Paper #2: Cultural Artifact Analysis—
For this paper, you are to select a cultural artifact related to science and technology and write a 5- page analysis of it. Your task is to put the artifact in cultural and historical context and make an argument about its significance. You should answer the question, what does your artifact tell us about science/technology in American culture? This is essentially what Professor Hagood did with the Bose headphones in “Quiet Comfort” and what Carolyn de la Pena does in the chapters we will read of hers as examples in this unit.
To make sense of your artifact, you should provide background information about it (who wrote/made/sung/produced/invented it, what was its target audience, why was it written/filmed/sung/published/produced/manufactured when it was, what particular issues is it speaking to, how was it received?) as well as analyze its overall significance. For assistance with this method, please refer to the McClung Fleming article pages 156-158.
This paper should be 5 pages long, and it should conform to MLA or Chicago Manual of Style citation guidelines. In addition to your cultural artifact, you must have at least 5 other sources (these could be relevant secondary sources, biographical information, or reviews, among other things). Use these additional sources to help make sense of your artifact, its context and its significance. All sources should be listed on a Works Cited or Bibliography page. Please note: reference books and websites (including Wikipedia) DO NOT COUNT AS SOURCES for this paper. Reference books are a good place to start, but they should lead you to sources; they are not sources in and of themselves. This assignment counts for 20% of your grade.
Learning outcomes: this assignment encourages students to closely read and analyze cultural texts; conduct college-level independent research; to synthesize information from a variety of disciplines; to develop, articulate and substantiate an original, analytical argument; and to use written communication to analyze and synthesize multiple texts.