Edmonton will soon have its very own queer history app. Jason Harley, an assistant professor at the Department of Education and the University of Alberta, is developing an app that will spotlight Edmonton’s queer history.
While students learn about the suffrage movement and the equal rights, Harley said LGBTQ history is not often discussed in the classroom.
“Understanding the history of a group of people is important to understanding their current challenges,” he said.
Harley said Edmonton has a rich LGBTQ history and the app will help address gaps in knowledge.
The app is a combination of technology with history and storytelling, and users will be able to walk around the city with a map and click on pins to see what landmarks are around them. The app can be used from home or in the classroom as well, he said.
Harley said he wants young people to engage and interact with the app as opposed to giving them a “dry”, historical document. There is a hope the app will help foster historical empathy and educate them about this portion of Edmonton’s history.
He is currently collecting data and interviewing prominent community members in the city.
The app, which doesn’t yet have a name, is expected to be released on iTunes by summer 2018, and there are future plans to expand the app to other cities in Canada and the U.S.
The project received funding from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.