Final Circuit of Culture Project
Circuit of Culture for a Website, Service, or App
Topic due Oct 2 on Piazza
Annotated Bibliography due Nov 6
Presentations, Nov 29 and Dec 6
Final webpage due Dec 10 by 5:00 p.m. with link on Blackboard
For the final project, you will be asked to create a webpage to analyze a website or app through all aspects of the circuit of culture: production, consumption, representation, identity, and regulation. Because even the smallest websites and apps have a lot to consider, you are encouraged to narrow your focus to an event, feature, use case, or failure that can drive your discussion. This should not prevent you from considering the full range of issues and concerns surrounding the website, but it can help you discuss them in a pointed way.
Stylistically, while it would make sense to create separate sections to address each of the aspects of the circuit of culture, it might be best to discuss the website holistically and bring up the interrelated areas of culture as they become relevant to your overall analysis. To this end, I’ve created pages to explain each area of the circuit of culture (available in the side menu), which you can link to as a way to highlight the topic and check off that you have met the assignment criteria for addressing each one.
Annotated bibliographies serve a number of research purposes, from exhaustively documenting a field of study to roughly mapping the early stages of a project. In this case, we’ll use the annotated bibliography as a preliminary resource to help you refine your topic and find the most relevant story for analyzing your site or app through the circuit of culture. In the best case, all the research you include in your annotations will be directly used in your final project, but you should feel no need to include everything from this early effort nor feel constrained to just the papers you find in this first round of work. You are welcome and even encouraged to continue researching up until the final project is due.
Your annotated bibliography should meet the following criteria:
- Ten sources in total.
- Adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style’s notes and bibliography style citation, using bibliography-style references (the style with periods rather than commas).
- At least two peer-reviewed scholarly articles or books. I recommend using Google Scholar and adding the library link to the JHU Library (instructions here).
- At least three newspaper or magazine articles. This category is considered broadly, but the idea is that you’re finding journalistic coverage of your topic from reputable news sources, whatever their platform or political persuasion. LexisNexis, which we used for the BBS assignment, is a great resource for finding historical articles. Consider checking out the SPJ Code from the Society of Professional Journalists for a stance on what constitutes ethical journalism.
- And the remaining articles can be other peer-reviewed research, journalistic sources, or any number of web resources relevant to your topic, including blogs, website terms of service, press releases, user content, etc.
A sample bibliography can be viewed here.
Final presentations will be 10 minutes apiece and take place on November 30 and December 7. See Blackboard for the complete schedule.
The final webpage should be around 2,000–2,500 words and include multimedia, such as images, sounds, and videos. Your analysis should engage with each aspect of the circuit of culture. It is up to you how you’d like to organize your page, but I thought one way to create flexibility would be to have explainer pages for each area of production, consumption, identity, representation, and regulation. This way, when you introduce a concept, you can link to the more in-depth explainer, and the link can serve as a way to highlight that you’ve covered that topic. If you choose this approach, you only need to create a link for the first use of the term. Another way to organize your page would be to use headers and have different sections for each circuit-of-culture area. Whatever way you choose to organize your page, it will be important to summarize the approach of the circuit of culture and provide a short definition for each aspect. The more you can integrate this information into your discussion of the app or website, the better.
The weekly schedule for the course provides a basic overview of the different types of content you can build using WordPress’s block editor (example here). If you’d like to venture beyond those constraints (which I’ll admit are real on WordPress outside of a commercial account), I suggest starting a free site on Weebly or another free website builder and host.
Here are a few standout pieces of multimedia journalism that show what’s possible. Although you won’t likely be able to create something so involved, they might still provide some inspiration.
- Anika Burgess, “The Shifting City: Shadows of New York,” New York Times, September 5, 2019.
- Ewen MacAskill and Gabriel Dance, “NSA Files Decoded,” Guardian, November 1, 2013.
- Simon Parkin, “‘Politicians Fear This Like Fire’: The Rise of the Deepfake and the Threat to Democracy,” Guardian, June 22, 2019.
- James Hill, “Riding the New Silk Road,” New York Times, July 21, 2013.
Citation for the final project will follow the Chicago author-date system. References in the text will include the author’s last name and the year of publication and can take one of two forms. If you discuss the author in your sentence, you can simply include the year in parentheses after the name:
As John Markoff (1988) reported in the New York Times, a computer virus forced the Pentagon to isolate the military network from the corporate and academic networks it had long shared connections with.
You’ll notice that I have included a hyperlink to the newspaper article because in this case, the article has a stable URL. If you’re using Lexis Nexis or another database behind a proxy, then you’ll want to include identifying information and omit the hyperlink.
If you do not include the author’s name in your sentence, then you can simply use a parenthetical citation at the end:
A computer virus around the same time forced the Pentagon to isolate the military network from the corporate and academic networks it had long shared connections with (Markoff 1988).
Again, you’ll notice that I’ve included a hyperlink because the article has a stable URL.
A full reference should be provided at the end of your document:
Markoff, John. 1988. “Pentagon Severs Computer Linkup.” New York Times, December 1, 1988. https://www.nytimes.com/1988/12/01/business/pentagon-severs-computer-linkup.html.
The reference list should be in alphabetical order by last name.
All images should be attributed to a source, unless specified in an image database as requiring no attribution. (Sites such as Pixabay and Shutterstock specify attribution requirements for all images.) Anytime an image requires attribution, include a citation in the image caption, preferably using a hyperlink as well as identifying information. For our purposes, in an educational course and as scholarly research, screen captures from The Wayback Machine, oldweb.today, and other archived sites should fall under fair use. We’ll want to include a link to these important tools though.
Here’s a list of links to common designs questions people have had:
- Creating links to sections within the web page (or page jumps)
- Adding captions to images
- Adding image galleries
- Embedding YouTube videos
- Embedding Spotify players
- Adding iframes using custom HTML to add other podcast players, video from Archive.org, etc.