Familiar To Strange ProjectThe last question of the Strange to Familiar project

Familiar To Strange ProjectThe last question of the Strange to Familiar project was, “How will this experience help you see something from your everyday, familiar life in a different way?” That last question is where this next project begins. Now that you have had a “strange” experience, hopefully it got you thinking about how your own life, even the most mundane aspect of it, is actually quite strange if you look at it from outside its cultural context. Remember, the whole point of this course is to get you to begin to consider the possibility that EVERYTHING that you do and every material thing around you, even things that you consider to be “natural,” are fabrications built by the cultures you inhabit. This project will require you to step outside your culture (impossible, but try) and see a mundane object as a crystallization of your culture. Choose an object and figure out how it is a physical manifestation of something that is important to “your culture” (or one of the many cultures of which you form a part).Anthropology is the science of writing the strange into the familiar and the art of seeing the familiar as strange. For example, watch this 4-minute mini-lecture:Play media comment.(here is the transcript download) Making the familiar shape of the U.S. map seem strange is a challenge because the “Western” cultural constructs of white supremacy and manifest destiny have naturalized that shape in our minds. I hope I succeeded in helping you see the familiar U.S. map as strange.Now it’s your turn. I want you to find something extremely familiar to you and deconstruct it until it is strange. The Nacirema article downloaddoes this with many objects. You only have to do it with one. I want you to see the item you choose as something else, not from another point of view, but AS SOMETHING ELSE. For example, people in Avila, Ecuador realize that things are different to jaguars than they are to humans. To a human, blood is a warning sign. To a jaguar, blood is liquor. Find an object that you rarely give a second thought—an object that is normal to you—and see what else it is. Familiar to Strange Brainstorm:Due Sunday, August 29.As a baby-step toward this abstract piece of creative writing that you will be doing as the final paper (which counts as your final exam), create a structured brainstorm.Turn in a list of 10 objects that are very common in your universe—like the Nike Air Jordan sneaker, a bottle of your favorite nail polish, your mother’s jade-inlayed chop sticks, or a shaker of Tajin. Choose one of these objects and write about it non-stop for 2 minutes. Stop writing at exactly two minutes and listen to your intuition or la facultad. As you listen, think about the following questions (don’t write the answers).Does this object mean something more to your culture than meets your eye? (an eye that is encumbered by that culture)
In writing about the object for 2 minutes, did it start to become rarified or strange?
Did you start to see that it might play an important role in the sociality of your universe?
Did you start to see that your ________ (fill in the blank with something like, “shaker of Tajin”) might play a more important role in your culture than simply _________ (fill in the blank with the face-value use of the object. In the case of Tajin, “seasoning your mango”)?
Do you think this object is, in some way, a microcosm of some aspect of your culture?
Keep repeating the 2-minute quick-write activity with different objects until you find an object for which you can answer YES to at least 4 of those questions. Then, declare what that object is and write 100 words about why you chose it. This is the object around which your final paper will revolve. Now, you might be thinking: “Wait, I thought anthropology was the study of humans. Here he wants us to write about objects?” Yes. Yes I do. Because in writing about an object you will realize that the object is a cultural construct. Where there is culture, there are humans. By making you write about an object, I am making you write more about humans than if I made you write about humans.To recap: for this brainstorm assignment, you will turn in your brainstormed list of 10 objects, as many 2-minute quick-writes as you needed to do (at least 1), and the 100-word explanation of which object you chose and why.The rest of this is not due yet, it is your final project, but I include it now so that you can be thinking about it:Familiar to Strange Final Paper:Due Thursday, September 9Your final paper for this course will destabilize something that you saw as normal before this course opened your eyes to cultural construction and naturalization. The title of your paper should be like this: ________ is _______ Fill in the first blank with the object that you chose from your brainstorm, or a new object. You are not required to stick to the object that you put on your brainstorm. Fill in the second blank with something else this object could be in its cultural context if viewed from outside that context.Examples of titles: The U.S. Map is The Apocalypse. The Nike Air Jordan Sneaker is Holy Writ. Turquois Gel Nail Polish is Wage Theft. My Mother’s Set of Jade-Inlayed Chop-sticks is Mitochondrial DNA. Tajin is Fatherhood. Bean Pie is American Islam (if you want to know what I mean by that last one, check outthis great video (Links to an external site.))Turn in a 1,000-word paper demystifying your title. How does your title make sense? How