Facing History and Ourselves: Memory and Legacy Final Project

 Project Description Part One:

Objective of the Final Project:

  • Students that they will have an opportunity to construct their own, personal monument that incorporates one of the themes of the class with a case study in genocide.
  • Students will learn how monuments have changed over time (in the past we created monuments to people and have moved toward creating monuments to events).
  • Students will consider how memorials and monuments reflect our values, speak to what we think is important and what we choose to remember. Memorials/ monuments represent events, ideas, people and themes.

Themes to Select From:

What are some of the themes explored in our Facing History journey?

  • Identity (individual and group)
  • Obligation
  • Choices of Individuals and Nations: Bystander, Upstander, Perpetrator behavior
  • Justice and Judgment
  • Memory and Legacy

The Monument:

The art created does not have to be a memorial to the Holocaust in particular (but it can be). Use this final project as a chance to learn something new.  Your monument/memorial is an opportunity to reflect upon learning with Facing History this semester. It may be to a person or an event that connects with personally or another historical time period. Use of Samantha Power’s text as well as the Worse Than War film is required.

Questions to Consider When Choosing Your Monument Subject:

  • What is the specific theme (facing history) and subject (historical time period, person, idea, etc)
  • What historical resources will you use to prepare for background reading, curatorial statement, and historical context of your monument?
  • Do you plan to work individually or in a pair?
  • What would you like people to feel or think about when they visit the monument that you are designing?
  • Who is it built for? What will be the audience?
  • What message will it convey? What point of view will it assume?
  • Is it possible to create a “neutral” monument, or is remembering inherently an act of selection and the expression of a point of view?
  • How can your monument be most effective in connecting the public to the point in the past that you have chosen to remember?

Memory and Legacy: Genocide Memorial Creation Project


Projects Components and Deadlines:

Instructions: The following are the various parts of the project and when each section is due. We will be using class time and homework to complete this final project. Pay close attention to details!


  1. 1.    Position Statement of Rationale:  This is a 1-2 page position statement explaining why you/your pair selected the theme and case study that you did. In particular your position statement should include responses to the following prompts:
  • Why do you believe that this topic/theme needs a memorial?
  • Explain other major existing memorials to this topic/theme. Cite them. Explain why your memorial is distinct and unique. If there is not an existing memorial, state why you think this is the case.
  • Who will benefit the most and be most impacted (in your opinion) by the creation of this memorial?
  • Include MLA citations to support your writing (footnote style)


Final Due Date: Wednesday May 8 (includes Monday May 6 Class, Homework Monday May 8, and Class Time Wed May 8. Due at 4:00 PM by email to MS. Finn)


  1. 2.     Annotated Bibliography:  This is a bibliography in MLA format that is annotated with the following:
  • 3-4 sentences about how this source was used to inform your understanding of the topic and/or the creation of the visual elements of the memorial.
  • At least 15 sources: Your annotated bibliography will include at least 15 sources. These sources must represent legitimate and authenticated sources. If you have questions about this ask MS. Finn or Lissa Crider.  The sources should include a mix of books, websites, films, magazines, etc. Your sources must be in MLA format.


Final Due Date: May 14 at 4:30 PM (Includes Class Time/Research Time on May 10, Homework on May 10, Class Time on May 14)


3.  Memorial Design Plan: A written plan that describes the following (visual sketches are fine to accompany this part):

  • Describe/sketch your memorial
  • What materials do you need? What quantities? Be specific. Do you need these materials purchased for you?
  • Location:  In addition to the website where we will post the blogs, indicate where you would expect this memorial to be displayed and why you selected that particular location


Final Due Date:  May 16 at 4:30 PM (Includes homework on May 14, Class time on May 14)


  1. Curator Statement:  This is a 1-2 page statement that will accompany your memorial. It must be written for the memorial viewer who knows little to nothing about your genocide case study/theme. You are expected to include:
  • Historical context
  • What can we learn about choices big and small from this memorial?
  • Why did you, as the memorial designers, make the visual choices that you did? What does the memorial’s components represent?

Final Due Date:  May 29th (last day of class), (Creation of Memorial and Curator Statement takes place on May 20th, May 22, May 24th and all homework in between these dates)


      4.  Physical Memorial:  Physical Memorial is Due in Class on History Finals Day (Creation of Memorial and Curator Statement takes place on May 20th, May 22, May 24th and all homework in between these dates)


  1. 5.    Public Presentation and Web Posting:
  • Students will present their memorials to the class and use the curator statement to explain and present the various visual choices and significance.
  • Students must take photographs of the memorial creation process at different stages and final photographs of the finished memorials with close up focus on the visual elements. Students must email all photos to Ms. Finn by deadline.


Final Due Date: All photos are due to Ms. Finn no later than Sunday June 2 at 4PM before final exam day June 3 8:30-10:30.

Overall Project Criteria:

  • All typing must be 12 pt ft, Times New Roman, Double Space
  • All documents must be sent as Word docs
  • All photos must be converted as sent to Ms. Finn via email as JPEG photos and the title of the email should read: “_______ (your name) Genocide Project Photos”
  • All written work should include citations to historical sources and memorial ideas from your annotated bibliography. All citations should be in MLA footnote style.



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