Object writing project, page one: Norwich University emagazine

Writing from relics:

Sullivan Museum artifacts provoke
poignant reactions from students

photos by Jay Ericson

As a first-year student, Kelli Aja didn’t expect an English professor to have her take the subject of the next writing assignment out of a small box. Especially when the object turned out to be a band worn by a Nazi captain from the German Army during World War II.

Aja, now a senior at Norwich University, said the assignment—writing about the war keepsake—was odd but memorable. At the time, it was also more than a little disturbing. The band was not a facsimile: It was the real thing and she was encouraged to handle and ruminate over it.

“I was disgusted,” she wrote in her October 2006 essay. “All I thought of was, ‘I can’t believe I just touched that.’ It is really kind of haunting to think about.” continue

A WWII German Army infantry assault badge used by Professor Karen Stewart in a writing assignment.