Abracadabra: Language, Memory, Representation


Assignment #3: Design a Memory System

Due Date: Friday Feb 21 10am

  1. Design a memory system using what you know about ancient, medieval and renaissance techniques for memory.
  2. Use it to remember (or imagine) something; that is, associate specific things with specific images. (if you are at a loss, you can use the names and details of the students in the class from Assignment #1).
  3. Write 3-4 pages explaining how the memory system works (or doesn't work) and compare it to other systems from the Ancient, Medieval or Renaissance period. Please reference the readings from class where necessary.

You are encouraged (but not required) to work in groups. Make sure all names are included on the final project. The management and division of labor is up to you.

Some tips and things to address in the project:

Consider the medium carefully. Will you use an actual theatre, a representation or some other medium to represent your theatre (you could just as well draw a picture as describe it in words. Consider the relative merits of each.). Using photography, video, graphics, or software are all new challenges. How might these newer technologies relate to memory?

Will you follow strict rules (such as those in the Ad Herrenium) or make new ones? If you change existing rules, or make new ones, make sure you write down your rules.

How will you associate words with images or things with images? How will you make them suitably memorable (what imagines agentes will you use)?

How specific is your system? Is it only for remembering one thing, or can you use it over and over again?

Can you use your system creatively? Can you combine elements to make new things, or is it only for rote memorization?

Christopher M. Kelty
Last modified: Fri Feb 7 14:56:43 CST 2003