AMST 301: Schedule & Life Syllabi

This is our class landing page going forward

To Dos & Priorities–Apr 27-May 1st

General feedback
Let’s remember our title “Tobacco Made: Richmond’s Unfiltered History” – this is the story we’re telling and our language and image choices need to reflect this.

We need to tighten the language and shorten text where ever possible.

Stay in close communication with each other this week

Website edits

Ensure that the same fonts are used across pages

Main page:
Insert image with shorter frame – ‘Enter Now’ button now red without leaf

Unfiltered/Filtered page:

Unfiltered and Filtered bullets will be added to the top

Update definitions for consistency

Filtered and Unfiltered  definitions that should be in a box to emulate the warning label on the cigarette pack

Add 125-150 words of copy about “Filtered” and “Unfiltered”

Unfiltered page:

Replicate “unfiltered” style and font size from portal page

1-2 sentences to introduce the StoryMaps at the top (Communications to provide)

Rows of 4 images with titles that hyperlink to StoryMaps

Titles should be 4-5 words each

Filtered page:

Replicate “filtered” style and font size from portal page

Text at the top with 3 sections (Advertisements, Postcards, Ephemera)

Communications to edit copy to be more Richmond focused (intro text plus sentence about each section or strong headers)

Do away with black background

Design team to select new images for 3 sections

About the Exhibition:

Ensure that the poster is included here

No need to separate text about online and in person exhibition

Text should set stage for unfiltered/filtered framework and be no more than about 150 words

About the Curators:

Everyone send in picture & answers to questions!

Organize by team and add line about team roles

Create grid at top if you plan to use the photos twice

Word limit for answers to questions (reach out to folks individually if adjustments need to be made)

Enlarge text

Notes on StoryMaps

Make the text more concise and aim for 10-18 images –edits due by Thursday at noon

Remove dates on all StoryMaps

Carissa to choose 1-2 themes for StoryMaps

Design team to edit image edits


Ryan has sent us useful links for navigating design in the WordPress theme “Divi.”  He’s made a video and sent on the example website he created for the video.


It’s Panel Week!

Hi everyone!

I know that all of teams are launched for their collective work.  We’ll meet as a big group this Friday at 1:30-2:15 pm (zoom link via separate).
Beyond small groups, the most pressing work for us this week is our individual panel labels. These are the 125-word max labels that will go on the walls in the URD exhibition, scheduled to open in September.  Here are the steps:
1. Place your current draft text into our new, collective google doc (by end of Monday)
2.  Check this link EVERDAY this week in pm/evening for edits or suggestions from Alexandra, me, and Communications team.  Accept suggestions, rewrite, and or add comments/replies.
3. Keep checking until Alexandra or I mark your label “COMPLETED”
I’ll add thumbnails of images & objects to each label. These are the finalized ones.  We have individual labels/objects completed for URD exhibition. We won’t be adding more.
Let me know if you have an questions.

Exhibition Images & Storymap Examples

Good morning, everyone!

There’s a bunch of new exhibition images (like the Model Tobacco factory postcard below) added to our Box folder.  If you’re looking for exhibition essay inspiration, check them out. Notice that several of them have both a front & back. They are not all sized and formatted correctly, but we’ll get there. 🙂

Speaking of things to check out, I put up a couple of Storymap examples under “Tools & Tutorials.” There are many more cool ones online from which you can inspiration. But, these are a good place to start.

American Studies Life Syllabus Project

This project is designed to help you conceptualize your education so far and develop an intellectual roadmap for a life of meaning and purpose after graduation.  Your syllabus will count for 15% of your seminar grade.

Drawing on your American core and elective classes as well as your co-curricular experiences, prepare a “life syllabus” that articulates themes, questions, and concepts that you will take with you to explore the world.  You will develop these syllabi using Storymaps.

In your syllabus, you will present to your viewers/readers texts (essays, monographs, novels, works of art, films, documentaries) and experiences(things to do, place to see). These texts and experiences should be curated in such a way that they:

  • Reflect the depth, range, and interdisciplinarity of your American Studies education
  • Highlight questions and themes that have been important and guiding to you
  • Demonstrate how you make connections between your different classes and experiences
  • Explain why a particular text(s) are meaningful or significant to you. (You may want to highlight specific texts while offering others as curated lists).

Each syllabus should include:

  • A Title Page
  • An introductory paragraph or two that lays out the purpose and goals of the syllabus and prepare the reader for what’s ahead. (You may decide whether or not to use one or more Storymap panels for this)
  • Carefully proofread, concise, and engaging prose
  • Compelling visual imagery: This might mean photographs, film clips, maps, graphs, etc
  • Hyperlinks when they add to your story and/or provide citation
  • Reflection on next steps. For those of you who are seniors, you might consider addressing the connections between your UR education and your next steps–what will you take with you? For those of you who are juniors, what courses, challenges, or experiences do you want to take on next year?

On Citations

You do not need to follow academic footnote style (such as MLA or Chicago Turabian). However, you do need to offer hyperlinks (to sources that are not paywalled) as well as a clear system of documentation. I would suggest:

For books: Author’s Full Name, Full Book Title (Year Published)

For films/documentaries: “Full Title” (Year Released)

For magazine and online essays: Author’s Full Name, “Full Title”

For academic essays (usually paywalled): Author’s Full Name, “Full Title,” Journal Title (Year Published)

Zoom Link for Monday

Hi everyone,

Looking forward to our ZOOM session on Monday.  Here’s the link to click at 1:30 pm EST.

Talk soon!



Hi everyone,

Welcome to our new online American Studies capstone home.  Here’s the place where I’ll post announcements, revisions to our schedule, reminders, and random photos! Please check back to this site regularly. It will be our portal for everything going forward.

Please begin by reading through all of the pages.  We’ll have a brief Zoom meeting on Monday, March 23rd at 1:30 pm to gather and talk about our hopes and concerns for the course going forward.  I will send you a follow-up with a link to the meeting. Your only “homework” this weekend is to familiarize yourself with Zoom. (See “Tools & Tutorials)(. If you cannot make this time, just let me know and I’ll set up a time to talk with you one-on-one.

Looking forward to connecting with all of you again soon!

Prof. Sackley

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