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Arts & Science Program

First-year Arts & Science Capstone Project: Kate Linardic

Kate LinardicKate Linardic

Winter 2024 Capstone Project Title: A Return to COMMONity

Project Description: “The commons” is the term used to refer to resources that a community managed collectively; they require cooperation, trust, and unity in order to be sustained. I explore the role these commons play in building and sustaining community relations, and how the presence of commons can benefit societies experiencing the crisis of isolation.

The 1C06 Capstone experience: I chose to pursue commons as a topic after listening to writer Astra Taylor’s 2023 Massey Lectures. In her lectures, she expands upon historic commons and how the lack of common resources in modern societies can lead to both financial insecurity and social insecurity. This led me to be interested in how commons impact the communities they exist within, and whether it is feasible to return commons to modern societies as a way of “mending” or strengthening community bonds. Throughout the process of writing my capstone, I had to consider different perspectives on commons, from the popular idea that commons are “doomed” resources that cannot be sustained due to human greed, to more positive outlooks and research suggesting the opposite. Balancing these opposing views allowed me to create a holistic and practical understanding of commons as they can and do exist across the world.

Key Takeaways: Much of what I’ve learned while working on my capstone does not just relate to my topic. Working on this big project over the semester taught me how to keep ideas in my mind, and flesh them out before getting to the writing process. During the research stage you compile a lot of information that may not necessarily fit together at first. However, when you give yourself time to make connections, you can formulate your argument before having to put words on a page. Being in Artsci also taught me that the best way to understand your own thoughts is sharing them with others. Being able to articulate what I was working on to my peers through the capstone poster helped me collect my arguments and figure out how to best present them in the final essay.

Click here to read interviews with the other first year Arts & Science students.