Professors Use TikTok to Promote Humanities & Social Sciences
Melancon and Krason are allowing students to see the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in an academic yet fun light.
Kristi Richard Melancon, associate professor in the Department of English and Philosophy, and Ashley Krason, Department of Modern Languages assistant professor and Academic Foundations program coordinator, are utilizing social media to spread knowledge about MC’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Through lighthearted videos on Instagram and TikTok, Melancon and Krason are allowing students to see the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in an academic yet fun light.
Both professors started filming their content in the fall of 2022, when Krason began to take notice of trends on TikTok, such as the overnight phenomenon of Bama Rush content. She noticed that the popular Bama Rush videos gave sororities a way to tell their target audiences to rush their sororities. Krason thought it would be funny to recreate the same trend, but instead of selling a sorority, Krason and Melancon encouraged students to “Rush Humanities.”
Their most popular video was posted in January 2023. Both professors gathered several other female humanities professors and performed their rendition of the “Wednesday Addams Dance,” which was trending on TikTok at the time. The MC professors’ social media content mostly involves both or one of the two professors dancing with MC students, faculty, and staff.
“We get a lot of people who say they want to be in our TikToks, and we try to invite as many people as we can,” Krason said. Their takes on social media trends and challenges are posted to Krason’s Instagram and Tiktok accounts (@asht123).
“We do want people to engage with humanities and see the value in what we do,” Krason said. “We have a great school. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is a cohesive community.”
Neither professor anticipated the response from their social media viewers. “There’s been a lot of good responses, whether it be from students or our colleagues recognizing us,” Krason said. The level of engagement with the posts pushed them to keep doing whatever they could to further drive interest in the humanities.
Both Krason and Melancon admit that they don’t stress about not having videos to post. The two describe their filming process as “organic.”
“We don’t plan it as much as it may seem that we plan it and oftentimes what we do is, we both realize that we both don’t have a busy day and we make a TikTok, so ideas could come to us the day of,” Krason said.
The videos are fun to film, the professors say, but the main reason they are important to Melancon and Krason is because they are a way to build the humanities community at MC.
“It was also about inviting people into what we see as a worthwhile, positive, academic, but also fun space on campus – connecting with students where students are,” Melancon explained.
“I think it’s fun, too, to show that, as professors, we enjoy other things than just our research and teaching,” Krason added. “We’re more interested about a student than what they can provide in a paper. You know that we can recognize [students] holistically. And the same way with us: like, there’s more to us than what our students may see if we are standing in front of a classroom giving you a grade. It makes us more human, which goes into humanities.”
Both Melancon and Krason hope to continue to entertain, educate, and welcome new and current university students into the humanities through social media.
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