Final Projects

For your final project in this course, I would like you to develop your own interests in material culture and object studies as we have been exploring it over the course of the term. You should plan on producing a significant piece of writing (about 8-10 pages, double-spaced) or an equivalent creative product to submit during our final class meeting on MAY 15th.

In your project, I would like you to develop an Object Story. You might choose to expand on one of your earlier blog posts, or use one of these post assignments as inspiration for studying a new object. You could, for instance, expand on your consumer object study (see March 6th assignment) or write further on one of your personal object stories (Feb. 6, 13, and 20). You might go into more detail about an object from the collection you studied for the midterm, or write a story involving one or more of the objects you worked on for our Huguenot Street Project.

This project can take the form of a research paper or a creative piece. You might also choose to work in another medium, such as video or audio storytelling (but if you choose this option please keep in mind the limited amount of time you have to produce such work and begin as soon as you can).

The goal of the assignment is to reflect on and explore the significance of objects and material culture in our Western traditions. What are the historical narratives that your object are a part of, and how does your knowledge of this object help you better understand (or maybe even change your thinking) about that historical narrative? Although it is not required, I encourage you to think about how you might connect this project to your honors thesis (or even use it as a starting place for your thesis).

In addition to the final May 15th deadline, you should plan on submitting the following preliminary work on these dates:

March 15th: email Prof. Mulready with some preliminary thoughts you have about the final project: do you already have an object you would like to work with? Is there a methodology from an assignment that you would like to work on further? Do you know what form you would like your project to take: a research paper, a short story or creative piece, a video? Or do you have any ideas that aren’t listed here that you think might make for a good final project for the class?

April 22nd: submit a proposal of no longer than one page to Prof. Mulready that explains what object you are working with, the methodology and form you are using to study the object, and what you anticipate the final product to be (a paper, website, video recording, etc.). What resources are you using to tell the object’s story (a bibliography isn’t necessary, but you should mention some key sources)? What historical narratives are you interested in exploring through your study of this object?