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.
Your instructor may modify this assignment.
For your two reports, attend two different venues from this list.
- 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
- Film festival or presentation of a film by an academic author or cinema expert
- 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)
- 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. You may not report on a cultural experience from prior to this class.
Write a report after each cultural experience (Cultural Experience Report #1 and #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 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.
- 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 by talking a bit about the location, the number of people there, the general overall “vibe” of the place.
- 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 character in a film or play, a particular actor or vocalist, etc. 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 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. 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 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 guidelines?
- Have I proofread this assignment for grammatical, structural, and spelling errors?