What can writing in public spaces tell us about changes in literacy, tourism, ethnic identity, and how history is remembered?
This project seeks to examine the changing linguistic landscape of signs and other public writing in Asia. What functions does public writing serve in different cultural and built contexts? What can we learn about societies from storefront signage, informational signs, inscriptions, banners, and other highly visible forms of public writing? How well does writing reflect reading practices, linguistic practices, and assertions of group identity? What happens when a people is no longer is able to read the signs that appear its public spaces? What might public writing reveal about what some people wish to remember and also what they hope to forget?
Students will also be encouraged to develop projects for presentation at a conference or publication in an undergraduate research journal. Examples of topics to be examined could include surveys of street signage using Google Street View, examinations of shifts in language use on grave markers, and studies of how writing appears on clothing, coins, or other media, etc.
Prof. Hakala will assist students in requesting sources through UB Libraries, securing funding to visit Asian Studies library collections, and preparing a presentation at a research conference or paper for publication in a journal. Students interested in this project will need to read some introductory works on public writing and epigraphy in Asia and demonstrate proficiency with bibliography software (e.g., EndNote, Bookends, Zotero) before beginning this project.
|Length of commitment||Variable based on student interest|
|In-person, remote, or hybrid? ||Hybrid|
|Level of collaboration||Individual or small group project|
|Who is eligible||All undergraduate students with an intermediate or greater proficiency in an Asian language|
Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase.
Asian Studies and English