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Object Essay by gof81448


									                               Southern Object Essay
                         AMST 390: Southern Material Culture

The goal of this typed, double-spaced, three-page assignment is to describe an object
thoroughly, to place it in a historical and regional context, and to explain its significance
as a southern artifact. Choose an object that appeals to you and describe it in sufficient
detail so that it could be recognized by a person who has never seen it.

   1. Use E. McClung Fleming’s steps of artifact study to write about your object.
      Fleming described:
         a. Five properties for understanding an object’s meaning and significance:
             material, history, construction, design, and function.
         b. Four steps for object analysis: IDENTIFICATION (physical description:
             material, dimensions, shape, decoration, color, place of origin, maker,
             value), EVALUATION, CULTURAL ANALYSIS, and
             INTERPRETATION. Refer to Fleming’s article for more information on
             these steps.

   2. Explain the object’s meaning both to the purchaser/collector and to the
      student of material culture. This is the “cultural analysis” section---a critical
      aspect to your paper. In what ways is this object important? This section should
      discuss secondary sources---the scholarly literature on this particular example of
      material culture. What have scholars written about this object? How does this
      object compare to other similar pieces? Are there primary sources—published or
      unpublished---about your object? If so, use them!

   3. Discuss the southern significance of the object. What makes this object
      southern? How does this object expand our understanding of southern culture and
      history? Does the object reflect southern values? Describe.

   4. Consider James Deetz’s three levels of object functions that we discussed in
      class: technomic, socio-technic, and ideo-technic function. Which of these
      best describes your object? If your object has more than one function, explain.

   5.   Sketch your object on the back of the third page of your essay.

Your essay must have a thesis that is supported with evidence from both your
observations of the object and published scholarly sources. You may use online sources,
but ONLY in addition to printed books and articles. Begin by looking at the southern
material culture bibliography on our course webpage under “library resources.”
Reference all your sources using standard footnotes. DO NOT USE parenthetical
footnotes. Number your pages.


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