Ways of Seeing Supplement
- Fri., Feb. 2: Proposal due by midnight (categories = proposal #1, student post)
- Thu., Feb. 8: Prototype 1 due before class (categories = A1 prototype 1, student post)
- Fri., Feb. 9: Comments on prototype 1 due by midnight (click on link for group assignments)
- Tue., Feb. 13: Prototype 2 due before class (categories = A1 prototype 2, student post)
- Fri., Feb. 16: Final version due by midnight (categories = A1 final, student post)
Create a supplemental chapter for John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, focused on Japanese art or advertising and designed for the digital age. Your chapter should examine the ideologies in a 1-5 images drawn from MIT’s Visualizing Cultures or the Hokusai digital collection. Ways of Seeing is an adaptation—or remediation—of a television show, which seems to anticipate digital storytelling in its desire to present a multimedia, non-linear, interactive argument. Now is your chance to fulfill the digital dreams of the 1972 print book. Think about what can’t be done in a print text that you would like to do with digital, such as present full color images, remaster an image, focus on detail, make an animated, moving, or interactive image, or contextualize an image in a different way. Be as bold and inventive in your time as Berger was in his.
Berger had a team of five people who wrote a seven-chapter book; you are one person limited to one chapter and have significantly less time to research and prepare, so narrow your scope and set realistic goals.
Dr. Churchill’s Paradox:
The smaller your topic, the more you will have to say.
Focus on a single, particular claim asserted in Ways of Seeing, and test out whether a Japanese image supports, contradicts, or complicates that claim. Do some research to find out more about your image(s), consulting what experts and scholars have said about it. Remember, you are only as good as the company you keep, so go beyond Googling and consult the library databases, seeking help from librarians, to find the most reliable resources.
Use the assignment proposal template to help you focus your topic and formulate your goals.
- Project must create “supplemental chapter” to Ways of Seeing in digital form.
- Argument must be in conversation with Berger, as well as with Dower or at least one other scholar on Japanese culture (consult the experts!).
- Provide purposeful summaries of each scholar’s argument or claim (see They Say/I Say excerpt in DropBox).
- Provide at least one representative or relevant quotation from each scholar.
- Explain the meaning/relevance of the quotation to your chapter.
- Project must introduce and contextualize the Japanese image under consideration, identifying artist, title, date, and any other available information that will aid interpretation.
- Project must include close-reading and analysis of Japanese image(s).
- Project must include a reflection essay, in the form of a “Note to the reader,” preface, epilogue, or coda.
- Identify one specific goal it aims to achieve by moving text & image(s) into digital realm.
- Reflect on extent to which goal has been achieved and how, as well as what’s gained and lost in translation from print to digital realms.
- Reflect on what you learned from your research and creative process, recognizing failures as opportunities for learning and growth.
- Project must include parenthetical citations and a works cited in MLA Style, for images as well as texts.
- Project creator must ask questions and seek help if any of these specifications cause confusion.
Possible Tools & Platforms
Your project may take the form of a WordPress as a post or page, hosted in your own domain and linked to our course site. This is a good way to gain comfort and expertise working on WordPress. Remember to save all your text on a Google doc and images in a separate folder for safe keeping. You may also incorporate other tools into WordPress or try platforms other than WordPress.
Whatever digital tool or platform you choose should be related to the question you want to explore, argument you want to make, lesson you want to teach, or problem you want to address. So figure out what you want to do, and then choose the appropriate tool. Possible digital tools and platforms include but are not limited to:
- WordPress (websites, blogs)
- StoryMap JS (a simple tool that allows you to annotate a map, image, or text — see me for updated instructions)
- Timeline JS (a simple timeline tool that allows you to incorporate images, audio, and film)
- Juxtapose JS
- Soundcite JS
- Twine (interactive, nonlinear stories and games)
- Omeka (digital archive of artifacts and primary sources)
- Neatline (Omeka plugin that allows you to map movements across time and space)
- Odyssey.js (open source tool for story-maps)
- Scalar (digital scholarship & multimedia books, especially good for film clips and annotations)
- Atavist (create a multimedia long form argument or narrative. Note: it will exist on the Medium server, not on your domain)
- Medium (create a magazine. Note: it will exist on the Medium server, not on your domain)
- D3: Data-driven documents
- Digital Research Tools
- Voyant Tools for computerized text analysis
- TAPoR 3: a directory of research tools for studying texts
- Social media such as Instagram, Snapchap, Tumblr, Facebook, to tell a story, enact a conversation, or create a community
- iMovie to create your own video, as vlogger lacigreen does in this video on “Dress Code Sexism,” which has nothing to do with Japanese images, but does engage the same gendered logic of looking that Berger interrogates in Ways of Seeing: