Author Biography

Melanie Holm is an Assistant Professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is currently at work on a book tentatively titled "The Skeptical Imagination: Gender, Genre, and Sociability in Literature of the Eighteenth Century" that explores the role of skepticism in experiments with gender and genre that seek out new possibilities of social engagement for eighteenth-century readers.


This article describes two digital assignments that ask students to imaginatively embody characters from eighteenth-century texts written by women in order to cultivate a greater awareness of the critical role of gender and gender critique in these works. The first of these assignments, “Arabella’s Valentines,” asks students to translate dialogue from Charlotte Lennox’s The Female Quixote as humorous Internet memes. The second assignment, “Literary Connections [dot] com,” asks students to imagine how characters from the course archive might represent themselves on an internet dating site. Through creative role-play facilitated by these digital genres, students engage with the texts in stimulating and playful ways that extends their consideration of writers’ works beyond the page. In the article I explain how these activities were deployed using PowerPoint and Tumblr, and for the second assignment, Google Forms, with step-by-step instructions for replicating the technological aspects of the assignments, and add reflections on the outcome of these assignments for student learning.


digital, tumblr, pedagogy, lennox, quixotism, quixote, gender, women's writing, online assignments, social media