ULIB:2022:0EX1 (Spring 2022)

Special Topics in Library Research: Exploring Empathy Through Virtual Reality

Come explore the potential of virtual reality (VR) in building empathy for others. Through the lens of VR, you will travel to Ukraine, South Sudan, Lebanon, Detroit, and Liberia and walk in the shoes of those dramatically affected by the major issues of our day: refugees displaced by war, those impacted by incarceration, and epidemic survivors. As you engage with these personal narratives, you will document your thoughts in a weekly journal and reflect on your own empathetic response. In-class activities will allow you to contextualize these personal narratives with guided library research. Working closely with a UI Librarian, you will become adept at locating and interpreting news stories, magazine articles, scholarly research, and books that offer appropriate context to the narratives you encounter. By the end of the course, you will have enriched your understanding of the human experience, explored the empathy-building power of VR, and refined your research skills.