Browse Student Communities and Culture by Series/Report

    Series/Report
    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. [6]
    Instructor, Brad Hudson [1]
    Instructor, Carol Spindel [1]
    Instructor, Catherine Prendergast [1]
    Instructor, Cody Caudill [2]
    Instructor, Erica Vogel [1]
    Instructor, Melissa Littlefield [4]
    Instructor, Nancy Abelmann [2]
    Instructor, Siobhan Somerville [3]
    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. [5]
    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/. [2]
    Junaid Rana, Instructor [1]
    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. [2]
    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 [4]
    KIN/SOC 249 Fall 2010 [1]
    Kinesiology 442 Fall 2011 [4]
    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. [1]
    Like all History 200s, this course will open with questions of method: what is good history, and how is it made? After the first few weeks, however, we will shift to consider the role of sound in both the making and retelling of history. We will consider such questions as how to write for audio; how and whether to incorporate sound, archival or otherwise; the strengths and weaknesses of audio (as compared to text) for talking about history; and the hybrid kinds of history (textual, audio, visual) that might emerge in coming years. We will also consider the role of sound itself in human history. How have historians tried to imagine what the world sounded like in the past, and the role that hearing has played in shaping human history and memory? [1]
    LLS296 Topics in Latina/o Studies: Latina/o Cultural Space, Place and Practice - Historical and Contemporary Manifestations, Profs. Veronica Kann and Alicia Rodriguez : This course was designed to explore how Latina/o spaces, places, and practices on the Illinois campus are constructed and contested throughout. Beginning with the student activism that led to the founding of La Casa Cultural Latina in 1974 to the present conversations around “diversity” and “multiculturalism,” students looked at people and processes that have contributed to the Latina/o-ization of parts of campus. This course was held in conjunction with the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI) Project; each student were expected to conduct an oral history and/or ethnographic project which examine an aspect of when, where and how Latina/o ethnicities construct and are constructed within institutional culture. [1]