"The popular concept of tolerance in America is based upon its image as a melting pot, where everyone blends together to form an indistinguishable mixture. The real measure of tolerance is how well we deal with difference."
-Richland and Deer, 2004
The purpose of this class is to investigate expressive culture (both written and visual) whose primary aims are to challenge/provide a fresh perspective on cultural assumptions. In particular, the goal of the class is to understand where stereotypes come from and what purpose they serve, the role of binaries in forming these stereotypes, and the possibilities for a Third Space. Rather than presenting a singular truth, the class will seek to engage lived experience and compel students to think critically about the world around them. By contextualizing these expressive culture within wider anthropological debates, the class will encourage students to explore the various factors shaping their world today including cultural representation, science and technology, disability, race, settler colonialism, gender, politics and consumption.
Rather than seeing this engagement of lived experience as narrowly limited to the ethnographic/documentary genres, this class will consider a wide range of examples, including novels, science fiction, Hollywood, world, and experimental works. Students will be asked to critically assess the claims made by writers and film–makers and work toward a better understanding of how the real in social life can be understood and represented. In addition to the weekly readings, students will be required to post weekly on the course's sakai page, take two exams, and create their own visual or written response to current cultural assumptions.
Upon completion of this course, students should be able to: 1) critically explore issues of cultural anthropological concerns including disability, science and technology, modernity, race, settler colonialism, gender, class, and politics; 2) use their critical reading/viewing skills to investigate how lived experience through expressive culture; 3) use strategies learned in class to create their own expressive cultural response.
The following books can be purchased at University bookstores
Participation (200 points)
Participation in the recitation sections are a major component of this class. If you do not attend recitation or cannot talk articulately about class lectures, film screenings, and the assigned reading, your participation grade will suffer. The highest grade you can receive without articulate participation in your section is a C. Recitation sections will begin the second week of the semester, with discussions focused around the previous week's class material. No personal technology (including laptops) will be allowed in the recitation sections. For excused absences, the TA must be notified ahead of time. You are only allowed one unexcused absence before your participation grade will suffer.
The participation grade will be broken into two parts and graded based on your performance during the two halves of the semester. For each unexcused absence (over the one allowed for the semester) students will be deducted 20 points. For each day students are there, but do not talk in class they will be deducted 10 points. Please check your midterm and final grades on Sakai, consulting your TA asap if you notice a discrepancy.
For each week, starting the second week, students are required to write two short answer/discussion questions on the in-class lecture, film(s), presentations, and reading assignments due that past week. All questions must be posted to the appropriate place (Assignments / Questions Posting) on the course's sakai page by Saturday at 11:59pm. These questions will not be accepted late and are intended to test students one their ability to meet a deadline. Because of the number of questions required for the class, missing up to one weeks' question postings will not hurt your grade. Students can earn up to 20 extra credit points by completing all 11 posts.
The first question of each posting should engage the lecture from the week, connecting a concept from the lecture to at least two pieces of expressive culture from that week. For the student presentations weeks at the end of the semester tie the first question to any lecture from the semester.
The second question should focus on the reading from the week. This question should only be answerable to someone who has read the expressive culture.
You do not need to answer the questions. The goal of these questions is to show your engagement with that material on both "theme" and "detail" levels. Some weeks the questions will be graded for completion (0 or 10 points per question) and others weeks they will be graded more rigorously. These weeks' questions will each be graded on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being 'exceptional', 8 being 'adequate', and 6 being 'needs improvement.' Comments and grades will be posted on Sakai.
Utilizing some of the strategies presented within the readings/films from class, students will create a short critical expression response. The goal of this assignment is to create your own expressive culture that interrogates where stereotypes come from and what purpose they serve. Students are encouraged to engage one of the class themes including: disability, science and technology, modernity, race, settler colonialism, gender, class, and politics; but other themes can be approved through the professor. To succeed in this project you will need to not just represent stereotypes, but show how they are challenged or connected to larger forces at work. The most successful project will utilize strategies from the expressive culture viewed in class.
Students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to work in groups of up to four students. Time in discussion sections will be devoted to forming groups, but you are also allowed to work with students from other sections. A discussion board will also be made available through the course's sakai page for posting your project ideas and seeking group members.
Students should choose the format of their response based on their previous experience and what they are trying to communicate. Whether working alone or in a group Ethnographic/fictional writing responses should be between 5-7 double spaced pages long; poem/spoken word should be between 3-4 double spaced pages long; video projects should be 2-5 minutes long; audio composition should be between 4-5 minutes long; drawing/design projects should contain 1-5 images depending on size and detail; and photography projects should contain at least 10 sequenced images/combined images. All material must be created specifically by your group members during the semester and be used only for this class.
Each project must include at least three interviews, using the interview strategies discussed in class. These interviews can be used for background or can be directly incorporated into the project. All interviews require gaining written informed consent and projects must follow the ethical code laid out by the American Anthropological Association. Please use the template to create your informed consent. The informed consents for the 3 interviews must be scanned and uploaded along with the final project. If you work with a group you must also turn in a separate word document that outlines how the work was divided among group members. You will automatically lose 25 points if you do not include the informed consent for your three interviews or your one page or shorter outline of tasks.
In this research-exposure course, you will be working with a Graduate Research Consultant, Dragana Lassiter, who will assist you in the research project. The GRC Program is sponsored by the Office for Undergraduate Research, and you may be able to use this research-exposure course to meet a requirement of the Carolina Research Scholars Program. I encourage you to visit the OUR website to learn about how you might engage in research, scholarship and creative performance while you are at Carolina.
