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The Theory of Things (EGL282)

Director: Associate Professor Jillmarie Murphy, English

The Union College Maker Web assisted in the creation of a maker-related module for Professor Jillmarie Murphy in the English Department for her Theory of Things course (EGL282). The course required students to create physical replicas or 3D images of various objects found in the literature they read—Ex: child’s white coffin, black shark’s tooth, mourning doll, wooden flower, knit blanket, lambrequin, tschagatta mask, etc. Ultimately the students were asked to upload projects to an interactive course website that can be shared with members of the Union College community.

The work provided students with opportunities to:
1) think about literary objects in non-traditional ways
2) consider how to use available resources to create tangible objects that bring students beyond the written word and toward an understanding ofthe vitalism of literary things
3) identify ways that literature helps signify the interassimilation of humanity and objects
4) take creative risks to help shift students’ cognitive understanding of the creative materiality of objects and the formative power of things.

Students were encouraged to:
1) be open and receptive to re-framing conventional understandings of literary objects
2) advance, implement, and communicate ideas about literary objects in nontraditional ways
3) demonstrate ingenuity and resourcefulness in adopting new ways to imagine literature.

Union College OSH