Final Project Instructions

What do we get when we integrate histories and studies of gender and technology that we do not get from looking at these fields separately?

You needn’t answer this question directly, but the final project you turn in should engage with it in some way – either explicitly or implicitly.

Description and deadlines:
Your final project is an opportunity for you to revisit one of your earlier projects, reflect on it in light of the whole course, identify spaces for further exploration, and undertake substantive revision and development.

On May 3rd, class time will be devoted to presentations on the state of your project. Come to class with 5 minutes of talking points, along with some kind of visual component (slide deck, outline, demo of the site). Be prepared to field questions from the audience. This presentation will be worth 10% of your overall final project grade. The final grade will replace the initial assignment grade.  You cannot “re-write” a mini assignment that you have not turned in.

Final projects are due by 5:15 on May 9th for Seniors, and by 5:15 on May 11th for everyone else. There are no extensions or late penalties for this project – if you do not turn it in by the deadline, you will receive a 0, and will not pass the class.

How to go about this project:
Before you start working on the project, it might make sense to read through the course blog, refresh your memory of the various themes that have informed the class, and re-acquaint yourself with the various course readings. Having done that, approach one of the mini-assignments.

Your final project will include several components:

  1. An assessment of your original mini-project – Which of the projects are you revising? What were the original goals and questions? What did you do well? What could you have developed further? You must cite at least three theoretical interventions from the texts we have read this semester in this description. It should total somewhere around 350 words.
  2. A methodology for the development you planned in part 1 – What new kinds of theories or methods do you need to engage with? With what literatures or texts (or works of your colleagues in the class) is your final project in conversation? If you are learning new tools or new approaches, what are they? You must cite at least three methods or works in this methodology. It should total somewhere around 350 words
  3. The re-vamped project.
    • If you are building on your artifact assessment, you should either incorporate a second artifact or bring in four additional secondary sources – at least two of which must be found through external research. The resulting project should be somewhere around 3,000 words.
    • If you are building on your unpaper, you should clearly explain in parts I and II why the revisions are required, and undertake them according to the “win conditions” you set out in parts I and II. Expect to double the “size” of your project – this can be in terms of new skills learned, new material engaged with, new code written. Make sure you explain what that doubling looks like.
    • If you are building on your lit review, you should bring in four additional secondary sources – at least two of which must be found through external research. The resulting project should be somewhere around 3,000 words.
  4. All of this (parts I-III) must be aggregated on a public facing website. This can be a subdomain, or a page of your blog, or another site altogether. To submit the assignment, post a link to the site on the Public page of the course site.

Lit review prompt

If you’re unfamiliar (or uncomfortable) writing lit reviews – here is a way to think about how to go about writing one:

What is a lit review? A lit review identifies themes or developments among a number of works.

Assignment: Write a lit review of 5-7 pages (~1400-2000 words).  In total, you must review five works we have read in the class, or that you have used for other assignments.

Overview: This assignment has three major goals:

  1. To discern, explain, and assess the arguments of individual works on the history of gender and technology.
  2. To identify themes or developments among those works.
  3. To make an argument about the state of the literature.

Make sure you include all of the following components in your lit review (though not necessarily in this order):

Relation to topic: All of the works under review must relate to one topic. They might represent different approaches to that topic, different aspects of the history of that topic, or examples of other scholars’ approaches to similar topics. You must make clear how each work relates to the overall topic.

Thesis: A lit review is organized around a thesis. The bulk of your paper will be devoted to proving this thesis. This thesis can take several forms. Possible forms include the identification of a theme in the literature, the identification of a development in the literature over time or the identification of common approaches to a particular topic.

  • Theme: Since X book was published in [YEAR], the scholarship on [TOPIC] has been organized around [CONCEPT]
  • Development: In the past Y years, scholarship on [TOPIC] has changed in the following ways…
  • Approaches: Books [X], [Y] and [Z] each approach [TOPIC] from different perspectives, but are united by…

Analysis of individual works: Your lit review must include brief analyses (a few sentences) of the works under review. In these analyses, it is imperative that you identify the author’s approach, argument, and relationship to a broader literature.

Compare/Contrast: In order to illustrate how each work relates to the broader literature, you must explicitly compare and contrast the approaches, arguments and evidentiary uses of the works under review. In doing so, you will discuss points of convergence among these works as well as points that are in dispute.