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Post 2: Full Details (75 Points)

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Post 2 is a creative digital post. This means the content will be presented through a web-based medium or media. The post will put visual, creative material (instead of text) front and center. 

Your choices for the format of your post are incredibly flexible. Students in the past have composed songs, made videos, spoofed social media like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, created detailed artwork, written creative fiction, crafted online artifact galleries, and compiled image-rich timelines. The object is to choose a medium that communicates your topic well.

Topics should be selected from the Potential Topics list and confirmed during consultation with Prof. Bennett early in the semester. Your topic for Post 1 and topic for Post 2 should explore the same civilization (i.e., 2 posts on Mesopotamia).

If, after Post 1, you would like to change or adjust your topic, you may do so. Just come chat with me a bit.

The draft for Post 2 is due 2 April. It will be submitted as a draft on Hello World Civ. The draft should include:

1-2 paragraphs summarizing your topic and the importance of your topic to history. No more than 500 words. Start or end of post is fine.

A prominently placed link to your creative project or an embedded copy of your project. 

If you're doing: creative fiction, an Instagram project, an artifact gallery, or a timeline

  • You should plan to use in-text citations.

If you're doing: a song, video, or other non-textual project

  • Please include your reference list and wherever your project is hosted. [Think of it like a "credits list"]

A reference list - divided into "content sources" and "media sources" (audio, video, image, media files)

The final version of the post is due 23 April. It will be published on Hello World Civ.

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Empathy for others (especially past peoples).

Research skills. 

Using evidence.

Team work.

Social media + digital fluency.

Creative Effort is Central

Your primary mode of communication for this post should be creative. That means you'll use lots of images, a digital platform, and potentially non-linear storytelling for the project.

Please ensure that your creative piece is front and center in your post. Even if you're using a fair bit of text, your media should do most of the storytelling.

One other note here: 

For the creative types: Don't forget to do history! This sort of post is super fun and fulfilling for you, but it can be easy to lose sight of the content piece.

For the "But I'm not creative!" types: It's okay. I'm not really a creative type either! But I do think trying to communicate in unfamiliar ways is good for building grit and critical thinking. So here we go. :)

Work with your teammates. Ask for advice from me, your prof. Be open to trying new things. Leave yourself plenty of time to try new things.

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Historically Focused

It's easy for creative posts, employing contemporary digital tools, to focus heavily on the present. We're going to try to avoid that impulse and remain focused on the past as much as possible.

That being said, some connections to the present are welcome IF you are able to articulate present-relevance and avoid presentism. Here's the difference:

Presentism = Uses the past for narrow, personal or social purposes. Talks about the past as if it were the same as the present. Ignores the particularities of a time and place in order to make a topic serve a political or social purpose.

  • Example: Calling a contemporary political leader a Nazi or fascist and claiming that they are exactly like Hitler or Mussolini.

Present-relevance = Recognizes that what happened in the past influences the present. Works to understand the specific circumstances of past peoples and places first. Extrapolates lessons for the present while remaining aware of the differences between past and present contexts.

  • Example: Noting that there are specific similarities between the actions of a past dictator and a present political leader, such as suppression of freedom of the press, the targeting of minority groups in society, or a cult of personality surrounding the person. Seeking to understand the common causes that lead to the rise of such leaders while still exploring the differences between one time and place and another.

Topic's Importance to History

The statement of your topic's importance to history can be be stated in your short written intro/conclusion to the post OR you can find a way to integrate it into your media

If I can identify your significance when I read the draft, you're in fine shape. Otherwise, you may need to make it clearer in the final version.

Like Post 1, the following questions may help you think about your topic's importance:

  • What caused an event, a person’s actions, or the development of an idea?
  • What impact did an event, person’s actions, or idea have on a specific time and place? 
  • Did the person, event, idea, place, or artifact have a symbolic role in society? What function did that symbolism serve?
  • How is the trend, person, event, idea, place or artifact typical of daily life in a society?
  • How is the trend, person, event, idea, place, or artifact unusual for a particular society?

For the creative post, you might also consider the question - what was it like to live in your civilization if you were a specific (or specific class/gender/occupation/age group) of persons? 

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Specific Details & Examples

As with Post 1, you'll want to back your claim about the significance of your topic with specific examples from your research.

This post ideally strikes a balance between creativity and details. Like Post 1, aim to include the most important details and examples in your overall creative narrative.