Students’ ʻSpill the HumaniTEAʻ podcast series launches, brings humanities beyond classroom

Outdoor group photo of a professor standing between two of her students.

Dr. Yasmine Romero (center) and her humanities students from last semester – including Cherrie Mae Balao (left) and Chase Yamauchi – helped create the recently launched “Spill the HumaniTEA” podcast.

Dr. Yasmine Romero changed things up a bit for her Humanities Seminar students last semester, resulting in this monthʻs launch of the studentsʻ cleverly-titled “Spill the HumaniTEA” podcast series – featuring topics ranging from contact zones in the humanities and technology to Pacific voices.

The podcast was created by students of Romero’s HUM 300 class, a course that is required for all humanities majors and that emphasizes the multi-disciplinary perspectives important in humanities.

“Each semester we generally teach it (HUM 300) with faculty coming in and lecturing on work that they’re doing, whether thatʻs research- or teaching-related,” said Romero, assistant professor of English at UH West Oʻahu. This illustrates to students how the different disciplines contribute to an understanding of the humanities.

“So I thought, let’s disseminate that knowledge in other ways rather than just keeping it in the classroom, as well as give students the opportunity to build strategies and skills in digital media,” Romero said.

Her students worked together in small teams, interviewing and recording faculty and humanists working out in the field.

“I thought podcasts … would be an interesting way to have students take ownership of that knowledge and be able to share what they’ve learned,” she said.

Students came up with the podcast title, “Spill the HumaniTEA,” a playful take on the trendy expression, “spill the tea,” which means disclosing information.

Student James Smith, 24, was part of a group that interviewed Dr. Jayson Chun, a professor of history at UH West Oʻahu. The interview included a discussion about contact zones – moments, spaces, and interactions in which multiple perspectives, cultures, and more meet.

Smith said he hopes listeners of his group’s episode gain an understanding of the importance of engaging with others who may be different from them, or who may not share the same ideas as them.

“I feel like nowadays people are so … we keep to our own cliques and shelter each other to the point where we don’t let in other ideas,” Smith said.

People should be open to meeting others who may not share the same ideas as them, Smith said.

“Even if we don’t really agree with them, we at least learn and understand, and in a way empathize with them,” he said.

The “Spill the HumaniTEA” podcast series launched Feb. 10 with a total of six episodes, each about 5- to 11-minutes long.

Romero collaborated with the James & Abigail Campbell Library and worked with Alphie Garcia, Information Resources and Collection Management Librarian, to have the podcast series housed in the libraryʻs DSpace repository.

The repository provides UH West Oʻahu faculty, staff, students, researchers, and community members long-term access and storage of scholarly, creative, and administrative digital content. The repository is provided and maintained by the UH West Oʻahu library in collaboration with the University of Hawaiʻi Systems office.

“Spill the HumaniTEA” can be accessed here and the fall 2019 collection here. Users can click on an interview to access the audio interview as an audio file (.mp3/.wav) or read through file transcript in pdf format.

Image courtesy of UHWO Staff