Browse Student Communities and Culture by Series/Report

    Series/Report
    In this course we explore important issues in the study of Contemporary Korean Society and ask how those themes can help us to better understand processes of globalization in East Asia and beyond. Although the Koreas are relatively small countries in Asia, as Michael Robinson writes, “They have played a disproportionately important role in the last hundred years of world history” (2007:1). Their history of colonialism, the Korean War, coming of age in the Cold War, and struggling to rise to the top of the global stage makes them a productive region of the world for thinking about themes such as globalization, nationalism, belonging and modernity. In the first half of the course we look at Korea’s global roots and see how North and South Korea have diverged in their struggle to modernize. In the second half of the course we focus on South Korea’s efforts to define its national identity, and in doing so, have caused many exceptional cases to emerge. We look at issues such as the Korean diaspora, immigration, plastic surgery, and how even as the desire for an English-language education forces South Koreans to travel abroad, the ‘Korean Wave’ of film, TV and music is hitting the shores of most countries in Asia (and worldwide) and has made Korea an enviable producer of global cultural products. We pair ethnographies, historical texts and anthropological articles focused on Korea with key texts in the anthropology of globalization. Additionally we use both documentary and feature film to analyze class themes. [2]
    In this Rhetoric 105 class students were expected to: 1. develop skills as readers and writers by reading and writing sophisticated prose, including ethnographic papers/books/articles and research papers/journals/books/articles; 2. experience writing as a process of revision and collaboration, where longer, more complex pieces grow out of earlier work—ideas, collaboration, field notes, summaries, abstracts, data tables, charts, and graphs; 3. reflect and analyze conventional and personal reading and writing processes as readers and writers while reading, writing about, and discussing the texts of the course: published work, peers’ work, as well as personal work; 4. become more practiced at using writing as a means of investigation, writing as an early strategy for discovering and for answering questions, thus challenging the commonplace belief that all writing is designed to prove something once and for all; 5. identify and connect the intellectual and philosophical insights that arise when reading and writing personal and ethnographic essays, to the contexts of our day to day lives; 6. accomplish 1-5 above within a course context dedicated to investigating Race and Ethnicity here at UIUC and elsewhere through theorizing and practicing the art of writing and critiquing personal, ethnographic, academic papers, and various forms of data presentation. [13]
    Instructor's overview of KIN 199, "Sport, Play & Ethnography," Fall 2008 There were 17 freshmen in the Discovery/EUI course; all but two students were undeclared majors. I had two main objectives for the semester: First, I wanted to introduce students to cultural ethnographic method/theory and criticism related to the study of contemporary sport and play; in the course we were free and broad with definitions of both sport and play. To accomplish this first objective, we studied older “classic” works (such as Clifford Geertz, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight,” and the film, Trobriand Cricket: An Ingenious Response to Colonialism); recent significant projects in the area of study (such as Kyle Kusz, Revolt of the White Athlete: Race, Media and the Emergence of Extreme Athletes in America [2007] and the film, Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying and Battering [2003]); and method and theory ( such as David L. Andrews, Daniel S. Mason and Michael L. Silk, eds., Qualitative Methods in Sports Studies [2005]). Second, throughout the semester, students were engaged in original primary research/ fieldwork centered on discovering “something that matters” that is “somehow” connected to sport and/or play within our University of Illinois community; students were free to go in any direction with this and could form groups to complete their research (in the end, 5 groups of 2 students each submitted projects and the remainder were individual projects). Most of the students spent the whole semester trying to identify a topic that was fascinating and important to themselves, but that also “mattered” in a cultural studies sense and that impacted the university in some way (the final projects of the semester were not so much on final “polished” ethnographies, but rather upon ongoing reflection of EUI issues such as: “What is my specific topic of interest?” Why is my unique project important? “What are the key terms, questions, data, and significance of my unique project?” “What links can be made between my work and others ideas/experiences?” “In what genre/form can I communicate the above to others?”) Throughout the semester, I kept challenging the students to apply some of the critical work upon which we had concentrated in readings and screenings to their projects and to refine their topics so that they were unique and could somehow make a contribution to policies or practices of the university, reveal historical power struggles, etc., as the topics initially selected seemed naïve and uncritical to me. About half way through the semester, I contemplated assigning my own topics to groups, but ultimately agreed that students should proceed with their own journeys into selecting topics. I required students to present to the EUI student conference (25% of total grade) so the final four weeks of the semester were spent getting those presentations submitted and ready. Overall, I am satisfied with how the course went — these particular students – first semester freshman and very energetic – will always be special to me. [8]
