Browse Exhibits (14 total)

Ellen and the Feminine Persona

Susan Warner first wrote The Wide, Wide World in the midst of the Second Great Awakening in upstate New York, which was called the "burnt-over district" because many religious revivals and upstart religious movements took shape there during the period. Ellen's feminine persona is largely shaped by this religious doctrine, and she struggles with how to control her passions and wants so that she can conform to the period's feminine ideal.

However, as publishers developed their own identities for Ellen on the covers and in the illustrations of their books they often depicted her as a character at odds with these religious beliefs. This was especially true at the turn of the century when publishers began to figure Ellen as a New Woman in her dress and appearance. This exhibit addresses Ellen's multiple feminine personas.

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Changing Publishing Technologies

George Palmer Putnam published The Wide, Wide World in 1851 at an exciting moment in publication history when both British and American publishers were experimenting with methods to reach wider audiences with cheap, but still ornate book designs. London's Great Exhibition of 1851 had introduced several new technologies to aspiring publishers such as the embossed book cloths that made a cheap, durable decorative cover and the steam cover embosser which could swiftly stamp book covers with blind or metal engraved designs. Over the next 100 years the novel's reprints would continue to be a party to changes in the publishing industry. By the 1950s, for example, the novel usually includes a printed dust jacket. This exhibit tracks some of those shifts in technology across the novel's publication.


The Path from Domestic Novel to Children's Book

The Wide, Wide World provides a new vantage point with which to study the foundations and conditions of the establishment of an American literary canon. The multiple productions of Warner’s text from 1850 to 1950 demonstrate how publishers addressed these changing tastes in their editions. The Wide, Wide World originally interested readers of all ages, genders, and classes, but by the 1890s, the book was primarily used as a prize or gift book for children. A 1950 abridged version removed the novel’s evangelical strains and included a cover reminiscent of a Nancy Drew mystery. The slow transition of Warner’s domestic novel from the position of literary primacy to a children’s book provides a new perspective with which to examine the aesthetic shift away from realist and sentimental literature in the modernist period. This exhibit marks that transition through the discussion of reprints of the novel published at various points in literary history.

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Political Buttons of the 2012 Presidential Election

Political Buttons of the 2012 Presidential Election: 

A list categorizing the meanings behind the buttons.

This database is to catalogoue some of the more creative buttons that were made and distributed among potential voters during the 2012 Presidential Election. This catalogoue is to define some events that shaped this election. So that voters of the future can have some sense of what this election was like.

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Superhero changes throughout the years

This superheroes have helped me throughtout my life so I am going to pay tribute by showing my guest the different changes over the years.

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Pop Culture in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"

This exhibit is a collection of pop culture references in the novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.  Referencing pop culture in a young adult novel is a way for the author to give the reader something to relate to that he or she might already know about and enjoy. By using familiar pop culture references, Cbhosky is able to pull the reader in, allowing him or her to fully relate to the characters. 

  The Perks of Being a Wallflower shows the power that literature, music, and film have in helping us to understand ourselves and others.  By reading novels, we are able to see and experiecnce things through another's eyes.  "Narrative empathy is the sharing of feeling and perspective taking induced by reading, viewing, hearing, or imagining narratives of another's siutation and condition" (Keen, 2012).  Charlie, the main character, shares his feelings through songs, novels, and even films.  By exhibiting this collection of the pop culture items referenced in this novel, I am allowing reader's to see the exact film, literature, and songs that Charlie felt expressed his life best and loved to share with his family and friends.

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Harry Potter and the Multitude of Adaptations

In this exhibit, I will look at the range of adaptations of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. In these adaptations I will consider the way in which these adaptations alter, enhance, and stay true to the text. I will also analyze fan activity in these mediums and the facilitation of that activity. Overall, I will look at the purpose in the creation of these items. 

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Knitting for Victory: Transatlantic Propaganda in WWI & WWII

This exhibit features a compilation of WWI and WWII era knitting related propaganda posters, pamphlets, and other promotional media designed to encourage women to knit in support of the war effort.

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Can music be considered literature? Music tells a story which is what literature is meant to do. I believe that the words of any song can connect with the reader just like books and poems do. Who's to say that songs aren't literature? I understand nowadays a lot of songs are filled with nonsense but there is no doubt that their isn't a book out there that people would think the same thing. Bob Dylan has even been nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature but has never won because some don't know if lyric writing can really be considered literature. Now that is a bunch of crap. I bet if you were to have some sweet beats and sing some poem BAM it would be a song. But poems are literature and not songs?? People are trippin'. Many of these songs were inspired by great novels or poems and tell their own story. I even added a couple songs that weren't really inspired by a novel or a poem but by movies instead. A movie has a script which is like a play so I would consider a piece of literature as well.

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Attitudes Towards War Crhonicled in Music

One of the earliest known songs about war is The Ballad of Chevy Chase. This song, written in the early 1400's, is about a battle, between Scotland and England, fought in 1388. However with music actually having been a part of war: with Joshua at the battle of Jericho as a possible first occurrence; during the crusades as a way to send commands to distant troops, a form of use kept in fashion for centuries and to this day remembered in ceremony, it would be fair to assume that earlier songs about warfare have been sung, played and since become as forgotten as the sound of the Rebel yell. Perhaps as many or more songs about war have been forgotten since. Songs about war have been sung in many different languages but for the purpose of discussing changing attitudes towards war expressed in music, the scope of this site has been limited primarily to songs with English lyrics, (or modern English translation in the case of The Ballad of Chevy Chase, originally written in Middle English) and a couple of orchestral pieces without lyrics.

The Star Spangled Banner, the National Anthem of the United States of America, is in fact a war song. Francis Scott Key wrote this song while witnessing the bombarding of Fort McHenry, during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814. In fact, War is the most common shared theme expressed in national anthems. Accordingly, songs about war can be patriotic but they can also be commemorative, in lament, or in protest of war. Of all that a war song can be, aside from national anthems which when adopted become fixed entities bound to a country’s patriotism, to lament the horrors of war is the most timeless.

Through listening to and looking at war songs from different periods in time, changes in the prevailing attitudes towards war become apparent. Most particularly, a different prevailing attitude towards war during the Cold War years, 1947-1991, becomes evident in that, while songs lamenting the horrors of war are as timeless as ever, songs protesting war become notably the most popular form of war song. In the 1960's, war protest songs most commonly addressed the war in Vietnam, later in the Cold War era war songs dealt more with the threat of mutually assured destruction by nuclear war.

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