Dr. Nora Corrigan, professor of English, has been named the 2023 Humanities Teacher for Mississippi University for Women.

Nora Corrigan

Corrigan will present a public lecture titled “The Games We Play and What they Say About Us: Gaming from the Ancient World through the Renaissance” Monday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m. on campus in Fant Library’s Gail Gunter Room.

“People tend to think of games as frivolous, but they reflect some of our most deeply held beliefs. For one thing, they’re how we teach children values like cooperation and fair play. But also, games played in a particular society tend to embed its attitudes and social structures, like small mirrors reflecting different aspects of a culture. In this talk, I’ll be examining the history of several different games, from ancient Egypt through 1500s Europe, and what they reveal about the people who played them,” said Corrigan.

The lecture is sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council and is open to the public in person or visit the Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy’s Facebook group to watch the live stream.

Corrigan leads an active scholarly life, frequently presenting at the International Congress for Medieval Studies. A recent paper is indicative of her interest in interactive learning through games, “‘The Bicched Bones’: Teaching the Pardoner’s Tale with Replica Dice.” An expanded version of an earlier paper, “Poetry at Play: Commonplace Books in a Game-Themed Literature Survey” is now in production as a chapter in the edited collection“Bringing the Past to Life: Commonplace Books in the Medieval and Renaissance Classroom.

She implements these strategies in her classes, compelling students to actively engage with the culture behind a text. In the fall semester she was on sabbatical doing research to develop a role-playing game based on the 15th century Christian mystic, Margery Kempe.

Each year the Mississippi Humanities Council grants Humanities Teacher Awards to one faculty member from each state institution, including four-year universities and community colleges. Corrigan was chosen through nominations and votes by other humanities faculty members at The W, and will be recognized at the Humanities Council’s Public Humanities Awards ceremony at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson in March.