Stories, products, consumers, people | MIT Center for Civic Media

Stories, products, consumers, people

My final project for Intro to Civic Media is the website Marketplace stories of origin, for collecting, interpreting and re-writing stories of origin on product packages, and a paper that contextualizes this project and describes its motives and hopeful outcomes. The website is fully functional but requires some manual tinkering when submissions come in--thanks to various offers of assistance, it should become more efficient on the backend this spring. The paper, Stories, products, consumers, people, compares marketing texts and folklore traditions, describes the corporate sales strategies known as "heritage branding" and "vicarious nostalgia", offers a brief history of U.S. packaging and labeling regulations, and considers the motives for and effects of great collecting and categorizing efforts from the past, especially Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson's tale type index for classifying and locating folk tales according to plot devices, motifs, and geographic distribution.