Cognitive Media animation

You Tube success for historian

Professor Ray Laurence has not only brought history to life through animation but his video has also received over 650,000 views on YouTube.

The unique video, written and narrated by Professor Laurence from the School of European Culture and Languages, explained the life of a 17 year old Roman youth. The six-minute animation described the life of this particular Roman teenager from two thousand years ago. It explained family relations, arranged marriages, coming-of-age festivals and communal baths, as well as the role of time in scheduling urban activities.

The aim of the video was to use the familiar awareness of the modern family to highlight major differences between Roman culture of the past and modern-day life. It was also designed to engage a wider adult audience with history. Typically, schools and museums reach the 11-18 and 55+ age groups, however adults between 25 and 55 are significantly harder to engage. The animation has so far proved particularly popular with this group of people.

The video also links directly to Professor Laurence’s research on the Roman family in the city, developed over the last two years at the University.

Produced in partnership with Folkestone-based animation studio, Cognitive Media, the video is the first in a planned series about Roman culture. Other scripts in development include a sequence based on the life of a 7 year old girl, and the world of the poor.

The video is also part of a wider educational initiative called TED-Ed which seeks to create innovative lesson resources to be shared with other educators on its dedicated online video platform.

For more information contact Katie Newton.