Identify a specific object/image/artifact/icon in any visual medium that has been repurposed (remodeled, represented, remade, reused, reclaimed) in a new context (such as an advertisement, a piece of art, a monument, a product design, an article of clothing, a bumper sticker, a tattoo, some graffitti, etc.). How does the act of repurposing shed new light on the intended or unintended meaning of the object?
In an essay of 1900 - 2100 words, develop a thesis that makes a specific argument about how and why the object is being repurposed, addressing the significance of its repurposing. Support your claims with evidence, and explain the specific, significant similarities and differences that you observe between the original and repurposed object.
Think of your essay as building on the foundation of detailed analysis of at least two images (the object in its original context and the object in one or more repurposed contexts). Observe, describe, interpret, explore, and argue about the object through pointing out details in the images. In short, perform a thoughtful, sophisticated rhetorical analysis of these images.
Include images of both the original and repurposed object in your paper. Strategically insert them in your essay document. If you're not working with images, you are encouraged to find other ways to make your objects accessible to your reader - for instance, if you're working with a YouTube video, you could embed a hyperlink into your text.
Stephanie Jennis's "Pond Over a Bridge of Commercialism" is an example of what one student has done with this assignment and can serve as a model.
Here are some questions that may help spur your analysis and critical thinking:
Your project begins with finding an object that shows up in at least two different images, probably at different times and places.
In order to articulate the significance of the object's original and repurposed meaning, you will need to research the history of the object and the rhetorical situations into which it has been placed. Thus, you will need to seek out sources that provide background information about your object, such as who created it, and when, why, and how it has been used.
Use what you discover through this research to flesh out the implications of your analysis of the images and the object you are writing about. Your final draft should include 4 - 5 sources, one or two of which should be a book or article you found through the library's catalog.
Using Academic Search Premier, Art Full Text, and SocIndex through EBSCO Articles, locate articles that provide context behind both the traditional view of princesses and concepts around the re-mixed notion of princesses. Click on the link to see a search sample. Looking at the context of Disney Princesses re-mixed. Why? Current message? New message? Alternate message?
Using Academic Search Premier, Art Full Text, Business Source Complete, and SocIndex through EBSCO Articles.
Starry Night painting with McDonalds Sign
What was Van Gogh's message with the original painting? What is the message of the re-mix? Check out McDonaldization of Society & McDonaldization Revisited. What other message might be in the remixed painting?