Monday, February 01, 2010

Lancaster: Architecture of Faith

Although I am bursting with topics to blog about, I have been quiet on OBS mostly because I have been setting up another blog, a blog for my class "Lancaster: Architecture of Faith" (F&M, ART 271). Inspired by Bill Caraher's Public History Internship Program, I decided to turn my seminar loose in the blogosphere. I set up Lancaster Architecture over the weekend and made my students submit all of their research on the blog. This reaffirms our commitment to public knowledge, but it also lets the students share their work (both text and image) in real time. Knowing that their research is made instantly available to the public, including the communities that they are writing about, will elevate accountability and rigor. You can visit the blog here:

So far, the students have only met once. The postings to-date reflect their first assignment. Each student had to visit 5-6 churches/synagogues/mosques and report on history and architectural condition. The numbers at the beginning of each entry comes from A. Hunter Rineer, Jr.'s catalog, Churches and Cemeteries of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Lancaster County Historical Society, 1993). Within the first two weeks of the class, the students will have reported on over 100 buildings. Already, this will be the largest record of Lancaster's religious architecture available. After the first two weeks, students will focus on individual case studies and issues.

For more information about the class, see earlier postings. The class syllabus is posted here.

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States