Fall Supper Report


One option for the fieldwork project in HIST 431 is a study experience in regional folklore. The assignment entails attending an event, researching its background, and posting an illustrated report to the Facebook group, Heritage Trails (the grassroots heritage tourism group organized by the NDSU Center for Heritage Renewal).


Purposes of the Assignment


1.      To learn about the cultures of the plains through research, observation, experience, and conversation.

2.      To document a cultural event of the plains, as a contribution to knowledge.

3.      To support the cultural traditions of the plains, and heritage renewal in the region, by contributing to the programs of the NDSU Center for Heritage Renewal.




1.      Choose a fall supper on the northern plains to attend and document. Choose one of which you have personal knowledge, or, find one using this page. Stipulation: the event must take place outside the metropolitan Fargo area.

2.      Conduct research on the cultural history behind the event, using resources in the Institute for Regional Studies, at NDSU Archives. Use this form to report the research. Make your research notes lucid and factual. Stipulation: you must go to NDSU Archives and use sources in the reading room there.

3.      Attend the event, gathering documentation (and telephone follow-ups are OK, too). Use this form to report the fieldwork. Also take at least a dozen photographs. Report your fieldwork with notes that document your experience with the event. Take this seriously. Ask questions that get at the basis, organization, and meaning of the event; take photos that do likewise.

4.      For the next step, you need to join the Facebook group, Heritage Trails. Pick your best photo and post it to Heritage Trails, with a brief paragraph identifying the photo and telling about the event you attended. This is not a comprehensive report. Rather, select some facts or impressions that will be of interest to readers and travelers. Communicate clearly and correctly. Remember that you are not just writing a class assignment for internal consumption. You are writing to the public.

5.      Give Prof. Isern a thumbdrive containing your library research form, your fieldwork form, and your digital photographs (as individual JPGs). He will copy to his own portable drive.


Rubric for Evaluation of Fall Supper Reports

Library & Archival Research

Report provides solid cultural context for the event, and cites sources clearly



Report provides useful descriptions, images, and stories sufficient to depict the event


Posting to Heritage Trails

Image and text that effectively present the event to readers


Photo Album

Visual evidence that effectively documents the event


Points Possible