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 December 16th.
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 ,or write further on one of your personal object stories. You might go into more detail about an object or a 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. These are just some examples, and you should feel free to develop your own interests and ideas through this project. For instance, if you are a psychology major, you may be interested in some of the work we have done this semester on hoarding; students with an interest in philosophy might want to delve further into theoretical approaches to objects (and so on).
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 December 16th deadline, you should plan on bringing a preliminary proposal to Prof. Mulready (which you will also workshop in class the week of Nov. 29).
The proposal should explain which 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 (or Big Ideas) are you interested in exploring through your study of this object?