Introduction to American Studies
This assignment pulls together all of your previous museum, monument, and memorial projects. This is a research paper that must address specific thematic topics discussed in class and your readings. It is critical for you to articulate an understanding of the literature you use in class to contextualize your site/exhibit. After discussing the reading you plan to use, you should explain how this theory will help the reader to make sense of the site/exhibit you chose. Then, you should discuss the exhibit itself and its role as an expression of Americanness. You are to visit a memorial, monument, or museum exhibit. Using the literature from class, discuss this site’s narrative; what is the story being told? How does the site/exhibit you chose express the topics we examined in class, such as Sacred Space, Collective Memory, and/or American Identity? Does the surrounding area contribute or diminish the site’s narrative? Was this a controversial site/exhibit? What are the components of this site/exhibit (what are the cultural materials that makes up this site)?
Fort Mifflin – Philadelphia
Your essay should be between 3 and 7 typed pages. You must personally visit this site/exhibit and may not use a site/exhibit that you previously discussed in this course. You are expected to include 4 — 6 pictures (your pictures do NOT count toward your overall page count and you must be in at 3 of the pictures). This class is designed to promote the analytical study of American culture and not whether you personally think something is right or wrong, good or bad, etc. If you are unsure of whether your idea crosses that line, please run it by me ahead of time.
Please use proper citation for your paper. This includes, but is not limited to, quotations, footnotes, a bibliography, and giving credit to ideas not your own. I only accept Chicago style citations and I will deduct points for any other format (APA for example). Again, if you have questions, please contact me BEFORE handing in your assignment.