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Collected Item: “Assignment for Literature and Cultural Analysis Seminar”

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Assignment for Literature and Cultural Analysis Seminar

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PDF Document

Tell us a story; share your experience. Describe what the object or story you've uploaded says about the pandemic, and/or why what you've submitted is important to you.

I'm sharing an assignment sheet for my "Literature and Cultural Analysis" class at Vanderbilt University for the Fall 2021 semester. The class, themed "The Archive," is designed to encourage critical thinking around the concept of the archive and its material practices and embodiments. While we think of the ways in which archives enable research and help to cultivate new knowledge and stories, we also consider how archives encode structures of power and act as sites of forgetting as much as remembering.

I've asked my class of twelve students to contribute to the COVID-19 digital archive as their first writing assignment for the semester. This assignment is designed to introduce them to an existing and regularly updated archive and ask them to think critically about processes of archiving and the decisions that go into selecting, categorizing, and framing the importance of a cultural artifact. My students have been asked to choose 2-3 items from their experience of the pandemic year to share in this public forum. Their contributions will be tagged to sync up with this assignment sheet.

Use one-word hashtags (separated by commas) to describe your story. For example: Where did it originate? How does this object make you feel? How does this object relate to the pandemic?

#ENGL1260, #VanderbiltU, #assignment, #teaching, #culturalanalysis

Who originally created this object? (If you created this object, such as photo, then put "self" here.)

Jennifer Gutman

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