Each week we will be looking at a set period from our past.
Discussion3 World Culture
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Each week we will be looking at a set period from our past. Although these are our ancestors, it will seem like we are studying a distant planet, inhabited by people with the strangest of habits. Fortunately, these subjects of our observation give us abundant clues about who they are. Their art, their writing, their technology, the way they do business, the way they govern
themselves all feed into a picture we will attempt to paint for ourselves each week. Understanding who they were will help us understand who we are.
Each week you will be given three or four questions pertaining to important topics covered in the materials provided in the question itself, the textbook, the lectures, the other materials provided, and my comments in my Live Session. You choose the one question you like and post a response of 125 words or more. You also need to respond to another post from one of your fellow students. This second post should be at least 60 or so words long and should not just agree with or repeat what has been said.
Please always use an example that has not already been used in the discussion.
- European monarchs followed the example of Louis XIV and one of them is well described in your book, Frederick William of Prussia aka Frederick the Great. What does his palace Sans Souci and what we know about him personally, tell us about the way he saw his world and promoted his power? Frederick the Great was an aggressive monarch who built his kingdom into what would become the German nation.
- Your book makes the point that, in many ways, Classical music is a reaction against the Rococo and its wild exuberance. Why did symphonic orchestras form at this time? What composers used this form to express a new world view? How does Classical music reflect Enlightenment thinking?
- The ancient artwork traditions of China and Japan began to enter the European world as European trade became a huge business and cultural exchange. Europe fell in love with what came to be known as chinoiserie. The reality is that China was an ancient and quite advanced civilization, scientifically far ahead of the West in many ways. What Europeans saw as exotic artifacts from a mysterious land reflected the many cultural traditions that melded to form Chinese culture in the 18th Century. What are some examples of chinoiserie and other artifacts of Asian culture that became so popular in Western Europe? Why were Europeans so enthusiastic about anything Asian? Why do you think Europeans were so arrogant about their self-conceived superiority?
- Chapter 26 covers both the American and French Revolutions. Both proclaim liberty for all but America built slavery into its most important founding document and the French kept the Haitians enslaved until they too fought to free themselves. Why were slaves so important to both countries? How did slavery become a huge international trade system? How are slavery and racism connected in America?
- Many of our oldest and most important buildings in America are Neo-Classical in design. Our nation’s capital was laid out in the midst of this design period. The documents created by the political leaders of the time were also built on Greek and Roman ideas. Recent events in Washington make it seem as if this architectural style doesn’t work in 2021. Strains and stresses in our society tend to indicate that our founding documents might need deep re-examination. Are we being constrained by following these 200 year old documents? What about them should be changed if anything, to bring about an America where we are all equal and free? Should we stop using these ancient buildings in exchange for greater security?
How to Improve Your Score with Discussion Boards
With the first week of Discussion Boards behind of us, it is a good time to pause and reflect before moving forward. If the score is the only thing you look at and moved on, you are doing yourself a disservice. Read the feedback and consider why you lost points, to prevent the same thing happening week after week.
Here are a few common mistakes to avoid:
- Not writing enough. This is a writing class. You are expected to read and listen to the materials, analyze and write an understandable response that covers the subject and answers the questions. Use complete sentences, as these are not short-answer questions. You might need to do a bit of extra research.
- Cite your sources at the end of the initial post. Never cut-and-paste materials from sources. We want to see your thoughts and not those of others. If you summarize someone else’s thoughts or you use a direct quote, cite them. With assignments of this length, do not use long quotes. A short phrase is the maximum.
- If your response to your classmates is “Great post!” “I agree with you!” are all you write, then you will not get points. Read their posts and find something they say that you can comment on. You can agree or disagree but provide evidence to prove your claims. The length here is important as well. Say something interesting that relates to the subject. Again, if you use outside sources, cite them.
- Make sure your comments are organized, relate to the subject and make sense.
- Check grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc. As a college student, mistakes in these areas should not be present in your writing. When they are present, go back and review and learn why you made the mistake, so that you will not make them next time.
- When you have completed your post, before you post it, re-read and edit it. You send your best work to be graded. Grading should not be an editing service, but a confirmation of your hard work. You are not done and should not post until you have edited your work for errors.
- As a southerner, I often tell myself…Self, you cannot write the way you speak. Use your formal voice, with correct grammar and diction. To be honest, I was born a redneck, but I work hard to keep it under wraps in my writing. Writing well will become one of the greatest skills you can develop, but it takes constant work.
- Try to check and respond to your classmates throughout the week. Read my responses to your classmates as well. You will find that the give and take of the responses will add much to your understanding.
Hopefully, these thoughts will help. Go through this process each week after grades are posted. It is always about continual improvement. I often say that for any of us, there is no finish line in writing. We will work to improve throughout our lives. Dr. Mike
Art of Your Choice Template
Each week in our Weekly Discussion, we ask you to select a work of art, architecture, music, or writing/performance art that you want to highlight. In the first week, we ask you to do this with something you already know and like and it can come from any period including the here and now. Include an image of the art, architecture, or the title of the poem, work of writing or music you choose each week, followed by the name of who created it, the year it was created, and why you like it. In the following weeks, we will ask you to choose from the work being created during the time period we are studying that week. By Week Nine you will have all the examples you will need to complete Assignment Three by adding an introduction and a conclusion and some connective explanations.
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