CULTURAL OBJECTS is an anthology of hypertext projects by students in the American Studies Program at The University of Virginia. This particular set of projects was produced for ENAM483: Introduction to American Studies.  In this course, we explored the history of American Studies as both a national, historical obsession and as an academic discipline; we also struggled to create a rough consensus about the kind of American Studies we were going to do ourselves.

In addition, students were asked to acquire the technical skills necessary for delivering research and analysis over the web, not only basic text, image and sound manipulation, but an understanding of the differences between electronic and other media as well as the unique rhetorical challenges that are presented by the new media.

For the final project in the course, students were asked to select a single object from American culture and to design a web project that would explain its origins, development, cultural function, and significance. In effect, they were asked to test out their understanding of what American Studies is by actually doing American Studies.

From the Editor's perspective, the projects in this anthology attest to the energy, intelligence and skill of this group of students; I think you'll agree.

                                Alan B. Howard