Major Print or Multimedia Project

From the course description . . .

Major Print or Multimedia Project: At the end of the semester, submit a research essay, hypertext, or other multimedia project that draws on course readings and any other work relevant to your subject matter and advances a position on a topic of potential interest to others in your field of study and that draws significantly on course readings. A list of suggested topics will be provided. Length: 4,000 – 8,000 words or the equivalent. You may think of this project as a conference presentation or the draft of a project to submit for publication to a journal. (30% of course grade)


You have a number of format options for your project, but what should be common across all is content that elaborates or exploits ideas, terms, readings, concepts and the like discussed or read in class and that radiate from or focus on Burke's work. If you choose to develop an article, you could focus specifically on issues in Burke, drawing on secondary sources as needed to support your discussion. Or you could draw on Burkiean concepts to illuminate some other topic in your areas of interest. If you apply Burke, the application should be richly textured so that the concepts you apply are represented as complexly as they are in Burke's own work (as much as possible). If you choose another form for your project, such as a conference presentation, you could do much the same, but your presentation should be supported by content that will keep your audience with you. So visual or other content should support your paper/presentation. If you decide to develop a multimedia or other project, it should be one that will fill a need in Burkiean or rhetorical scholarship and that could be presented online or at a conference as an installation (for example). You can imagine that whichever course you choose that your final project would be suitable for publication or presentation in a venue where Burke scholars will find it a genuine contribution to "Burkology" (written with tongue-in-cheek, as Burke would have it).

Steps in the Process

1. A Contract Proposal, posted to your blog, in which you explain your subject, suggest some parameters for your research, and indicate why the subject interests you and how studying it will be beneficial. You should also mention how or where your work might be published. You'll be asked to summarize your proposal in class on April 9. (Suggested length: 250 words; due: Wednesday, April 9. Use the tag contract proposal).

3. A Draft or Prototype in which you present key elements of the final project for peer review. The draft need not be complete, but it should be a component that is polished and ready for feedback. (Due: Wednesday, April 23).

4. A Polished Final Project should be submitted by Friday, May 2 at midnight. Email your completed projects, URLs, or other relevant files to Dr. Blakesley.

Review of Your Work

Along the way, you'll receive feedback from your peers and I as we try to help you develop a first-rate project. You should also feel free to email me or stop by my office with questions at any time.

Possible Approaches and Topics

In addition to the article or conference presentations options, you may also choose to create a multimedia project of some type. Here are some possible technologies/interfaces that may give you some ideas: