Some Research Ideas

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I am considering two ideas for my paper.  First, I considered focusing on the Bible for my final paper.  I decided to do this because it is one text that has been a major part of Western culture throughout all of the communication stages we have discussed, and it seems that it will continue to be so.  So far, this is a very broad topic, but I can see myself going in several directions.


For instance, there is a group called the Jesus Seminar that looks at Jesus as a social reformer and the early church as people who were working towards this specific cause, creating their own renditions of Jesus’ sayings and so on.  Of course, there are many who disagree with this.  However, such sources would allow me to look at the ways that communications are altered each time a new form of communication develops.  This specific source would help with the transition from oral to manuscript. 


I could also see myself focusing on how the needs of the culture influence communication in conjunction with the Bible, how culture develops communication, not the other way around. 


Also, while taking a course about Islam, I was introduced to the fact that Muslims do not use any pictures of Allah ever, but instead focus on poetry and the words.  They often use calligrams, or words that form pictures, to write Allah in the form of animals or other things.  I think this would be really interesting to explore too.  Things like this bring up the questions, What is a text?, What is communication?, What is art and what is communication?, and I think that these would be interesting questions to pursue too.  I could even keep the religious focus, or not for this one.  


Research Questions:


Idea 1:  How can I further limit this topic?  Should I focus on one part of the Bible? Should I focus on one culture, or touch on all four (or five)?  If I focus on the future, what will I suggest about future communication based on cultural change or what sorts of changes will the Bible undergo in the future?  What does current research say about this, if there is any?


Idea 2: What types of calligrams existed, if any, when print was first created?  What types of calligrams are used now?  Why are they used?  Is there any evidence of people describing them as art or as text/communication?  Is art a form of communication that we have somewhat neglected in our study of the English ideas concerning communication?  Is there current research about calligrams or about art as a text?  


Check out what my classmates are considering as research topics.

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