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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston’s Building the World Blog Offers Thousand Dollar Reward for Best Comment



Beginning Feb. 4, 2013, students who plan to graduate in 2014 will be able to compete for $1000 in prize money by responding to the Voices of the Future discussion questions on UMass Boston’s Building the World blog. Comments must be three paragraphs long or shorter, and should be emailed to [email protected].

Kathleen Lusk Brooke and coauthor Frank Davidson published Building the World in 2006. The textbook gathers articles about the world’s most famous engineering projects, along with English translations of the edicts or proclamations that authorized each project, such as the first written agreement for the Eiffel Tower clarifying height requirements and the Document of Authorization allowing for the construction of the Suez Canal in Egypt.

According to Brooke, her book is “the first time ever in one place [that] the wars, treaties, royal edicts and environmental stipulations that authorized these great works are printed in one language and one base.”

In their research for Building the World, Brooke and Davidson compiled extensive materials, mostly articles and photos, which did not make it into the book itself. In 2012, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Winston Langley announced that the materials would be housed in the UMass Boston archives. Zoe Quinn, a graduate certificate student in the archives program at UMass Boston, was assigned to the project.

In the fall of 2012, the University’s archivist, Joanne Riley, suggested that the Building the World archives be posted to a blog in order that the materials might be more accessible to students. Quinn began to write weekly blog entries based on Brooke’s commentary, along with what she described as “a cliff notes version of the book.”

These “cliff notes” posts, which briefly sum up the history and design of numerous structures, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Aqueducts of Rome, contain the Voices of the Future discussion questions.

The Building the World blog can be accessed at http://blogs.umb.edu/buildingtheworld/. The deadline to submit posts is April 19, 2013.