Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pseudo-Wikipedia Assignment

Blogging the 1930s for your Parlor Figure 

In this assignment, you will put together what amounts to a pseudo-Wikipedia page entry for your chosen parlor figure from the 1930s. You will title your blog entry with the name of your parlor figure and attempt to fill in the information below. While you may use the original Wikipedia entry of your figure to begin filling in the details of this blog post, you should also begin to seek out information from some of the primary and secondary sources that you will be using in part 1 of your rhetorical history project. Think of your Wikipedia page as an addition to the information that has already been collected on the other Wikipedia site. As a possible contributor to Wikipedia, you wouldn’t repeat what has already been said, but you would want to create new knowledge about your parlor figure by exploring primary and secondary sources that have not yet been included. Aside from some of the information that is common knowledge (name, birthdate, residence, occupation), you’ll want to do your best to avoid duplicating commentary available on the Internet.

The pseudo-Wikipedia page entry should help you launch into part 1 of the rhetorical history project. Though you won’t be receiving an individual grade on this assignment, it will be evaluated as a part of your larger profile of a figure from the 1930s. Failure to complete any aspect of this assignment may result in a lower grade for part 1 of the rhetorical history project.

First draft due: Monday, September 12

Second draft due: Friday, September 16 (with links included)

You may copy and paste the text below to help you get started on your pseudo-Wikipedia page.

Parlor Figure Name:
(please include a picture if possible)


Residence (city, state, or region):


What’s this person best known for?

Race/Ethnicity/Religion (if important):


Beliefs about relation between art and politics (if applicable):

Major Activities in the 1930s:

Major Works (include dates and place of publication where applicable):

Places where figure’s work often appears (magazines, radio, nightclubs, galleries):

Organizations s/he belongs to, causes s/he supports:

Best sound bites by or about this figure, including source (if this person is a writer, you must include a quote by him or her):

Was this person a popular or critical success?

Any Gossip?

Fun Facts to Know and Tell:

Titles of the 1-3 “texts” (writing, photos, songs, etc.) by this person you’ll discuss in your paper (include date and place of publication, if applicable):




What primary research have you done?

Major influences on this person’s work (what’s on the bookshelf):

Connections with other parlor figures:

a.  friends, people who work together, people in the same circle:
b.  political or artistic allies:

c.  political or artistic opponents:

d.  other connections:

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