Since your class on Thursday morning was canceled, due to the Mass, I figured I’d update you on the plan for next week:
- you will hand in your Student Information Sheets, which you filled out during your outing.
- you will have filled out the online form linked below, which I asked you to fill out in the first week of class.
- you will hand in a 500 word response to the questions I asked you to discuss with the group. (If you need more words to answer my questions, that’s fine.)
- you will be ready to discuss James Clifford reading which I assigned (also linked below). You will have read the Clifford article as many times as you need to feel you have some understanding, that you are ready to discuss it, and that you have whatever questions ready that you need to help me help you to understand it.
- We will discuss your second reading, which are made up of the introduction and first chapter of The Invention of Tradition by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger.
The reading for Thursday is available here:
The chapter is a look at the fabrication of the Scottish Highland culture. Don’t feel that you need to understand every detail: I’m more interested in you understanding the idea explored in the introduction, where Hobsbawm argues that traditions are largely invented. The Scottish example is just that: an example. In preparation for the discussion, it would be very helpful if you were to look at your own culture’s traditions and research a bit to find examples of “invented traditions” from your own culture. (And I’ll come up with a few Canadian, American, and English ones to help explore the concept.)
A warning: you really, really want to keep on top of the readings. If you don’t participation will be difficult, and your grade will suffer. That said, don’t be disappointed if our discussion of James Clifford’s chapter runs over into Thursday’s class: as long as the discussion is fruitful, then I don’t mind adjusting the schedule a bit.