    Instructor, Brad Hudson [1]
    Instructor, Carol Spindel [1]
    Instructor, Catherine Prendergast [7]
    Instructor, Cody Caudill [9]
    Instructor, Erica Vogel [2]
    Instructor, Melissa Littlefield [7]
    Instructor, Nancy Abelmann [6]
    Instructor, Siobhan Somerville [10]
    Introduction to the study of Muslims in the United States and broadly the history of Islam in the Americas. Using a comparative approach, we study how the historical narrative of African American and Latino Muslims relates to newer immigrant populations, primarily Arab American and South Asian American Muslim communities. [13]
    It is important to remember that “The Ethnography of the University” is not only a course but also part of two larger projects, the “Imagining America Project,” a national project combining the arts, humanities and social sciences to create interdisciplinary discussions about America’s future http://www.imaginingamerica.org/ , and the University of Illinois centered project, the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI) http://www.eui.uiuc.edu/. [5]
    Junaid Rana, Instructor [10]
    KIN 199, Sport, Play, and Ethnography, Prof. Synthia Sydnor: This course, a First Year Discovery Program and part of Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI), introduced students to cultural ethnographic method/theory and criticism related to the study of contemporary sport and play. This was accomplished by sampling both older "classic" works and recent significant projects in the area of study. Throughout the semester, students engaged in original primary research/fieldwork centered on "something that matters" that was "somehow" connected to sport and/or play within the University of Illinois community. The work of the semester was not so much to produce a final “polished” ethnography, but rather to reflect upon ongoing issues such as: What is my specific topic of interest? What are the key terms, questions, data, and significance of my unique project? What links can be made between my work and others ideas/ experiences? In what genres/forms can I communicate the above to others? The course syllabus is available at: http://www.eui.uiuc.edu/docs/syllabi/KIN199F08.pdf [4]
    KIN 199, Sport, Play, and Ethnography, Prof. Synthia Sydnor: This course, a First Year Discovery Program and part of Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI), introduced students to cultural ethnographic method/theory and criticism related to the study of contemporary sport and play. This was accomplished by sampling both older "classic" works and recent significant projects in the area of study. Throughout the semester, students engaged in original primary research/fieldwork centered on "something that matters" that was "somehow" connected to sport and/or play within the University of Illinois community. The work of the semester was not so much to produce a final “polished” ethnography, but rather to reflect upon ongoing issues such as: What is my specific topic of interest? What are the key terms, questions, data, and significance of my unique project? What links can be made between my work and others ideas/ experiences? In what genres/forms can I communicate the above to others? The course syllabus is available at: http://www.eui.uiuc.edu/docs/syllabi/KIN199F08.pdf. [4]
    Kin 442, Bodies, Culture & Society, Prof. Melissa Littlefield: Students participating in this course examine bodies in history, in particular cultural contexts, in international and national forums. Questions guiding research include: What is a body? Is there such a thing as “the” body? How are bodies produced? What do they represent? Who gets to represent them? Course readings vary widely to include anthropological, historical, psychological and sociological perspectives. Student projects focus on exercise, health and sport practices in general and on the University of Illinois campus in particular. The course syllabus is available at: www.eui.uiuc.edu/docs/syllabi/KINES442S08.doc [8]
    KIN/SOC 249 Fall 2010 [1]
    Kinesiology 442 Fall 2011 [7]
    Life writing encompasses many genres (diary, memoir, biography, chronicle, confessional poetry) and media (print, web text, video). This class will explore life story research: a qualitative method of inquiry that involves gathering narratives about life experience in order to expand knowledge of a particular social or cultural subject. As an advanced composition course, Rhet 233 includes advanced writing and research activities, such as anticipating audience, exploring stylistic choices, synthesizing and responding to material from multiple sources, planning and shaping a draft, receiving and incorporating feedback, revising, and editing. [2]