The essay about art history—–2000 words
Short Paper: Common Ground
In an essay of five or six, double-spaced, and numbered pages, discuss the ways that the architecture and geography of Boston and its surrounding towns and suburbs have historically related to issues of personal and group identities. You should use both the ideas and examples discussed in Common Ground as well as other course readings to date, plus your in-class writing assignments for guidance. Read also the magazine article “Uncommon Ground,” by Andrew Cohen, posted on the course Blackboard site under “Content/Readings.”
The assignment tests your comprehension of Common Ground, J. Anthony Lukas’ book about the Boston school busing crisis, and especially your understanding of the book’s multiple connections to Boston’s architecture and urbanism. Throughout Common Ground Boston’s architecture and geography figure both as symbols of and mechanisms for representing and creating personal, family, class, ethnic, and racial identities. For example, the book ends with the symbolic vignette of Colin Diver rebuilding the white picket fence of his suburban home: “In early June the job was done, the intricate junction of peg and hole sealing off the Divers’ perimeter, rearing its ivory spine against the world” (p. 651). Make sure in your essay to discuss allthree protagonist families, focusing above all on how Lukas employs architecture and urbanism to tell the families’ and Boston’s stories. Use direct quotations and cite page numbers parenthetically (as in the previous sentence).