Project 4: On CultureLengths: 4 pages [Autoethnography]; 1-2 pages [Memo] (Both: 1 margins, 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced)Formats: Autoethnography; MemoSources: 3 cultural texts [Autoethnography];…

Project 4: On CultureLengths: 4 pages [Autoethnography]; 1-2 pages [Memo] (Both: 1 margins, 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced)Formats: Autoethnography; MemoSources: 3 cultural texts [Autoethnography]; 3 course texts [Memo]
Autoethnography (4 pages)In some ways, the slipperiest of the key words in Mary Louise Pratts essay Arts of the Contact Zone is culture. At one point, Pratt says,
If one thinks of cultures, or literatures, as discrete, coherently structured, monolingual edifices, Guaman Pomas text, and indeed any autoethnographic work, appears anomalous or chaotic as it apparently did to the European scholars Pietschmann spoke to in 1912. If one does not think of cultures this way, then Guaman Pomas text is simply heterogeneous, as the Andean region was itself and remains today. Such a text is heterogeneous on the reception end as well as the production end: it will read very differently to people in different positions in the contact zone. (36-37)
If one thinks of cultures as coherently structured, monolingual edifices, the text appears one way; if one thinks otherwise, the text is simply heterogeneous. What might it mean to make this shift in the way one thinks of culture? Can you do itabout one of your own cultures and its key texts? Can you think of a group that you participate in as part of a community? Where and how does it represent itself to others? Where and how does it do this in writing or non-written “texts”? What are its literate arts? How would you want to alter how others see and understand your culture or community?
The assignments in this course have been an exercise in reading texts as heterogeneous, as contact zones. As a way of reflecting on your work this semester, you will write a final autoethnography. To do this, choose a culture in which you participate and examine it closely, using our authors as guides and/or guideposts for how you can reflect that culture more accurately to those outsideand, importantly, aboveit. To do so well, you will need to cite materials that represent that community. You are therefore required to use at least three sources that represent that community, and you are encouraged to think creatively about what those sources might be.
The Autoethnography is the main part of your work for this final projectit will be 4 (full) pages in length, make use of your 3 selected sources, and will work to reimagine your community in relationship to one or more groups that hold at least a bit more power in relation to your community. Your audience should include both those in that dominant group (or those groups) and those in your community as well.
Note: You do not need to use any of our key terms this semester in this Autoethnography, though you maywith necessary definitions/citationsif you find that useful.
Memo (1-2 pages)You will also write a brief Memo to the class in which you identify a number of key items related to your Autoethnography:
The contact zone in which your community participatesThe audiences for your autoethnographyHow you attempted to redefine your communityYour 3 community textsComparisons to at least 3 of our 4 course texts in terms of your use of autoethnography (and, if appropriate, transculturation): Mary Louise PrattPreview the document, Gloria AnzaldaPreview the document, June JordanPreview the document, and Edward SaidPreview the documentHow is your work similar to and different from theirs? How does your autoethnography respond to their texts and/or ideas?This memo’s audience is our class. Because of that, you do not need to define any terms here, since your work is to explore how your autoethnography compares to and contrasts with the ideas and authors we have explored all semester.
Overall Notes
You should submit one final document that contains both texts. Please put the Memo at the end, starting on a new page after your Autoethnography finishes.You should feel free to play with format for the autoethnography. The goal, as always, is for a readable text. (Paragraphs seem like a good idea, generally.) But the overall format that you take is up to you. Play with genre if/as you like.If you use one or more images as a community text, great! But: they don’t count toward the page minimum and you need to be sure to offer clear credit to the images’ creator(s). (And, of course, make sure they make sense within your Autoethnography.)Speaking of offering credit: Your Autoethnography’s texts don’t need MLA-style citations and references. But it should identify them and make them easily found…if someone wants to find them. Hyperlinks and/or footnotes may be your friend here, but there are other engaging ways to do this work, too.At least 2 of your community’s texts need to represent that community. In other words, they need to be written from within the perspective of your community itself. If you find it useful to engage with a text about your community (i.e., something written about your community in an article and/or by the dominant culture(s)), that can count as 1 of your 3 community texts.


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