Course Project Stage 1: Discovering Connections
The purpose of this two-stage project is for you to compare cultural productions in the Humanities from three different cultures using terminology and interpretative processes from a specific humanities field.
You will select one field in the Humanities to focus on and discuss three different examples from this field from three different cultures.
During Stage 1, you will find three examples of work in the Humanities, find connections between them, and identify course resources that can help you talk about them.
During Stage 2, you will write a paper comparing and analyzing your examples using terminology and methods from the course resources.
Instructions for Stage 1
Step 1: Find your examples
Do some research outside of the course materials and find three examples from one of the fields below that have something in common. Your examples should come from three different cultures.
• literary arts
• visual arts
For example, you could choose three paintings, one Chinese, one American, and one from Italy. You could choose three specific dances, one from Latin American culture, one from African American culture and one from Hungarian culture. You could choose three poems about birds, one from a Pacific Islander author, one from an American author and one from a Middle Eastern author. The key is to find unique works and make sure they have something in common.
Step 2: Describe your examples
Describe each of your three examples briefly in 2-4 sentences each. Make sure to include the following information in your descriiption of each:
1. The culture and time period for the example (for example, 20th Century Nigeria, 19th Century African American, Chinese Ming Dynasty, the 1600s)
2. The title of the example, if there is one.
3. The author, artist or creator of the example and the dates this person lived (1920-1980, for example)
4. A citation in MLA format, including an image of the example, either as a link out or as an image in the paper.
Step 3: Discover the connections
In about 3-5 sentences, explain at least one specific element or aspect that you think your three examples have in common. No additional research is needed here. Use your ideas. You can ask yourself, for instance:
• Are they all from the same time period?
• Do they have a common theme like war, motherhood, peace etc.?
• Do they all use the same palette of warm colors?
• Do they all tell a similar story?
• Do they all have the same kind of protagonist?
• Do they all use similar metaphoric imagery?
• Do they all have the same function, as in a ritual?
• Do they all address ethics? or metaphysics? or epistemology?
• Do they all depict the same kind of image, like of nature? of people? Of buildings?
Step 4: Identify course resource(s)
Identify at least one to two resources from the course materials you could use information from to talk about your examples. In about 2-4 sentences, briefly state why you think this resource (s) will be useful. If your examples are from any performing arts (music, dance, theater, drama), please look ahead to weeks 6-7.
At this point, you don’t have to know exactly what you will use from the resource(s), but you should have an idea of what resource(s) will be useful. Again, there is no need to do outside research. Please rely on the materials in the online classroom.
Step 5: Citations
Include citations for your examples and the course resource(s) you identify either in the section where you list them or at the end of your assignment. Please make sure your citations are in MLA format.
Note: Please try to adhere to the sentence suggestions for each section. This is a proposal and should not exceed two pages in 12 point font, double-spaced.
Course Project Stage 2: Making Connections
As we learned in week 5, the purpose of this two-stage project is for you to compare cultural productions in the Humanities from three different cultures using terminology and interpretative processes from a specific humanities field.
In Stage 1 you:
• identified three specific examples in one humanities field from three different cultures
• found at least one aspect these examples have in common
• identified at least one learning resource from the class to help you compare and analyze your examples
Stage 2 builds on the information your gathered in Stage 1 by:
• Explaining the historical and cultural contexts of your examples
• Explaining what your examples have in common and what is different by pointing to specifics in your examples
• Applying the terminology or interpretative methods from the learning resources in your analysis of your examples
For this stage, you will write a 750-1200-word paper (3-5 pages) that offers specific comparisons between your examples and some analysis using terminology and methods from the course materials in the field of your examples. Please try to keep your paper to about 1200 words or less and consult with your instructor for what to do if you think you will exceed this.
Instructions for Stage 2
Write a 750-1000 page paper that includes the following:
1. An introductory paragraph that identifies the Humanities field you chose your examples from and explains why this field was of interest to you. Try to avoid telling the reader what you intend to do in your paper and see if you can preview your conclusion.
2. Descriiptions of each of your examples that include the following information, as appropriate.
3. The example’s title and its author, creator, or artist’s full name.
4. Some historical and cultural contexts for the example. This might include information about its creator, historical events from the time, and/or some contextual information about the culture.
5. An explanation of what your three examples have in common and how they are different based on a detailed analysis of the examples to show how you came to this conclusion. In your analysis, you should:
1. Use at least one of the resources in the classroom that is directly related to the Humanities field your paper focuses on. For instance, if you are comparing three poems, ensure that your resource(s) from the classroom is about analyzing literature.
2. Rely on at least two of the terms or interpretative methods from the classroom resource(s) in your analysis of the examples. For example, if you are looking at three poems, you could use metaphor and rhyme scheme.
3. Underline or bold the terms or methods of interpretation from the class you use in your paper.
4. Explain the terms or methods before or as you use them.
5. Provide specifics from your examples that you are analyzing using the terms or methods. For instance, if you are looking at three poems, you should quote the lines you analyze (not the whole poem). If you are looking at three paintings, you should describe what you are analyzing, or you could even use images overlaid with arrows to help illustrate your points.
6. A concluding paragraph that offers some summative concluding remarks about what you learned about all three of the cultures your examples were from through comparing and contrasting your three examples. Did you learn that all three of these cultures express similar sentiments about parenting, for example? Did you learn that the attitude towards colonization was different in Spain, Africa and South America? Think about how your examples informed you about the similarities and the differences between humans from the cultures you covered.
Note: Please be sure to look over your paper at least once or twice before handing it in to edit and try to catch any writing issues.