The final project for this class asks you to craft a multimodal object analysis. This project, Project 6, is modeled on an assignment designed by Jules David Prown for his students, which is described in Kenneth Haltman’s “Introduction” to American Artifacts. The first stage of the assignment requires students to write a detailed description of an object:
Thoroughly describe this object, paying careful attention, as relevant, to all of its aspects–material, spatial, and temporal. Be attentive to details (for which a technical vocabulary will almost certainly prove useful), but ever keep an eye on the big picture. Imbue your description with the thick texture of taxonomy yet with the flow of narrative. Render it as easy and appealing to read, as effortlessly interdependent of its parts as the object itself. Producing a sketch or schematic drawing may further this process, but avoid wasting precious words at this point on introductions, conclusions, restatements of the assignment, or autobiographical confessions; just describe what you see. But be sure to enjoy the pleasures in close looking–in translating material object into narrative description.
Posting: Groups 1 and 2
For your blog posting this week, everyone will post an object analysis written to Prown’s specifications. This should be a description of a particular material object. So, even if your object of study up until this point has been relatively abstract–necessity, college, value, motherhood; even pizza is a kind of abstraction–your description will focus on one specific and material thing. That thing may be an empty Coke can, a slice of leftover pepperoni pizza from your refrigerator, a doll, the Pounce statue in front of the GSU Student Center, the left shoe from your pair of vintage Air Jordans, your two-year-old iPhone with the cracked screen and the leopard print case, the papier mache sculpture you created for Project 5, etc. The object you select will be the focus of the description you post in response to this prompt, and it will provide the central focus of your multimodal object analysis for Project 6.