in the world could nail polish be wage theft? How is ______, _______? Your title is your argument. Your paper should provide the evidence to convince me of your argument. Mixed in with this evidence you should include at least 4 direct references to course materials, readings, lectures, etc. References to course materials do not have to be cited in any specific way. For example, you could write, “as Jason talked about on the week 2 lecture video…” or “in the Lissa ethnography…”. However if you include ideas in your writing that are either not from the course material, not common knowledge, not the ideas of people you personally talked to, or not your own ideas, you must cite the source of those ideas correctly using the American Anthropological Association’s guide to the Chicago citation style found here (Links to an external site.). Other than the rubric (see below), there is really no more guidance I can give about this final paper. It is very open-ended and largely depends on your expertise of your own cultural universe. You are the expert on how your object works in your life and the lives of those with whom you share that aspect of culture. You are the expert on what it is. Trust yourself. Write. (and if you want to think of a way other than writing to show me that you can complete the objective of this assignment, let me know what you are thinking and I might approve it, for example, I approved this downloadin the past for the title: “A Potato is Frugality”).Rubric for Familiar to Strange Final Paper:for scores below 5, circle 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 and provide justification5-67-89-10Format0 1 2 3 4Significantly varies from the following format: Includes a title in the form of ____ is ____. Includes a 1,000 word explanation of how that title makes sense. Correctly cites any non-course sources.Slightly varies from the following format: Includes a title in the form of ____ is ____. Includes a 1,000 word explanation of how that title makes sense. Correctly cites any non-course sources.Conforms precisely to the following format: Includes a title in the form of ____ is ____. Includes a 1,000 word explanation of how that title makes sense. Correctly cites any non-course sources.Evidence0 1 2 3 4Lacks sufficient evidence as to why _____ is _____.Contains adequate evidence as to why ____ is _____.Employs convincing evidence to support why ____ is____.Connection0 1 2 3 4Inadequately connects the evidence to the argument that ____ is _____.Adequately connects the evidence to the argument that ____ is _____.Clearly connects the evidence to the argument that ____ is _____.Course References0 1 2 3 4Includes significantly less than 4 direct references to course materials.Includes slightly less than 4 direct references to course materials.Includes at least 4 direct references to course materials.Creativity0 1 2 3 4Demonstrates a less-than-unique combination of learning from the course and your own cultural expertise.Demonstrates moments of uniqueness in combining learning from the course with your own cultural expertise.Demonstrates a thoroughly unique combination of learning from the course and your own cultural expertise.Anthropological Sightedness0 1 2 3 4Demonstrates an inadequate understanding of how the familiar can be strange.Demonstrates an adequate understanding of how the familiar can be strange.Demonstrates a deep understanding of how the familiar can be strange.Total /60RubricFamiliar to Strange BrainstormFamiliar to Strange BrainstormCriteriaRatingsPtsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFormat5 pts5Conforms exactly to the following format: Includes as many 2-minute quick-writes as you needed to do (at least 1), and the 100 word explanation of which object you chose and why.4 pts4Varies slightly from the following format: Includes as many 2-minute quick-writes as you needed to do (at least 1), and the 100 word explanation of which object you chose and why.3 pts3Significantly varies from the following format: Includes as many 2-minute quick-writes as you needed to do (at least 1), and the 100 word explanation of which object you chose and why.2 pts2see comments1 pts1see comments0 pts0see comments5 ptsThis criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome10 Objects5 pts5Has 10 objects listed4 pts4Has slightly less than 10 objects listed.3 pts3Has significantly less than 10 objects listed.2 pts2has only 2 objects listed1 pts1has only one object listed0 pts0has no objects listed5 ptsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeQuick-write5 pts5The quick-write(s) demonstrate(s) both concentration on the object being described and include(s) an amount of words commensurate to 2 minutes of non-stop typing (each).4 pts4The quick-write(s) either demonstrate(s) no concentration on the object being described or do(es) not include an amount of words commensurate to 2 minutes of non-stop typing (each).3 pts3The quick-write(s) demonstrate(s) no concentration on the object being described and do(es) not include an amount of words commensurate to 2 minutes of non-stop typing (each).2 pts2see comments1 pts1see comments0 pts0see comments5 ptsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeChoice5 pts5Expertly explains why you chose your object.4 pts4Adequately explains why you chose your object.3 pts3Inadequately explains why you chose your object.2 pts2See comments1 pts1See comments0 ptsNo Marks5 ptsTotal Points: 20PreviousNext
Requirements: 300

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