Researchers From University of Manouba Visit U of A to Explore Collaborative Opportunities

Director of ISAMM, Skander Belhaj, at the Weekly DH Meet-Up on March 8.
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Director of ISAMM, Skander Belhaj, at the Weekly DH Meet-Up on March 8.

This week, the World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department is hosting a group of visiting researchers from ISAMM: The Higher Institute of Multimedia Arts of the University of Manouba in Tunis. The team includes professors Mohamed Karim Azizi (game development), Hosni Ajlani (3D animation), Ines Bouraoui Barbouche (architecture), Skander Belhaj (director, ISAMM) and Rania Ben Zayed EP Klaai (finance). 

On Wednesday, March 8, Azizi and Ajlani hosted the "Weekly DH Meet-Up" at the World Languages and Digital Humanities Studio (JBHT 207) on the topic of "Building a Digital Technology Curriculum to Bridge Education and Industry in North Africa—and Beyond." U of A students, professors and teaching assistants attended the meet-up, asking questions about the intersection of game design, architecture, art history, archeology and the University of Manouba itself, in an illuminating conversation on future collaborative opportunities between the U of A and the University of Manouba.

The team from the University of Manouba is currently working with Curtis Maughan (director, World Languages & Digital Humanities Studio) on the development of an augmented reality game funded by the Erasmus+ 2020 fund. The game, Tanit'AR, is an engaging, educational yet entertaining smartphone application that guides players through the Roman ruins in the greater Tunis area.

It has been a busy week for the ISAMM team. They have had classroom visits and collaborative research meetings with the WLLC programs of Italian, French, Classics and Arabic, as well as meetings with CAST and computer science and engineering alongside leading the Weekly DH Meet-Up. ISAMM Director Skander Belhaj expressed his enthusiasm about the potential for collaboration between ISAMM and the U of A: "It has been exciting for us to meet so many talented students and faculty across multiple disciplines, and I look forward to working with members of the UARK community."

Professors Azizi and Ajlani will be at the university through Monday, March 13, wrapping up their Fayetteville visit by attending the live performance of The Juke Joint Experience on Monday evening, 5-7 p.m. at the Pryor Center.


Cheyenne Roy, assistant director
World Languages and Digital Humanities Studio


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