Friday, May 16, 2014

Gloucester Project (part 2): research and response

(1) What does the Gloucester in your head look like?
Monday in class make a literal map of Gloucester from memory.

(2) What issues will we need to explore more deeply in order to answer the question "What is Gloucester"?
* In class on Monday make a mind map (a.k.a. web) of the issues we will need to explore in order to answer the question "What is Gloucester?"
* Connect the questions to issues and connect the issues to sources: readings, experiences, and observations.
* Monday night (1) expand your map of the issues to include connections to all of the readings in the "Ways of Looking at Gloucester" packet

(3) Choose an aspect of Gloucester to examine more closely in relation to one of the questions that emerged from our discussion. (We decided that in order to understand Gloucester we would need to address the following issues.)

Possible Questions
How does tension between what is hidden or concealed and what is open or known affect the polis of Gloucester?
How does tension between change and continuity affect the polis of Gloucester?
How does tension between insiders and outsiders affect the polis of Gloucester?
How does tension between "us" and "them" affect the polis of Gloucester?
How does tension between connectedness and isolation affect the polis of Gloucester?
How does tension between homogeneity and heterogeneity affect the polis of Gloucester?
How does tension between nature and industry affect the polis of Gloucester?
How does tension between care-taking and exploitation affect the polis of Gloucester?
How does tension between leisurely enjoyment and rugged resilience (grit) affect the polis of Gloucester?
How does tension between civic pride and civic critique affect the polis of Gloucester?
How does tension between beauty and ugliness affect the polis of Gloucester?

Possible Topics
If you're still not happy with your topic here are some more ideas that you maybe have not considered.


  • poetry (Charles Olson, Vincent Ferrini, Jeremy Ingalls, T.S. Eliot, etc.)
  • fiction (Peter Anastas, Jonathan Bayliss, Anita Diamant [on Dogtown], Rudyard Kipling [on Gloucester  etc.)
  • non-fiction (Judith Sargent Murray [on women's rights], Mark Kurlansky, Sebatian Junger, etc.)
  • music (Herb Pomeroy, Willie Alexander, etc.)
  • painting (Fitz Henry Lane, Winslow Homer, Marsden Hartley, Nell Blaine, John Sloane, Stuart Davis, Edward Hopper, etc.)
  • photography (Ernest Morin, Anne Rearick, Nubar Alexanian, Paul Cary Goldberg, Leslie Bartlett, etc.)
  •  sculpture (Walker Hancock, Paul Manship, etc.)
  • dance (Carl Thomsen, Sarah Slifer)
  • theatre (Israel Horowitz, Nan Weber)
  • film (documentarian Henry Ferrini, The Perfect Storm, Captains Courageous)
  • graphic narrative/comics (Greg Cook, Tony Millionaire, etc.)

  • ethnic and religious practices and traditions (St. Peter’s Fiesta, the Portuguese Crowning Ceremony, the first Universalist Church in America),
  • civic traditions (like Lanesville’s infamous parade, the Horribles Parade),
  •  public art and architecture (City Hall, Dogtown rocks, the Man at the Wheel statue, the Fisherman’s Wife statue),
  • civic institutions (schools, Fisherman’s Wives Association, St. Peter’s Club)
  • industries (trade, fishing, tourism, quarrying)
  • cultural figures (Hannah Jumper, Roger Babson, Ebenezeer Babson, Howard Blackburn, Judith Sargent Murray, A. Piatt Andrew, Ben Smith, Manuel Lewis, Newman Shea)
[You might also focus on culture in a particular section of the city.]

(4) Get started with your research into your topic & question. You'll need double-entry notes for five or more sources (at least ten pages of notes) by Tuesday, May 27.
* In class on Wednesday May 21 write a question to guide your research by combining the topic & question chosen in step 3. 
 Based on my observations in class on Thursday, I think it will be helpful to spend the first part of class on Friday doing a mini-lesson on what makes a good research question for this project. To create our research questions we're applying one of the big essential questions about Gloucester (see above) to a narrower aspect of Gloucester's polis. This question should be carefully crafted. Spend some time working on it. Make sure it's clear and focused. Ask a peer, is my question clear and focused enough that you could use it to guide research? If the answer is yes: dive back into researching a response to the question. If the answer is no: work on refining your question
* Put that question at the center of a map/web.
* Make a map of (1) the kind of information you hope to find on your question and (2) where you might go looking for that information. (See below for resources.)

Ask me lots of questions during class time.
Be resourceful. Use GHS library resources [mini-lesson on Tuesday], Sawyer Free Library resources [mini-lessons on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday], living experts [mini-lesson on interviewing on Wednesday], and reputable internet* sources [mini-lesson on Thursday].
*internet sources to consider (local daily newspaper) (Gloucester Harbor Walk website with information on 42 aspects of Gloucester art and culture) (demographic, social, economic, and housing census information) (Gloucester High School Gale Resources) (I've found a lot of good information and many full books by searching here.)

search for websites of organizations related to your topic (Gloucester Writers Center (this website has video and audio recordings of creative writers and researchers), St. Peter's Club, Cape Ann Museum, etc.)

think of video too: search for your topic using youtube and vimeo (No Pretty Prayer about the Sicilian community in the Fort; Polis is This about Charles Olson, his writing, and his relationship to Gloucester; The Greasy Pole (award winning documentary)

Something new (posted on Huffington Post today, Friday, May 23) for those of you looking at the relationship between the picturesque and the gritty in Gloucester:
Gloucester among "15 of New England's Most Picturesque Towns" (sic)

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