Your assignment is to report on TWO “cultural experience” visits you make during this term. You will hand in one during week 4 and the other during week 7. After each visit, write a 500-800 word report about the visit and what you learned.
For your two reports, attend two different experiences in different areas of the humanities that we have studied in class. Possible topics/venues:
- Visual Art: art museum or sculpture garden or significant or notable architectural site Please note: Other museums (history, science, military, etc) are not viable options for this assignment. If using architectural site, be sure to focus on the artform of it, not the history
- Music: music concert/performance, musical or opera
- Theatre: play, musical or opera
- Literature: poetry reading or spoken word performance
- Dance: dance performance or participation in dance class
- Film: Film festival or presentation of a film by an academic author or cinema expert — must be a showing with a discussion by someone involved in the artistic creation/interpretation of the film.
- Religion: religious service, ceremony or ritual for a religion very different from yours, if you practice (for instance, if you are any Christian denomination (Catholic, Baptist, Evangelical, non-denominational etc), you may not go to another Christian denomination’s service)
- If you are unsure about whether an experience fits the parameters of this assignment, check with your instructor for approval beforehand.
- A class in art, music, dance, acting, poetry/fiction writing, etc. may also be a potential option. Watching a rehearsal for a performance may also be viable. Check with your instructor before choosing either of these options.
Restrictions: The experience must be done in person. You may not report on a cultural experience from more than 1 month prior to this class.
Write a report after each cultural experience (one experience for Cultural Experience Report #1 and a different experience for #2). Note, you will need to choose an experience from a different are of the humanities for Report # 2.
Each report should include the following information. Include photos or links that help convey the information. As always, be sure to document all sources you consult in preparing your work.
- Name and location of the museum, site, or performance and date of event. If there is on-line information about the site or performance, be sure to include a link to it within the text of your essay in an appropriate place. Include proof of attendance.
- Type of site or event. For example, is it a portrait museum, a poetry slam, an outdoor Shakespeare festival performance? If you attended a performance, name the performer or the piece. Be specific about what you attended, when, and where. Be sure that the event meets assignments specifications.
- Briefly describe the general setting by talking a bit about the location, the number of people there, the overall environment.
- Describe at least one aspect of the experience (related to the humanities) that you found especially interesting. For example, you might write about a particular work of art, cultural artifact, song, dance section, scene in a play, costumes or lighting, a particular character in a film or play, a particular actor or vocalist, etc. Describe the aspect with detail. Explain what impressed or affected you, and why. Your reaction can be positive or negative, as long as you offer an explanation.
- Identify and use several tools that you have learned about in this class to talk about your visit. For example, if you visit a museum, you might point out how color works in one of the paintings, or if you go to a concert, how pitch works in one of the songs. Make sure you are explicit in identifying the tools you are using and the learning resources your tools come from. Apply them specifically and with depth to the piece to demonstrate your knowledge of the tool and help the reader better understand the piece. Make sure to inform the reader about the tool through a quote or paraphrase from the learning resource. Then, make sure to tell the reader how you interpret some elements of your visit with the tools.
- Reflect on the relevance–if any–of your experience to your everyday life. How did the experience engage your feelings or emotions, if at all? What does this tell you about human culture, or about yourself?
STOP: Before you hand in your assignment, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I provided the name, date and location of the museum, site, or performance event and URL, if available, identified the type of museum, site or event, and provided a general description of the setting?
- Have I identified and explained an especially interesting aspect of the experience, described it in detail, and used examples to illustrate reflections and to explain why this aspect was interesting?
- Have I identified and applied several tools of interpretation from learning resources to two different examples from visit?
- Have I used examples to clearly explain the relevance of my visit to at least one of the following: 1) emotion 2) human culture 3) self-identity 4) cultural identity?
- Have I proofread this assignment for best writing practices as well as grammatical, structural, and spelling errors?
- Have I included proof of attendance?
This assignment is due by the end of the fourth week of class on Sunday by 11:30PM ET.
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