Janet Johnson

9:30a-10:45a TR (25 students) 3 cr., IW. PREREQUISITE: Completion of the English Composition requirement.

This section of W350 will focus on reading, researching, and writing ethnographic studies. Ethnographies demonstrate how members of particular subcultures construct, define, and understand their lived experiences. This work requires that we “learn to identify and bracket [our] own assumptions while engaging in the process of trying to understand an other, and that [we] represent the cultural experience of that other, as fairly and fully as possible” (Qualley, p. 45*).

Readings include the text Fieldworking by Bonnie Sunstein and Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater, along with several short ethnographic studies and your choice of one book-length ethnography. We will begin by considering our own subcultures and the literacy and social practices within them. You will then choose a local subculture to investigate, such as a particular place, like the IMU Commons, a local coffeehouse, or the weight room at the HPER; or a particular group, such as various political groups or student groups; or a series of related occasions, such as sporting events or city council meetings. The primary writing assignments include three papers of varying length (5-7 pages) and a longer field report (12-15 pages) based on your research.

*Qualley, D. Senior Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric: The Ethnographic Essay. In L. Torda, ed., Instructor’s Manual for Fieldworking. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2000.