Day one, and I was driving home trying to think of how I can turn my overall theme into a more tangible digital project. It’d been bugging me. I’d twisted through a variety of combinations of the theme in question and hadn’t yet come up with a solution.
The theme, in its most basic terms, is LGBTQ in literature. In spite of the increasing recognition of the community within most societies, LGBTQ is still relatively under-represented in literature (in comparison to the increase in portrayal in cinematic and televised production), existed predominantly in that sphere of digital storytelling known as fan-fiction.
As part of my preliminary studies within digital humanities, I wanted to take ‘the queer’ in literature (both classic and contemporary) and find a way to present and study it in a new way. What exactly could I do with the blending of English literature, Queer studies and digital studies that would be interesting and original?
Halfway home I thought about an app.
But what about an app?
A reflective app; an app in which the study of ‘the queer’ in literature could be used as a means of personal growth and self-reflection for the young LGBTQ community of the now.
It would start with an avatar in which the user would select gender based on how they felt that day. This would lead to a selection of where the user wanted to go. Each choice would lead them either to a place of reading, literary study or self-reflection. I would name these The Library, The Lecture and The Room.
Still with me? Good.
In The Library a database of queer literature would be available. Users can choose to read a book, view a series of quotes and excerpts, or browse through a series of reviews to see if there’s anything they want to read. All of these would be interactive with The Lecture.
The Lecture provides literary context for the works in The Library, as well as the societal and cultural contexts (e.g. AIDS epidemics in the 80s, legalisation of homosexuality).
The Room is the save point – this is where users can reflect on what they’ve read, or just generally have a private space to journal thoughts and ideas about the issues that affect them.
Somehow, all of this could be tied into a message board in which users can discuss what they’ve learned, read, or their feeling in a safe space (how that will be moderated, I don’t know yet).
I then pulled into the driveway of my house and had the feeling I was onto something. This could be a really interesting idea that could become something even more interesting. There are, of course, just a few snags.
The first being, I have no idea how to start making an app.
The second: that’s a lot of books to read, research and contextualise.
The third, and most important, is that it might be the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever had.