Assignment One:

Paraphrase and Description: Working with Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others and an Item from the UCSD Spanish Civil War Archive


Wikipedia entries are often used as references for information about famous people or historical events, but they also frequently summarize what is known about particular books or works of art that are culturally significant. The following assignment asks you to create two Wikipedia-style entries: one entry is devoted to paraphrasing the argument of Susan Sontag's final book, Regarding the Pain of Others, and the other entry consists of describing the object that you have chosen from the Spanish Civil War Archive.

Remember that successful Wikipedia entries are known for adopting a neutral point of view and for citing sources. Your references should cite sources external to Wikipedia as the featured articles on the main Wikipedia page do.

The artifact must come from UCSD's collections, such as the Southworth Spanish Civil War Collection, Shots of War: Photojournalism During the Spanish Civil War, or the Spanish Civil War Memory Project.

Materials from UCSD's digital collections can be used for this assignment, but photos or other images from online databases not affiliated with UCSD can not receive credit as the central artifact for your assignment. However, if you wish to cite information from archives housed at other institutions, such as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archive, to supplement UCSD material, that is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged.

One of the benefits of being a UCSD undergraduate student is that you are welcome to go to Mandeville Special Collections Library to conduct research. If you wish to return to Special Collections after your visit with your discussion section, you should be mindful of their hours of service and obey all policies for readers. Mandeville Special Collections Library staff are happy to help you search the catalog if you are having difficulty, however because of the library’s limited hours and staffing it is in your best interest to initiate your search for materials on your own first by using the library’s catalog in conjunction with the webpages describing the Spanish Civil War Collection. You will need the call number to request materials from Special Collections, so be sure to jot that down when you find materials of interest to you.

A successful assignment will do the following:

Looking Ahead

Later assignments will encourage you to advance an original interpretive argument, but description and paraphrase also requires substantial creativity. Doing this assignment will help you succeed on the final exhibition catalog assignment as well, since you will need to describe curatorial objects later in the quarter.