FAQ: Cultural Event Paper
So basically what this is is an assignment that constitutes you attending a cultural event of your choosing at some point during the semester and writing me a short description and analysis of the event and your thoughts on it. You can turn it in any time, but it is due no later than the date listed in the syllabus.
Can the event be Virtual?
Absolutely. There are plenty of things happening online, virtual museum tours, lectures, poetry readings, etc. I will make sure to post virtual events that I see coming up to give plenty of notice if I can.
What do I mean by a Cultural Event?
Well, this can be an actual event that we have on campus or one that takes place in the community like a play, a spoken word, a talk or presentation, a concert, a poetry reading, etc. Or, it could be a visit/tour to a museum or historic site. A concert or performance. An art exhibition. A panel discussion on issues relating to themes in this course. There’s tons of stuff out there in the community, in Carrollton, Atlanta, etc. A film showing or a roundtable discussion. If you wonder if something will fit, email me! I’m pretty open. all I ask is that this event or thing you do focuses on one or more of the themes of this course and relates to Africana Studies.
So, let’s say that you attend a poetry reading. Is the poetry written by someone of African descent or does it relate to a theme we are discussing in class? Great! That counts. If it is a poetry reading of the works of say Emily Brontë then I’m going to say no, that doesn’t work. So, there are lots of things that will work, and lots of things that won’t.
Why do you have to get the event approved by me?
Well, like the above Emily Brontë, there are some events that won’t count and I want you to be able to get credit for the paper. Otherwise, you’ll have to do it again. Let’s say that there’s a movie on TV that you watch and write about. That’s not really a cultural event, even if it is focused on a theme of the course. But, let’s say that there is a showing of a film on campus with discussion after or maybe there’s a virtual screening of a film with commentary after. Those do count. They are events, while the other is just something on TV that relates to the themes of the course. The event comes from the cultural commentary and discourse that takes place. The fact that you engage with other people about the thing you’ve chosen. Knowing this ahead of time is important because that way you won’t waste your valuable time writing and submitting an assignment that you won’t get credit for.
Will I provide suggestions for events?
Absolutely. I will post things as I see them, and I am happy to share what comes in my Inbox or what I see on the campus calendar. That said, I am not going to actively look for things, so you will need to look as well. I don’t want to limit you to only the things I know about, but I also want you to look as well. Find something that you are interested in, and the looking is also an important part of the process.
Will I post them as Announcements on the Homepage?
Yep. As I see things of interest to the course, I will absolutely add them to the announcements and in the Upcoming Cultural Events Forum. Again, don’t rely on me. You should also be looking. Also, don’t wait. There is nothing worse than procrastinating on an assignment like this only to realize that nothing is going on. If you see something in the community or have suggestions, please suggest them in the Upcoming Cultural Events Forum.
What should you discuss in your paper?
I want you to tell me about the event, what it is, and where it was. What did you think about it? How do you feel it connected to the themes of the course, and how do you feel it represented them? Analyze the event: what was its purpose and how was it received? I want details. What did you expect from the event and did it deliver? I should feel as if I attended it with you and got what you got out of it, but I also want to know what you got out of it and why an event like this is important. If you have questions about this, let me know.
Any more questions? Please ask. I will also post an announcement about other things coming up like the Book Papers and the Facebook Page. But since the Cultural Event is something that is kind of a moving target, I feel like this one needed to go first.
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