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Dr. Laura L. Runge
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LIT 4930: Florida Lit and Culture

Class 14:Postcard Training

    Frank Staff, The Picture Postcard and Its Origins, chaps 4-5 (CANVAS)

    George and Dorothy Miller, Picture Postcards in the United States 1893-1918, Chapter 2, The Postcard Era, (CANVAS)

    Paul Eugen Camp, Collecting Florida Chapter 2, "Only a Newspaper Guy": Hampton Dunn's Florida Legacy, pp 18-28 (CANVAS)

    METROPOSTCARD.COM - especially introduction, history and glossary

    Florida Digital Postcard Exhibit

    Due: Midterm Essay Microdraft; Post 7 - group B, Response group A

Class Objectives:

    Learn about the origins and history of postcards
    Practice interpreting postcards as place construction
    Browse Florida Digital Postcard Exhibit on Hillsborough County

Notes and Discussion Questions:

    This class introduces the postcard as an historical artefact and cultural document of Florida placemaking. We will be introduced to the Florida Digital Postcard Exhibit as a way to browse our local representation of place in postcards. We will learn how to analyze a postcard to ascribe its history and cultural significance. We will learn to categorize postcards based on history and type. To get you started, I've provided some background reading in texts on postcards and on the Hampton Dunn collection at the University of South Florida library. Additionally, I've provided a link to an incredibly useful website on Postcards, the METROPOSTCARD.COM. This site has extensive information on postcard history, production, and meaning. Please read as deeply in this as you can. It will be very helpful for your research project.

    How and why did postcards evolve? What purposes do they serve?

    What are the main postcard eras and how are they distinguished?

    What is the Golden Age of postcards and what contributed to their popularity?

    What is the difference between a "real photograph" postcard and a photographic card?

    How has the production of postcards changed over the course of the late nineteenth and 20th centuries?

    Browse the Florida Digital Postcard Exhibit and select a card or two to analyze. What era is the card from and how do you know?

    How might the card be particularly Floridian and what does that mean?

    What are the geospatial coordinates for the card (can you locate the place represented in google maps?)

    Apply phenomenological theories of place construction to the imagery/text of the card. What is its phenomenological meaning?

    Apply social constructivist theories of place construction to the imagery/text of the card. What is its social construction?

    How is nature represented on the card? What human or non-human interactions are represented on the card?

    How is technology represented on the card?

    What role does travel or transportation have in the card?

    Who is the audience for this card?

    What role might this card play in tourism? In consumerism? In business?

    What other aspects of the card are striking and require analysis?

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