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Culture and Technology Intersection: Project Topic Selection and Development

Task Requirements

Topics relate keywords and concepts to real-world debates and problems in which culture and technology intersect.

Discussion of these will run through the course.

Many of the sources listed for topics here are not required but they are here as additional resources if you are interested.

We will add additional resources, and quite possibly new topics, over the course of the semester.

For your course project, you will choose a topic on which to work and develop a question about it that relates to keywords and concepts that we have explored this semester. You are not limited to using texts listed under a topic: many of the topics overlap and intersect.

Write 300-500 words on your proposed topic and how you see it connecting of the course.

•    Find at least 5 appropriate sources for your topic; at least half of these should be required/optional texts from the course Topics list or the required reading. Submit short annotations of each source and how they relate to your topic. Annotations are separate from the word count.

•    Submit via DM in Slack. You can build on what you do to propose your topic in your proposal itself.

You will develop a project on a unique question related to a topic relevant to the course. Topic categories are laid out in the Project Resources module in CourseLink. They relate keywords and concepts to real-world debates and problems in which culture and technology intersect. Discussion of these will run through the course. Many of the sources listed for topics are not assigned for discussion in class but are listed to help you develop your project.

Your project will be submitted in three stages:

•    Proposal: A clear articulation of your research question and rationale for the project and the form in which you will present it, plus an annotated bibliography of a minimum of 5 sources indicating how you will incorporate them into your project. 

•    A project prototype or working proof of concept

•    The project itself, including a short reflection

Your project may be presented in one of the following forms:

•    A web essay posted on your blog. Examples abound on platforms such as Wordpress and Medium and in our required course materials. Use blogging conventions; do not simply cut and paste an essay into the blogging platform.

Course Project Framework

•    A Twine game. Examples include “Who's It Gonna Be?”: A Digital Essay” and “The Quest for the Cyborg Texts”. If you are inclined towards programming, you can work with javascript and CSS, but you do not need to. 

•    A short podcast. Examples in course materials and in student projects on Early Modern female artists or putting old recipes online. 

•    A short video, either a recorded presentation of slides and/or yourself talking, or a dramatic production involving others or an animated video created through a video platform such as Powtoon.

•    A zooming presentation such as a Prezi, which should either have a guided path or build in navigational signposting and choices.

•    An interactive information visualization. Examples in course materials include the one on how OMG entered the OED or The Deep Sea. 

•    A web essay using the Scalar multimedia platform. Example: micha cárdenas, Shifting Futures.

•    A Twitterbot with an accompanying reflection on the choices made to construct it.

•    Another form, such as a made object, proposed to me in writing at least a week before the proposal deadline.

You are encouraged to engage in an informal peer review process to help strengthen your work, and if so you should acknowledge that person.
You may shift your chosen form,your approach, your question or your topic midway through the project in consultation, with my written approval.

•    Articulate the question you want to ask. Give some sense of why it is important and how it is relevant to the relationship between culture and technology. Discuss how you will approach your question.

•    Note three keywords that will be important to your engagement with your topic and why they are pertinent.

•    Describe the form your project will take and how you will make use of that particular mode of presenting an argument in ways that are appropriate for your topic.

•    Provide a bibliography of 5 or more sources you will use. Your sources can be drawn entirely from required and recommended course materials. In other words, no research is required, although you are welcome to draw in other appropriate sources if you so choose.

•    Annotate the 5 most important sources for your project. Your annotation should briefly summarize the source, and indicate its relevance and the particular way in which it will be useful to your project.

Specify whether you are using MLA or APA style at the end of your bibliography.

Note that proposals are provisional: you can add or delete sources and modify your topic, your approach, your form, or your scope as your project develops.

To receive a pass for this component of the project, the prototype must be:

•    accessible at the submitted URL (check with an incognito browser; get a friend to double-check);

•    have a clear title and landing page that orients the user;

•    have a skeletal organization into pages/sections/lexia/paths.

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