Digital Writing in Johnson Park (25%)

Johnson Park and the Cooper Branch Library (now housing the Digital Studies Center) have been contested spaces for many years, sitting in between the City of Camden and Rutgers University. Recently, the university and the city have had to come to terms with racist imagery in a mosaic that sits on the front of the Library building.

As we think about Johnson Park, we can be inspired by some of the work we've discussed in class that has opened up a national conversation about racism, monuments, public art, and public space. Think about the Lee statue in Richmond or the various street murals that have emerged in cities across the country. How might we take the lessons of those projects and apply them to this space in Camden? Specifically, we are concerned with how digital writing might be used to help raise important questions and provoke conversations about Johnson Park and the Cooper Branch Library building and about power, racisms, and monuments more broadly.

In this assignment, you will consider how digital writing might help us to rethink this space and place. Your task is to plan a digital writing project that takes place in the space of the park and building. Using any technology you might imagine (audio, video, projection, drones, physical computing devices, just to name a few), your job is to describe that project. We won't have time to enact your projects, but it's possible that the Digital Studies Center could help you realize some of these projects in the future.

This project is worth 25% of your grade, and it's broken down into three different components:

1) Project Proposal (5%)
Your project proposal is a 500-word document that describes, in as much detail as possible, a digital writing project that takes place in Johnson Park. The proposal should be clear about the technologies you would plan to use, when you would imagine it taking place (Is this a long term installation? Why? Does it take place at a specific time? Why?), how it would work, and what message you would hope to convey with this digital writing project. The proposal is due November 25 at 5:00pm.

2) Project Description Document (15%)
Your project description is a maximum of 1500 words, and it should is describe, in as much detail as possible what your project would look, sound, and feel like (the document may also incorporate any other media that might help us understand how the project works). The key for this project is that you incorporate digital writing in some way, and the final project description should be as detailed as possible in terms of describing the project and what it would hope to accomplish. Who is the audience for this project, and what is the argument the project would try to make? The final project description document is due December 8 at 5:00pm

3) 2-minute presentation (5%)
On our last day of class (December 9, 9:30am), each student will deliver a 2-minute presentation about their project. This is an informal presentation, and it is an opportunity to share your work with the other students in the class. All presentations must observe the 2-minute time limit.

When responding to the different parts of the final project, I will be asking

  • Does your proposal provide a detailed description of your project, and did it observe the word limit? Have you made clear what technologies would be used and what you hope to achieve with the project?
  • Does the final project description document explain the technical details of your proposed project, and does it provide a rationale for what you hope the project accomplishes?
  • Does your mini-presentation effectively explain to your peers the details of the project, its aims and goals, and does it observe the time limit?