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Faculty of Letters’ 29th Anniversary: Redefining Literature Study in the Era of Digital Transformation

In the series of its 29th Dies Natalis celebration, the Faculty of Letters Sanata Dharma University hosted the second “Literature and Digital Transformation” webinar via Zoom Meeting on April 11, 2022, at 11:00-13:00 WIB.  The webinar was held in collaboration with Petra Christian University and was attended by more than one hundred participants. Similar to the previous webinar, this event was divided into two main sessions.

The first session of the event saw Mr. Sony Christian Sudarsono as the moderator and Mr. Setefanus Suprajitno, M.A., Ph.D., a lecturer from Petra University, as the main speaker. In this session, Mr. Setefanus presented his paper under the title of “Transformasi Digital Pembelajaran Sastra: Studi Kasus di Prodi Sastra Inggris Universitas Kristen Petra”.

To begin with, Mr. Setefanus explained that over the years, the internet and digital technology have become an important necessity. The era of digital transformation has given a massive impact on every aspect of our life, including education. Thus, there is a shift of focus in educational institutions where scholars are expected to adapt to the demand for modern skills compared to conventional learning.

“The development of digital skills is a challenge and an opportunity for the faculty of literature,” said Mr. Setefanus. For this reason, he conducted the Sandbox Project in the English Letters Department of Petra University where students were divided into small groups to collaborate, experiment, and create a digital literature product in the form of interactive performances or games. As an outcome, the project successfully enhanced their digital skills, collaborative strategies, and self-learning methods.

The presentation from Mr. Stefanus was welcomed with great curiosity from the audience. Here are some of the most interesting discussions during the Q&A session.

Q: Every student has different financial capacities and levels of accessibility to technological tools. Wouldn’t this project create more gaps between the students?

A: There is no need to worry because the course is accessible for every student. The only requirement is that they have internet access.

Q: How did Petra University prepare its lecturers to teach the young generation about digital skills, while lecturers (older generation) are usually the ones who got left behind?

A: The lecturers of the UK Petra’s Faculty of Letters were given digital training in advance so that they could first develop innovative teaching methods and provide the students with a wide range of credible learning resources.

Q: If we follow the digital transformation era, how will the fate of classical literature (e.g., Shakespeare, Jane Austen) be?

A: Indeed, sacrifices need to be made. The reality is that our young generation prefers to learn about creative writings with lesser length and complexities. That is why Petra University decides to prioritize the skills on demand in the current literature industry even though other big universities are still persistent to prioritize the teaching of traditional literature.

After the Q&A session was closed, a certificate was given to Mr. Stefanus as a form of appreciation for being the main speaker of the webinar. 

In the second session, a parallel seminar was held in seven break-out rooms. In each room, there was one moderator and two speakers who were the lecturers of the Faculty of Letters at Sanata Dharma University, ready to present their papers. The subtopics varied from #Instapoetry to the digitalization of theatrical art in Indonesia. Participants could choose to join any break-out room whose speakers and subtopics won their interest.

In the end, the second webinar, “Literature and Digital Transformation”, leaves us literature students with a big question: what meaning does literature hold for you in the midst of the digital transformation era?



Journalist: Agnes Seraphine 

Editor: Vivi Julianti & QC Cherry Larissa Hendranata (QC)

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