ASSIGNMENT: Museum Analysis Paper
You will be analyzing a local museum or interpreted heritage site and examining how this space is marketed to a general public audience.
Choose a museum or heritage site from the list on the following page, then choose to analyze either what you observe at the site itself or on the site’s official social media (its website or one of its online social media accounts, such as Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, or Facebook).
This paper should be 2 full pages long and will consist of three paragraphs.
First, write one introductory paragraph identifying the five elements of the site’s rhetorical context: the author, audience, text, setting, and purpose. For example, the Center for Civil and Human Rights was launched in 2007 by a former Atlanta mayor and is currently run by a board of directors who are primarily from the business sector. It is a museum featuring both permanent and temporary exhibits as well as event space. Located in Centennial Olympic Park, close to the Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola, its target audience includes the tourists visiting those major sites and Atlanta’s historic civil rights sites.
Next, write a longer paragraph identifying the main argument or purpose of the site and how the site presents and supports that argument. For example, the Center for Civil and Human Rights presents historical exhibits that celebrate successful civil rights movements, such as its permanent exhibit, “Rolls Down Like Water,” about the American civil rights movement in the mid-twentieth century. It also encourages thought about ongoing movements for equality elsewhere in the world through its exhibit, “Sparks of Conviction,” which describes current movements for human rights across the world.
Finally, write a paragraph explaining how the site, which theoretically is intended to educate the entire Atlanta community, specifically targets a particular audience and thereby redefines its vision of the community. As a national museum, the Center for Civil and Human Rights is not targeted primarily at residents of Atlanta (which is why it is not eligible for this assignment). Nevertheless, its representation of human rights privileges Western ideals of equality and may isolate visitors from other cultures, particularly as it is based on a document written by an American politician shortly after World War II.
Sara Harwood – English, Georgia State University