds. Students will measure, mix and create seed distribution pellets which can be safely thrown into disused or disturbed land to revitalize it. Later, they will follow up with these sites to track their progress, to see where their plantings have flourished or faced challenges, and why.
Congratulations to Dr. Lobo and Dr. Smith!
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Dr. Phillip Lobo, Instructor of English at the Indiana Academy, published an article online for the journal Russian Literature, titled “Between Homo & Ludens: The Dichotomy of Subjectivity in The Snail on the Slope.” The paper demonstrates “the way literature and games have both been called upon to address the problem and possibility of agency for the subjects they create” by examining the Strugatsky brothers’ novel The Snail on the Slope in the context of late-1960s Soviet society.
You can read Dr. Lobo’s paper here for free until May 5.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Dr. Phillip Lobo and Ms. Meghan Riley have reason to celebrate. They have been awarded a Bell Grant by the Muncie Community Foundation for a collaboration in spring 2022 between Dr. Lobo’s Speculative Literature and Ms. Riley’s World Literature courses.
The collaboration examines the enriching overlap between these two literary traditions. The teaching of world literature often focuses on historical works, for good reason, but it can be difficult for students to recognize how canonical examples of world literature pertain to the increasingly global, future-oriented world in which we live. Speculative fiction, while often engaged with contemporary questions, is frequently characterized as consisting of niche genres, subject to cultural gatekeeping. In reality, speculative fiction is one of the most vital spaces of international literary production, with diverse voices addressing current global issues. While speculative fiction courses often focus on established authors and texts in order to legitimize the study of speculative fiction as serious literature, there has been a proliferation of speculative fiction by women and authors of color across the world in the past two decades. Finally, the tropes of speculative fiction – including but not limited to distant futures and alternative histories – provide opportunities to interrogate and complicate the dichotomies of “history” versus “progress,” “magic” versus “science,” and “essentialism” versus “hybridity” that global literature often addresses. Reading speculative fiction as world literature allows learners to engage with concepts in new ways. This project – which will bring together the two courses for two weeks of collaborative instruction and assignments – will address unmet needs, those of bringing currency and vitality to world literature pedagogy, and of broadening the appreciation and understanding of speculative fiction by placing it in a global, multi-cultural context.
Dr. Lobo and Ms. Riley are already looking at choices for texts and materials to purchase with the grant monies, and their plans will undoubtedly lead to vibrant and erudite scholarly discourse. It is initiatives like these that occur outside of standard expectations that enrich so many of our classes here at the Academy. Congratulations to both!
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Dr. Phillip Lobo, Instructor of English at the Indiana Academy, published an article in the spring issue of Game Studies, the international journal of computer game research titled “Novel Subjects: Robinson Crusoe & Minecraft and the Production of Sovereign Selfhood.” The article performs a comparative analysis of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and the Mojang game Minecraft to demonstrate “how video games have taken up the torch of realism, both clarifying this underlying urge to make of novels a kind of game-of-self, as well as pointing to problematic qualities of the subjects they form and inform.”
You can read Dr. Lobo’s article here.