Weekly Readings and Participation (20%)

On a weekly basis you will be asked to provide questions related to the week’s assigned reading. We will be using these questions to guide class conversations, so please remember to include a page number or other form of reference for web sites, etc. for each question. Participation in class discussion is of the utmost importance and students will be expected to engaged with the readings and their fellow classmates.

Course Site Project (80%)

The course is built around self-guided research related to a media track (either audio, still image, moving image, text, or hybrid) and technologies relevant to that track. Students will develop a focused research program within that track, and deliver the following materials related to that focused research.

Track Proposal (300-600 words) (5%)

This brief proposal will describe how you plan on approaching a chosen medium over the course of the semester. You will provide some key dates and technologies that you will use as a foundation for your larger research project, and provide a brief explanation of how you plan to lay out some of these technologies and dates within a narrative framework for your final contributions to the timeline. We will discuss these in class. DUE OCTOBER 1

Project Site (55%)

Over the course of the semester we will be building adding to a public site that displays your work as you build a history of media technologies from 1870-present. This site will be powered by the tool Omeka and its support plugins.

We will approach the project as a collaborative site development, where each of you will be responsible for your content research, but we will work together to shape and design the project. We will dedicate time to learning Omeka in class and will spend time at the end of the semester polishing and refining the site prior to final presentations.

Your responsibilities for your participation in the site will be to provide the following:

  • A proposal describing your intended process for researching your medium (see above)
  • An overview introductory description of that medium’s transition during our time period
  • Research on seven technologies important to that medium
  • Ten important dates in the evolution of that medium
  • A timeline of your dates using the tool Timeline JS
  • A visualization of your research
  • A thematic essay that addresses an important theme in your medium’s development

Track Presentations (20%)

Each of you will be responsible for two class presentations about your medium, one pre-WWII and one post-WWII. You will have to present on your research up to that point on technologies from that period of time, as well as provide one reading for the rest of us to read prior to class. I will augment your choices and the conversation will be open, but you will be expected to show significant progress on your technologies and dates, and as a group we will also talk to you about possible new directions for your research. SEE SYLLABUS FOR DATES

  • First Presentation
    • 1 reading (20-30pgs)
      • get PDF to Kimon 1 week prior
    • 3 technologies pre-1945
    • 5 dates pre-1945
  • Second Presentation
    • 1 reading (20-30pgs)
      • get PDF to Kimon 1 week prior
    • 4 technologies post-1945
    • 5 dates post-1945

Project Deliverables

Overview Description (250-300 words)

A brief overview of your medium and a general description of the importance of that medium. For the introductory section of the project site.

Technologies Studies (300-500 words)

You will be researching seven key technologies related to your medium and providing images, metadata, and a detailed material study and historical account of that technology’s importance. These seven technologies (3 pre-WWII and 4 post-WWII) will appear on the timeline, and will also be key referents in your thematic essay.

Dates (50-100 words)

You will find ten important dates relevant to your chosen medium and provide a brief blurb on what occurred on that date and why it is important to your medium and the course material in general.


In order to creatively complicate the ways that we organize information we will be working with two types of visualizations of your information. The first will be a timeline that we will generate using the tool Timeline JS. This timeline will be produced based on the date/time information of your research and will be embedded in our final Omeka site. The second will be a self-designed visualization that expresses in a more nuanced fashion how your materials fit together. Examples of visualizations and timelines will be discussed during October 8 and rough drafts of both will be due on December 3.

Visualization Resources

Thematic Essay (3600+ words)

This essay will be your interpretive and narrative output for the semester. You will pick a subtopic in your medium, which you will produce a research paper-style essay for inclusion in the site. The goal is to connect your technologies and important dates (and where possible the technologies and dates of others) to this essay and help increase the linkedness of the material on the Omeka site. Writing modularly will be encouraged so that you can further get a feel for how to express your thesis and argument over disparate segments of text.

Research and References

Each technology study should be supported by at least three(3) references, each date by one(1) reference, and your thematic essay by no less than ten(10) references.

Growing Project Specifications and Resources Page

All work due by midnight December 22, 2019.