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F RESHMAN S EMINAR 47N: T HE S IXTIES ( FALL 2010)

Library Dig Assignment You will each sign up for one library dig documenting the local history of the Sixties on campus or in the Boston metropolitan area.* For that day, you will locate a primary source, or perhaps a small set of related primary sources: acceptable sources include articles from The Harvard Crimson, The Boston Globe, or other student or local publications; photographs; posters and pamphlets advertising a local event; high school or college yearbooks; excerpts from diaries or memoirs; speeches; paintings; advertisements; government documents; works of fiction or music; or other printed, visual, or audio materials and texts. Based on the source(s), you will write a 5-6 pp. essay analyzing the source(s) and its/their connections to that days readings and the overall themes of our seminar, and you will also present your findings to your classmates (7-8 minutes, plus Q&A). The paper is due in class the day of your presentation.** This is not a research paper, but rather an exercise designed to develop skills you will use in writing research papers and developing other kinds of presentations later in your college career. That said, your paper should not be merely descriptive, but balance description and analysis. When you present your findings, you should not merely read your paper, but you should organize your key points and those examples from your source(s) that illustrate what you argue is most revealing and most significant about your source(s). As you examine your source(s), some questions to spur your thinking might be: What are the goals of the author/creator in writing, photographing, recording, remembering, etc. the subject of their text? What does the author/creator of the source(s) assume about his/her audience, in terms of their familiarity with the topic, their political/cultural biases, or whatever else is relevant to how the source is intended to be read/viewed/listened to? What kinds of political language (e.g., freedom, rights, liberation, equality, justice, values, solidarity, revolution, tradition, etc.) is invoked by the author/creator, and to what end? How do they illustrate those values with words or images? How do you imagine readers/viewers/etc. reacting to the given source(s)? What are the historical contexts shaping the creation of and the reactions to the source(s)? That includes not only the specific events going on, but also the major historical arcs of the era that were discussing all semester in our seminar.
I will consider allowing you to present on the Sixties elsewhere, but only with at least two weeks advance notice, and with a very specific proposal that looks at some aspect of this era from a local perspective and with local contexts in mind.
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Please design your presentation for this allotted time; if your presentation runs too long, the instructor will have to stop you. If your presentation is due the date of another class assignment, we will negotiate separate deadlines for the two papers.
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