Star Wars has ever been an integral aspect of my life – I honestly cannot remember the first time I watched the movies. Growing up, my cousin and I would run around in capes, watch the movies, and play with his Star Wars figurines that were housed in his oh-so-cool case shaped like Darth Vader’s head. Overall this taught me that adventures and lessons are everywhere, as is the opportunity to help others. I wanted to be a Rebel pilot, I wanted to commune with the Force, I wanted to be as fierce as Princess Leia.
Given the above, it isn’t surprising that my academic career resulted in a BA in Classical Studies – ancient history (military and political), art history, translating Latin, archaeology, learning about ancient religions and cults. All these were my search for adventure, secrets, and a connection with the “more elegant [intellectual] weapons” from what I saw as a “more civilized age”. Since I love research and helping people find the information they are looking for, I became a Librarian, achieving my Master’s in Library Science from UNC-Chapel Hill. My Master’s paper compared military propaganda from the early 20th Century with the digital propaganda that surrounds us (at the time, social media were gaining snowball-momentum). I am excited by the interpretations of the military in recent Star Wars films and TV shows, and the reinterpretation of propaganda posters in this vein.
As a Librarian, what I constantly recognize is that students are overwhelmed by the number of research resources that are available to them, and anxious about entering the Library and asking for help once there. I see Star Wars as an excellent ice breaker when speaking with students one-on-one, and in the classroom. Making that connection with a student is so rewarding, and seeing them smile and tune in when I gesture in class with my mini lightsaber absolutely makes my day.
Currently, I search for George Lucas when I'm demo-ing biographical research. Also, since I’m far too short to be a stormtrooper, I use a mini lightsaber to point to things on the screen as I’m teaching. Moving forward, I'd love to learn more about integrating Star Wars into lesson plans, then apply these toward information literacy, overall library instruction, and adapt them for a flipped-classroom approach.
**All information shared with permission.