The Final Project

For this project, each student will create a website using Word Press that explores an aspect of commemoration that is interest to them: areas of focus could be

  • private commemorations
  • public commemorations
  • commemorations of death or victory or power or wealth
  • removal of commemorative monuments (damnatio memoriae)
  • reconfiguration of commemorative monuments
  • controversial commemorations
  • design of monuments
  • the role of inscriptions
  • eulogies
  • how monuments engage with audiences
  • how the meaning of a monument may change over time
  • gender or age in commemoration
  • themes, such as immortality or fame
  • other areas of interest to you…

Your project will provide a specific frame/perspective on the aspect of commemoration you have chosen; you will argue that the concept of commemoration is better understood through this particular frame. Please note that although the topics are very large, this project is meant to allow you to think big but then to provide a smaller window or lens on a manageable aspect of the subject.

Your project should approach your chosen subject through three points of contact:

  1. An artifact from the Bowdoin Museum of Art: you can choose one artifact or type of artifact (such as a lekythos) from among the objects we looked at during our Museum visits. Sean Burrus will be happy to help you with this process (e.g., looking at the object again, getting more information about the object).
  2. A monument, artifact, inscription, or written work of commemoration on the Bowdoin campus. Special Collections in the Bowdoin Library has materials that will help learn about the context for this monument/artifact (who designed it, or the identity of the person commemorated, or controversies surrounding its history, etc.); Marieke van der Steenhoven will be happy to help you with this process (e.g., helping you find materials in Special Collections that provide history or additional sources for your choice).
  3. A third object/monument/piece of commemorative writing of your choice, from ancient Greece or Rome, or from the United States. This will provide an additional (possibly broader) perspective on your topic.

You will present your idea through both words and images. Each project will have:

  • at least three images (one of each of your different points of contact)
  • at least four sections of writing, one to accompany each point of contact, and one to provide an overview of the aspect of commemoration you are exploring on your page.

Students must complete the basic steps outlined above to get credit for the project. Beyond that, the class will work on a grading rubric together for this project.


By April 2, please try to choose your Bowdoin monument/artifact so that I can communicate that information to Special Collections; you can change your mind, but it will be helpful for resource gathering for Marieke to know your area of interest as soon as possible.

By April 16, please choose your Art Museum object. This will give you time to set up appointments with Sean if you want to do so in order to discuss and/or view your object again.

By April 30, please choose your third “point-of-contact” artifact.

On May 13 and May 17, students will present an overview of their project(s)** to the class. You do not need to be finished with it at this point, but you should have started to put the project together.

Between May 21 and May 24, the project is due. A specific date will be provided when the actual exam schedule is determined.

**Please note that you also have a separate commemoration project, in which you will create your own memorial/eulogy/artifact regarding an aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic (or another topic, if you prefer not to work on the pandemic). This creative project is graded pass/fail and is not meant to stress you out, but rather to foster additional parts of your brain or spirit during this pandemic era! More details on that project will be provided on a separate sheet.