Multimedia Project R209 - Digital Monumentality


In this final project for our course, students are tasked with making a multimedia project that either expands the rhetorical conceptuality and understanding of an existing monument or that, following Ulmer, explores, investigates, or explicates an abject monumentality (or something abject-adjacent). These projects may present rich digital and discursive ecologies through multi-faceted web texts, through narrative and documentary methods of engagement, through mediated (and/or digitally augmented) tours as means of representation, or even through video game platforms as procedural argumentation (among other possibilities). Students may take a singular element/monument as their focus or an assortment of relations around monumentality/abjection as the core of their work. In either case, the key will be the depth and degree to which each project offers a critical and creative engagement of its focal entity: i.e. Does it enact the paradigm or employ a design that is reflective of the core of the argument?

Paths & Purposes


As a result of this assignment, students will demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the rhetorical potential of monuments/memorials, specifically leveraging digital modes of mediation to augment and alter the potential impact of the focal object. Additionally, through this assignment students will demonstrate understanding of the multimedia authoring practices we have discussed in class.

Impacting People through Mediation

Audience & Role

Given that each project is unique to each student's focus/monument, there is no singular audience that fits all students. As such, as part of the project development, students need to identify their own target audience (i.e., a rhetorical audience, as discussed in class) and designate the specific ways in which that audience invites particular kinds of modes, expectations, and perspectives more than others. Additionally, students want to conceptualize, early on, what their role is in this project (using some of the roles/orientations we have discussed in class): i.e., are they functioning as advocate? are they a public awareness warrior? are they an interventionist? are they a counter-monumentalist? critical-revisionist?

An exercise in writing with light


As each project focus will invite its own "fitting" engagement and, in turn, lead to a variety of types of creations (utilizing a variety of platforms and practices), there is not necessarily an easy "one-size-fits-all" set of criteria, or guidelines, or expectations. Rather, the driving orientation behind this assignment will be the assessment criteria we employ, which for us will be the Kuhn+2 model, as presented by Cheryl Ball, with slight modifications for the context of our course.


Conceptual Core

  • What is the project's controlling idea? Is it apparent in the work?
  • Is the project productively aligned with one or more multimedia genres? (If so, what are they? How do you know?)
  • Does the project effectively engage with the primary issue of the subject area into which it is intervening?

Research Component

  • Does the project display evidence of substantive research and thoughtful engagement with the subject matter?
  • Does it use a variety of credible (and appropriate) sources and cite them appropriately?
  • Does the project deploy more than one approach to the issue?

Form & Content

  • Does the project's structural/formal elements serve the conceptual core?
  • Does the project's design decisions appear deliberate and controlled? Are they defensible?
  • Is the project's efficacy unencumbered by technical problems?

Creative Realization

  • Does the project approach the subject in a creative or innovative manner?
  • Does the project use media and design principles effectively?
  • Does the project achieve significant goals that could not be realized on paper?


  • Is the target audience for the project apparent in the work?
  • Does the project work at the appropriate levels (of language, design, function, etc.) for its target audience?
  • Has the project been created with an attentiveness to the experience it offers its targeted audience?


  • Is the project timely in its engagement/focus?
  • If not, does the project attempt to demonstrate why it is relevant to contemporary matters/concerns?
Finding a way through

Deliverables & Due Date

These projects are due at the beginning of class of our final day of the course. Students should be prepared, at that point, to submit the final project, whether as URL, uploaded file, other. [Note: students will have several checkpoints in class intended to provide opportunities for feedback]. Additionally, with this final project each student will be required to use the criteria above and submit a fully-developed, self-assessment of their work along with the final project. The goal here is three-fold: (1) to offer something of a narrative of the work (how it has developed and how you understand it as a project); (2) to provide some insight to me, the instructor, as to how you understand the criteria, how they have shaped your project, and how you see your project fitting within those considerations, and (3) to make the case, at least in part, for the grade you feel your project deserves (i.e., you will need to grade your own work, providing evidence/support as needed for that self-assessed grade).


Created with images by rolffimages - "Spiritual Face" • Roman Averin - "Sunrise behind a tree" • Christian Battaglia - "Cafe with view on a cathedral" • peshkov - "travel concept" • crimson - "3D Rendering, 3D Illustration of the Statue of Liberty"

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