Thursday, April 9, 2009

Final Project Proposal

For my final project I would like to delve in the area of Jimmy Corrigan specifically involving the prompt about the World’ Columbian Exhibition. I believe that the World’s Columbian Exhibition is a very significant milestone in the development of modern technology. As we discussed briefly in class, the use of steam-powered turbines of the time was nowhere to be found in the exhibition. This marks one of, if not the first, actual example of a massive event occurring completely powered by electricity.

My Idea is simple: Ware is making a commentary on modern technology, specifically electricity, and it’s adverse effects on the modern man. What I plan on finding out is whether or not there is a correlation with modern technology and the increase in human depression throughout the 20th and 21st century. Is it simply modern medicine knowing more about depression now a days? Or is Ware right, and ever since electricity (arguably the mark of the technology age) human beings are becoming more depressed about life and living lives similar to Jimmy filled with bland colors, depressing jobs, and overly protective mother’s? Thanks technology!


Adam Johns said...

One interesting question might be: was the WCE *really* important, or symbolically important? Or are the two different. Anyway, that's a tangent.

I don't have much to add at this point to what we talked about yesterday: I think your greatest need is to go do some research as an initial stab at answering Ware's question.

In addition to the books we talked about, I think Carroll Pursell's books would be an excellent resource for you. His The Machine in America would be an excellent start for you, I suspect.

John Whitehead said...
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John Whitehead said...

I'm considering changing my topic due to a severe lack in references on the idea of depression correlated with technology. All the books I've examined don't touch on this subject and instead focus mainly on human beings and the political effects technological innovations have created (Pursell's book and some of the references in there.) The other area the books deal with are the awe or love for technology inspired by inventions (Nye's book.)

I suppose though I could consider this as proof that there is in fact NO correlation between the two as i originally posed. But in that case should I even make the argument that Ware is attempting to make a commentary on it? It seems silly to do so without any research backing my assumption about the correlation too. thoughts?