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About the Project

Omeka Exhibition Project: Engaging with the Mesoamerican Codices

Description and Goals of the Project

Working in your teams and individually, you will develop a concept for an Omeka website (Mesoamerican Codices Project @ http://mesocodices.omeka.net/) that relates to Mesoamerican codices. You will be the first group of students to begin building this website; each successive class will add new components to it.

This project has several goals in mind:

  1. To deepen your knowledge of Mesoamerican codices, focusing on one example as a case study.
  2. To use codices that you will see in person at the Getty. It is very rare indeed to see these in person, and the ones on display are some of the finest and most famous/canonical.
  3. To expose you to Omeka.net, a powerful content management system (or CMS) that “is a web-publishing platform that allows anyone with an account to create or collaborate on a website to display collections and build digital exhibitions. No technical skills or special server requirements are necessary.”
  4. To experiment with some basic digital art history tools and to build some useful DAH skills.
  5. To encourage collaboration.
  6. To develop your information literacy skills, and allow you to reflect on how you’ve improved them. 

Basic Steps:

In your team, you will complete the following:

  1. Decide on which codex your team would like to focus. Here are your three options, all of which will be on display at the Getty’s Luxury Kingdoms show:

Each team will decide on a theme around which you will build an archive and exhibition. Examples: gender, clothing, colors, rituals, food, rulership, etc. Write a proposal about your theme (explained below). You will complete a brief presentation. Each team will also compose (together!) a short introductory essay (c. 400 words) explaining the theme. This will appear on the Omeka site. Details below.

As an individual working within your team, you will complete the following:

  1. Choose one page/folio from the codex chosen by the team that connects in some way to the team’s chosen theme. If your team chose to work on the Codex Mendoza, for instance, you will choose one page from it.
  2. Upload your chosen page/folio as an “Item” to Omeka. We will talk about how to do this in class, and I will also provide instructions in case you forget how to do it.
  3. Write a brief 1-2 page proposal, explained below.
  4. Choose 2-3 images or objects (also uploaded as Items) to compare to your chosen page/folio that help to expand on the theme, as well as compose an 800–1200 word essay. Details below.
  5. Complete the bibliographic/information literacy assignment (explained below)
  6. Create metadata for your page/folio on a team spreadsheet that includes tags/categories--all of which help us to organize data. This metadata will be input into Omeka categories. Again, we will practice in class. Upload your essay (with citations and biblio) to your team Omeka exhibition. We will discuss in class how to do this.

Team Proposal

Write a c. 250-word proposal of your proposed theme that will help to introduce your exhibits theme and to structure your individual contributions. Include 2-3 questions that helped your team generate your theme. Describe why you chose this theme. Why is it important or interesting? What will it help you investigate? How will you go about exploring this theme as a team? At some point in the semester, each team will present a brief presentation about their theme in class, for 3-5 minutes. Be prepared to share the particulars, as described above.

Individual Proposal

Write a 1-2 page proposal that describes why you chose your specific page/folio and how it relates to your theme (in a preliminary fashion). Why did you choose it? Why is it interesting? What does it show? How will this folio expand on the team’s chosen theme? How do you plan to go about researching your topic? What sources do you think might be useful? Individuals will present a brief presentation of their project in class, for 2 minutes. Be prepared to share the particulars, as described above.

Bibliographic/Information Literacy Assignment

  1. This assignment is completed in several stages.

    1. Stage 1: Each time you go to the Payson library website, keep an accurate list of the search terms you input to try to find materials. Also, keep note of the finding aids or tools you found on the library website that you used. Other things to keep note of:

      1. types of sources consulted (books, periodicals, videos, primary sources, data, etc.) and explains the criteria for why they were included and used

      2. specific Pepperdine Libraries’ resources including print, digital, special collections, University archives, and/or online resources, InfoGuides, librarian consultations, ACE tutoring consultations, and ILL

    2. Stage 2: Produce a bibliography of sources you’ve either already consulted or are planning to consult for your individual project. This bibliography should consist of at least 5 sources (at least 3 sources need to be actual books, and you need at least one article from a scholarly journal. At least 1 source can be from a reputable online source.) Sources should be correctly cited using Chicago (Author-Date) citation style. Under each citation, describe how they will (or you think they will) help you complete your project or answer your research questions. Be specific.

    3. Stage 3: once your project is complete, you will write a reflective essay of 750-1000 words that should “be a clear description of how you planned and pursued your research, including how you located and chose the library resources, services, and collections you used and how those resources contributed to the development of your project.” Reflect on “what was learned about the research process and how this new understanding will affect future research (additional bonus if you discuss of research challenges and how they were overcome).”

Final Omeka Project

The text you include on your project (team or individual) should also be submitted as a word document (.doc or .docx--no pages, .pdf, or .gdoc) to Courses via Turnitin AND placed into your team google drive folder. Include a bibliography on your online project and in the submitted word document. Footnotes need to be included in your Omeka exhibition and submitted document. On Omeka, you won’t be able to insert footnotes, which is why you are using the Author-Date style of Chicago.

Presentation of the Final Project

Individuals will make a 10-minute presentation about your final project (organized by teams). You should write up 3.5-4 pages double-spaced (c. 10 minutes) that describe your overall project, as well as reflect on your experience with the project (what worked? What didn’t? How was this project beneficial? Different from the traditional research paper? What ways could it have been improved? How did this help you or not help you? etc.). You will present on this write up as part of your presentation, as well as submit it as a reflection on the project.

Due Dates

  1. 9/18: Choose codex, team theme.

  2. 9/21: Add your chosen page/ folio as an Item in class.

  3. 10/2: Add additional comparative images or objects as Items.

  4. 10/2: Individual proposal and brief presentation due.

  5. 10/16: Team theme proposal and presentation due.

  6. 10/20: Bibliographic list with descriptions due by no later than today. (parts 1-2 of information literacy project)

  7. 11/13: Complete team introduction and add to Omeka by no later than today.

  8. 11/13: Complete individual contribution and add to Omeka by no later than today.

  9. 11/13 and 11/16: presentations of the final project

  10. 11/20: completed bibliographic and information literacy assignment due. (final part)

Images for the project

Use only high quality images. Anything you add as an Item to Omeka must be appropriate for reuse on a public website.