Final Exam, HUM 4933: Senior Research Seminar
Professor: Bruce Janz

This exam is worth 15% of the final course grade. Please turn in typed answers, no later than the exam date of Monday, April 30, 2010 at 7 p.m. (note that the time is different from our class). Please answer three of the following questions (each question has equal weight), in no more than 400 words per question (include word count). If you answer more than three, I will only grade the first three. You can use the readings for the course (i.e., any of the papers we used in class, or the two books), or any other sources that are relevant.

 

1. Define four of the following concepts using a reading we used in the course, and give an example that was not used in the course to illustrate your definition. (this question should be no more than 400 words for all four answers combined). Answers will be evaluated by the quality and insightfulness of the definition and the relevance of the examples. Philosophers should give philosophical definitions, and humanities students should give humanities definitions.

Garden

Scene

Nomad

Digital Space

Monument

Wilderness

Non-place

Narrative

 

2. Using any of the concepts or readings from the course, analyze either a building, a city block, a park, or a neighborhood in metro Orlando on the question of how or whether that place constitutes meaningful space. Refer to at least three writers from the course in your answer. Answers will be evaluated by the strength of your choice of place, your choice of writers, and how you analyze the space itself.

 

3. Recently, a young man named Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, a community watch volunteer, in Sanford Florida. Details of the case, along with speculation, analysis, and opinion, are available on many sites on the internet.

This course has addressed the question of meaningful place and space. What are the space/place elements in the Trayvon Martin case, broadly understood? Which aspects of the case (or of some projected outcomes of the case) might be better understood using our course? Using at least three of the concepts developed in the course, raise some research questions that could, in theory, provide the basis for a research paper. I say "in theory", because not all the information is out yet, and so some of your conclusions may assume facts not yet in the public domain. While you are doing this, please make clear the level of reliability of the sources of information that you are using.


4. There is a large humanities site called ChinaVine (http://chinavine.org/) which focusses on Chinese folk-arts, and represents them digitally. Using at least three concepts from this course, analyze the site, or specific elements of the site. Does the site have anything to do with place/space? If so, how? What theory of place/space can you see at work here? What does the site do well, and how would you improve it? If you had a chance to talk to the site designers, what kinds of research questions on place/space would you suggest that they pursue? Your answer here will be judged on your insight and use of the central concepts of the course, your ability to apply them to this site and issues around the site, and your ability to see potential new directions and articulate them. Creativity in your research questions is an asset here. If you know of other sites which exemplify what you have in mind, you can reference them. What are the best questions, most insightful disciplinary methodologies, and most useful resources at your disposal to make sense out of this site/project?