Class: ENGL 3090 Writing About Material Culture
Instructor: Robin Wharton
Institutional Assistance: Writing Across the Curriculum, Student Innovation Fellows, CURVE
Technology: Agisoft Photoscan, Omeka, Timeline JS
Robin Wharton’s Writing About Material Culture course engages students in a semester-long investigation of artifacts drawn from the Phoenix Project collection http://anthropology.gsu.edu/phoenix-lab/. Each student selects one artifact and creates an object analysis and digital exhibit for the Atlanta Artifacts site: http://atlantaartifacts.net/. In addition to the richly detailed, multimedia object analysis narrative, every exhibit comprises a 3D digital model of the artifact and an interactive timeline of its history. The project provides an opportunity for students to contribute to public digital scholarship concerning Atlanta’s material history. They learn how to catalog artifacts using current metadata standards, and how text and multimedia work together in an online environment to enhance the accessibility of web content and create a multi-layered user experience. They also learn what the study of ordinary objects adds to our understanding of culture and history. Atlanta Artifacts is an interdisciplinary collaboration that demonstrates how innovative digital humanities scholarship enhances both undergraduate and graduate education at GSU.