Artist's Workshop: Draw your own pictographic representation of an event that has been important in your life, using the codices featured in the archive for inspiration. How will you organize the information you wish to present? How will you indicate the chronology of events? The principal characters?
Journal: Imagine that you are present in the West Indies, Virginia, or Canada when Europeans first land in the area and come into contact with the Native Americans who live there. Write your own account of the contact experience from the perspective of either a European colonizer or an Indian.
Poet's Corner: Drawing on Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera for inspiration, compose a personal narrative in which you switch between poetry and prose. How does the use of both genres affect your narrative? What difficulties did you encounter in trying to write both poetry and prose in the same text?
Doing History: Using a dictionary of Aztec pictographic and phonetic symbols or Donald Robertson's Mexican Manuscript Painting of the Early Colonial Period, interpret one of the pieces of pictorial writing in the archive. How does this form of storytelling differ from that Western historiography?
Multimedia Project: Imagine that you have been asked to make a presentation on the role of women in borderlands and contact zones. What archetypes of femininity structure representations of women? How are women redefining their roles in borderlands? Using the American Passages archive and slide-show software, create a multimedia presentation in which you explore the opportunities and limitations women have faced when cultures come into contact and conflict.
This tool builds multimedia presentations for classrooms or assignments.
An online collection of 3000 artifacts for classroom use.