Each group member is required to spend 30 minutes talking with the GRC about their project before you present it. Each student will automatically lose 25 points on the project if they do not meet with the GRC. Please sign up to meet with the GRC on the course's sakai wiki page by 10/25/12 and if you need to change the date after that time, contact the GRC. The GRC Program is sponsored by the Office for Undergraduate Research. I encourage you to visit this web site to see other ways that you might engage in research, scholarship and creative performance while you are at Carolina.
By 10/25/12 students are also required to sign-up on the course's sakai wiki page to present their expressive culture project or 25 points will be deducted from their project. Class presentations will take place 11/13/12 through 12/4/12. Presentations will be limited to 5 minutes and will involve reading a section of or displaying your visual work for the entire class. Students are required to post these projects on the course's sakai page as a .ppt, .tif, .jpg, .pdf, .mov, or .mp3 file before their class presentation, along a digital copy of your interview informed consent sheets, and a brief document describing how work was divided among group members. Files larger than 200MB will need to be compressed or broken into multiple parts. Unless students get permission through the IRB they are not allowed to show these project publicly, and can only be placed on the internet on password protected sites, such as sakai. Each group should bring any technology necessary, including their own computer (and VGA adapter for Macs) to ensure quick display.
The grade for this project will be divided into three different areas including: following the format guidelines (50 points), the content's critical engagement (50 points), and its expressive qualities (50 points). Students must also meet with the research associate (25 points) and upload the supporting material to the web page (25 points).
Around the UNC campus there are several places to access equipment. The Beasley Multimedia Resource Center and The Media Resources Center both have still and video cameras available as well as computers with video and web page design software. You are strongly encouraged to reserve the equipment from the MRC well ahead of time, but the Beasley center is on a first come first serve basis, so get there early. While the Beasley center is only open to students enrolled in classes registered with the center, such as ours, the Media Resource Center is open to all students, faculty and staff. During the semester the Beasley center will provide various training sessions including in Final Cut Pro for video editing and various software for web page design. The MRC also offers online tutorials and one-on-one media lab classes in a wide range of visual media programs to fit your schedule. You are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these training opportunities. The Beasley center also has trained staff on hand during operating hours to answer additional questions.
Of course, students are also welcome to edit/design their projects at home with their own or free editing software.
Technology problems are very common, so please do not wait until the last minute to attempt this assignment. Problems with technology will not be accepted as an excuse for late projects.
To edit video students will need:
Based on the lectures, films, and readings from the first half of the semester, students will complete a short-answer in-class exam. Prior to the exam, students will be given a list of possible questions, from which five will be selected for the exam. Each question will be worth 40 points and should be answered in 250 words (8-10 sentences). One source for these questions will be students' postings. Students must bring their own blank Blue Book to the exam.
Based on the lectures, films, and readings from the second half of the semester, students will complete a short-answer in-class final exam. Prior to the exam, students will be given a list of possible questions, from which five will be selected for the exam. Each question will be worth 40 points and should be answered in 250 words (8-10 sentences). One source for these questions will be students' postings. Students must bring their own blank Blue Book to the exam.
Around the University there are various expressive culture events that can be attended for extra credit. Approved events will added to the course's sakai assignments page at least one week before they occur. You can petition via email to have additional event added. Only those events that can easily be related to class lectures will be added as potential extra credit options.
To receive extra credit, students are required to attend the event and post a one double-spaced page discussion of the event, connecting it to at least one class lecture (not just general theme) and two pieces of expressive culture from the class. Students can earn up to 20 points for each event listed on the syllabus. The extra credit reports are due on the appropriate sakia assignment page prior to the final exam date.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has had a student-administered honor system and judicial system for over 100 years. The system is the responsibility of students and is regulated and governed by them, but faculty share the responsibility. If you have questions about your responsibility under the honor code, please bring them to your instructor or consult with the office of the Dean of Students or the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance at:http://honor.unc.edu. This document, adopted by the Chancellor, the Faculty Council, and the Student Congress, contains all policies and procedures pertaining to the student honor system. Your full participation and observance of the honor code is expected.
Plagiarism is the deliberate or reckless representation of another's words, thoughts, images or ideas as one's own without attribution in connection with submission of academic work, whether graded or otherwise. Students seeking more information are encouraged to take the online plagiarism tutorial. Plagiarism will not be tolerated in this class and will result in a failing grade for the class and suspension for one academic semester. Materials for class assignments should be produced specifically for this class unless prior approval from the professor is granted.
AccommodationsStudents requesting classroom accommodation must first register with Disability Services, Division of Student Affairs. They will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to me when requesting accommodation.
No personal technology (including laptops) will be allowed in the recitation sections. During lecture, personal technology is allowed, so long as it is being used to take notes. The TAs will be walking around the room and will revoke everyone's privilege if they find people regularly misusing it.
Week 1 - Introduction to Expressive Cultures
Weeks 2 - Ability/Disability
Weeks 3 - Modern/Primitive
Weeks 4 - Objective/Subjective
Weeks 5 - White/Color
Week 6 - Midterm
Weeks 7 - Civilized/Savage
Weeks 8 - Male/Female
Week 9 - Critical Expression Projects
Weeks 10 - Straight/Queer
Week 11 - Rich/Poor
Week 13 - Presentations I
Week 14 - Thanksgiving Break No Class
Week 15 - Presentations II
Week 16 - Presentations III
Final Exam (Bring Bluebook)