You will write two cultural experience reports this session. You will hand in one during week 4 and the other during week 7. After each cultural experience, write a 500-800 word report about the visit and what you learned. The best papers are evocative of the experience–they describe the place and what it felt like to be there–and include overt references to ideas from the Humn 100 classroom and learning resources, which link the experience to what we are doing in Humn 100.
Instructions For each report, attend one venue from the below list. Attend a different type of venue for your 1st and 2nd report.
- art museum or sculpture garden
- significant or notable architectural site (if there is explanatory material there to help you understand it)
- music concert
- theater play
- poetry reading or spoken word performance
- dance performance
- religious service, ceremony or ritual for a religion very different from yours, if you practice (for instance, if you are Christian, you may not go to another Christian denomination’s service)
- a traditional or culturally specific dining experience
- other displays or performances may be acceptable. Check with your instructor for approval beforehand.
Restrictions: The experience should be done in person. If this is impossible, contact the instructor to arrange for alternatives. “Impossible” is usually limited to deployed military who are unable to leave base for safety reasons. In this case, your professor has suggestions for topics available on base. You may not report on a cultural experience from prior to this class.
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 event. If there is on-line information about the site or performance, include a link.
- Type of museum, 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.
- Briefly describe the general setting.
- Describe at least one aspect of the experience 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 actor or vocalist, etc. Explain what impressed you, and why. Your reaction can be positive or negative, as long as you offer an explanation.
- Identify and use at at least two 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 rhythm 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. 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.
- Be sure to cite the learning resources you have used in MLA format. Please see http://sites.umuc.edu/library/libhow/mla_examples.cfm
- Reflect on the relevance–if any–of your experience to your everyday life and/or to this class. How did the experience engage your feelings or emotions, if at all? What does this tell you about human culture, or about yourself? Tie your experience to points from a class discussion.
STOP: Before you hand in your assignment, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I provided the name 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 and used examples to illustrate reflections and to explain why this aspect was interesting?
- Have I identified and applied two 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 provided a list of resources and do all of my citations conform to MLA 8th edition or APA guidelines?
- Have I proofread this assignment for grammatical, structural, and spelling errors?