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Latin American Cultural Artifact –

The chosen artifact is the book One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel GarciaMarquez

The culmination of your project is an  essay of 1200-1500 words, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.

I set out my expectations for your project. (LISTED BELOW)

In your  you set out what you intend to write about. (ALREADY COMPLETE)

In your  submission, you gathered and examined a variety of sources to help with background research. (ALREADY COMPLETED)

Finally it's time to write your essay.

Guidelines: Here are some things you want to consider.

· The  subject matter.  What does the work portray? What is the purpose of portraying this? Are there significant historical, symbolic, or metaphorical elements?

· Describe it in terms of  form. "Form" will depend on the type of cultural artifact you choose. If it’s visual, talk about composition (arrangement of elements, light, color, form), and any other significant aspect of its visual appearance. If it’s music, discuss genre, instruments, etc. If it’s film, something about how the story is told, both in its narrative and visual aspects. If it's a work of literature, you'll want to discuss type of writing (poetry, fiction, etc.), genre, style, for example. 

· Who created the artifact? Was it a specific named individual? Was the creator anonymous, or was it created by multiple people?  How does the specific work you've chosen relate to other works by the same creator or creators?

· How does your work fit into a wider  context? For example, if it's a piece of music, how does it relate to other music by the same artist, or work by other artists in the same genre? The creator or artist is sending a message. What message are they trying to send? What are they trying to convey? Is it in reaction to an event, people, or other works? Does it critique culture, religion, politics, or other ideas? Does it celebrate them? Does it speak to other cultural conversations? There are a number of ways to approach this, so don't limit yourselves. 

· What about the work makes it  representative of its respective culture, or culture in the Americas in general? This is important. Remember that part of the premise is that this would be a representative work in a hypothetical Humanities course focused on culture in the Americas. 

· Why does the work appeal to you? How did you come to know it? What does it mean to you?

Be original, be thorough, be specific, and most of all, think for yourself.  Apply your own analytical and critical skills to the exercise.  To use any unidentified information is plagiarism and will be handled as such. I'm not interested in you simply parroting what other people have said about the artifact. I'm interested in how YOU have examined, wrestled with, interpreted, and formed an opinion.

do not want a cover page.  Your essay should simply put your name, my name, class and section, and date in the upper left-hand corner, and then center your title. If you are unfamiliar with  MLALinks to an external site.  style, the    on any FSCJ campus is an excellent resource.


In this course you will investigate various aspects of culture in the Americas through a variety of different lenses. One of the most effective ways of understanding culture is through what we call " ." 

Your final project will culminate in an essay focusing on a cultural artifact from Latin America. For our purposes, this means anywhere in the Americas outside of the United States and Canada. The only exception I'll make is if you choose an indigenous artifact from the First Peoples (Native Americans) of the US and/or Canada. In order to approach this in a methodical way that lets you ask questions and get feedback along the way, I have broken up your project into three parts, due at different points in the semester. I hope this helps you to think more clearly about it, and pace yourselves accordingly.

Premise: If you were teaching a Humanities course focused on the cultures of indigenous and Latin America, what is a cultural artifact that you think would be a valuable contribution to the course?

Expectations: I expect your project to be about a specific work, the creator of the work, and how that work fits into a larger cultural context.

Example: Your project could be about the painting  The Two Fridas, by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. You would want to explore things such as: 

· The subject matter - What does the work portray? What is the purpose of portraying this? Are there significant historical, symbolic, or metaphorical elements?

· Describe it in terms of form - Since this example is a painting, you'd want to discuss such things as composition (arrangement of elements), light, color, and other significant aspect of its visual appearance.

· The creator - Some background about Frida Kahlo and her body of work in general.

· The context - How does this work and Frida Kahlo's art fit within the wider context of Mexican and Latin American painting and culture?

YOU CANNOT USE THIS EXAMPLE FOR YOUR PROJECT (Sorry for the all-caps, but it needed to be said 😉)

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