Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Assignment 7 (30 points): Final Paper, due December 15

Your final assignment requires that you reflect on the broad sweep of our course experience. In a 3,750 to 5,000-word formal paper, you must revisit the process of writing your initial 50-word object caption and demonstrate how a fuller engagement with the object does/does not expand our ability to understand its history. More specifically, you must:

• Assess your initial 50-word First Person Museum caption and the process of writing it. As an object history, is it effective? Why, why not?

• Based on our readings and class discussions, propose a methodology for expanding your preliminary object study into a broader investigation that is unbridled by the challenges of exhibit development.

• Implement your proposed methodology by writing a second history of your object. This new history must reflect considerable use of primary and secondary sources and should constitute the bulk of this paper.

• Explain how your second history differs from your first. Word count aside, in what ways does the second history represent a different kind of intellectual product than the first? What are its strengths? What are its weaknesses?

• Finally, having written and reflected on your second object history, indicate how—if at all—you would revise your first object history. Include a revised 50-word history if applicable.

Recognizing that access to your First Person Museum object may be limited (if possible at all) you may choose to substitute a similar object as the focus of your second object history. In all cases, physically interacting with your object is a prerequisite for this assignment—you must be able to interact with the object.

Otherwise, this paper must also:

• Be double spaced;
• Be typed in 11-12 point font;
• Have 1-inch margins;
• Include page numbers;
• Include a title page or heading with your name, date, paper title, and course number;
• Include proper citations (Chicago style preferred) and a bibliography or works cited page;
• Be thoroughly proofread, edited, and must adhere to proper grammatical conventions;
• Be handed to me—I will not except email attachments.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Material Culture Symposium for Emerging Scholars

Title: 9th Annual Material Culture Symposium for Emerging Scholars
Location: Delaware
Date: 2010-11-24
Description: Objects in Revolt Winterthur Museum & Country Estate
Saturday, April 16, 2011 The Center for Material Culture
Studies at the University of Delaware invites submissions for
papers to be given at the Ninth Annual Material Culture
Symposium for Emerging Scholars. Focus: Objects order the
social body an ...
Announcement ID: 179642

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Revised Syllabus

I've posted a revised syllabus under "course information." Please refer to it for the rest of the semester.

Assignment 5: Object Captions

Assignment 5 will unfold in two stages:

1. Object Captions

Write 3 to 5 50-word object captions and post them to your blog. Each caption should be titled “About ___”, so that the second word refers to the theme that you’ve chosen to focus on. So, in the case of Carla’s wedding ring, it could be "About wedding rings" or “About marriage" or "About divorce" or whatever aspect of the object’s history that you consider significant. Your name will appear at the end of the text, so please indicate in your post how you prefer to be identified.

Along with your captions, please email to me (do not post) a summary of the rationale underlying your various captions. Limit your summary to 5 pages or less.

These materials must be posted/submitted by no later than 5:00 PM on October 11.

2. Caption Critique

Before coming to class on October 13, review ALL of the captions posted by your peers and select one per object that you believe to be most effective and/or suitable for the First Person Museum. During the first half of class, we will work collectively toward compiling a list of captions that, during the second half of class, we will present to our project partners. Please come prepared to discuss the relative merits of each caption so that we can move efficiently and judiciously toward a consensus.

This assignment is worth 20 points. You will be evaluated on the quality of your proposed captions and the substance of your contribution to our vetting process.

Revised Exhibit Goals

Goals for the exhibit, listed in order of priority:
1) Visitors will recognize that they endow objects with value.
2) Visitors will understand that the person and his/her story is the focus.
3) Visitors will be able to articulate an emotional response to the stories in the exhibit.
4) Visitors will understand that the meaning of an object is influenced by time, place and experience.
5) Visitors will think about their own stuff differently.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Objects of Our afection

For those of you who don't have a Wednesday night class, check this out on Nov. 3.

GENEALOGY EVENT / After their mother’s death, Lisa Tracy and her sister faced several households’ worth of furniture and memorabilia and decided to track down the history behind each object. The search for family stories led Tracy all the way from her New Jersey home to the Philippines, as well as to the archives at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Tracy will talk about her journey and read excerpts of her newly released memoir, Objects of Our Affection: Uncovering My Family’s Past, One Chair, Pistol, and Pickle Fork at a Time. Followed by a book signing. FREE for members, $15 for nonmembers. Cost includes a one-day admission to HSP's research library.
Register here