Writing -What is a “Cultural Artifact

What is a “Cultural Artifact”?The analysis of a cultural “artifact” from a society and interpretation of a cultural artifactprovide important insights about a specific local/national/regional culture as well as the flow ofideas and the development of cultural phenomena across international borders.OPTION 1: Examples of “cultural artifacts” include any of the followingo An influential work of contemporary or classical literature (poetry/fiction), such as a bestsellingbook/book series or written work of immense cultural importanceo An influential non-fiction text (of any time period)o A comic serieso A specific songo A particular musical composition (e.g., opera, classical music) as well as traditional/folk music oA particular videogame or a popular videogame serieso A specific type of technology and the marketing associated with that technology (e.g., theiPhone, Blackberry, environmentally friendly automobiles, luxury vehicles, advancements inrobotics, videogame consoles, etc.)o A TV show, anime, or drama serieso A popular and influential magazine, journal, or newspaper with wide readership o Aninfluential documentary or filmo A blogo A radio programo A particular piece of artworko An advertising campaign or commercialo A music video or an online “viral” videoOPTION 2: You could examine popular trends, cultural phenomena, advertising/marketingcampaigns, and businesses/major corporations such as a powerful national or multi-nationalcorporation (e.g., Apple, Microsoft, Toyota, etc.), a chain of stores, a particular fashion trend, adance/musical trend, the history or origins of a brand, the marketing strategies of an immenselysuccessful corporation, or even the specific representation of an era of history in a handful ofcultural artifacts. The perspective of analyzing a trend, phenomenon, or corporation providesyou with multiple options.OPTION 3: Another option is to analyze the importance and popularity of a cultural “icon,” or acelebrity. If you select this route for WP3, you could analyze the importance of an entrepreneur,an inventor, an actor/actress, a musician, a band/musical ensemble, a composer, a performer, anathlete, an entire sports team, a fashion designer, a film director, a painter/sculptor/visual mediaartist, etc. As with the other possibilities listed above for WP3, there are numerous possibilitiesfor how to approach this type of analysis of a celebrity or famous individual as a cultural “icon.”OPTION 4: You can even examine a cultural artifact, trend, or cultural figure that is unpopular orhas remained within a small group or sub-culture for whatever reason. If you choose this option,you could analyze why this artifact, trend/phenomenon, or person seems limited in appeal anddoes not seem to be popular outside of a narrow context, a particular culture, or a specific socialgroup“Culture” in WP3• “Culture” in the context of WP3 could be your home culture or any other national/regionalculture from across the globe.• WP3 explores how phenomena, cultural artifacts, ideas, and trends can flow across nationaland cultural boundaries in order to have influence outside of their original cultures.Protocol for Composing WP3• STEP 1: Select a cultural artifact, cultural phenomenon/trend, or cultural icon/famousindividual of your choice.• STEP 2: Conduct research and collect information from a minimum of 3 secondary sourcesabout your chosen cultural artifact.o You could search for scholarly journal articles and e-books via the ASU Libraries databases andGoogle Scholar.o Some of the same news outlets and periodicals from WP2 can be useful again for research forWP3: Newsweek, The New York Times, Forbes, The Washington Post, Wired, The Wall StreetJournal, CNN, ABC, PBS, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Guardian, etc.o News outlets and periodicals related exclusively to entertainment, sports, film, fashion, etc.might be useful for your research in this project, depending upon your topic for analysis.o You can also gather information from English-language articles that have been published ininternational news outlets and from international sources in order to gain insight about acultural artifact in its original cultural context.STEP 3: Compose an essay that introduces the audience to your chosen cultural artifact,trend/phenomenon, or famous/influential personage and provides a description for theaudience (e.g., the original cultural context, the degree of the person, object, or trend’spopularity in the original cultural setting or internationally, etc.).o The bulk of your essay will contain analysis of why this individual, cultural artifact, or culturalphenomenon/trend is popular in the original cultural context and trans-nationallyo If you are exploring a cultural artifact, cultural trend/phenomenon, or cultural figure that hasattained international recognition and trans-cultural popularity, you can analyze what factors andcharacteristics related to the artifact, phenomenon, or person you believe have contributed tothis trans-national success and positive reception in multiple cultural contexts.o If your cultural artifact has not experienced trans-cultural success and popularity, your analysiscould examine a few reasons for why you believe – based upon your research – this particularcultural artifact, cultural phenomenon, or famous individual/cultural icon/celebrity has remainedin a single, specific culture and has not attained popularity outside of that cultural context(▪ Essentially, what has contributed to the “unpopular” status of this artifact, phenomenon, orperson internationally? What has limited the object, trend, or person’s appeal and reception in atrans-cultural context?)Grading Criteria – Student Papers Should:Include a clearly stated, focused thesis statementContain a well-developed, focused introduction that lays the foundation for the rest of thepaper and identifies the focus of the paper’s analysis for the readerDemonstrate an appropriate awareness of audience by the use of a formal tone and rhetoricalstrategiesExplore the multiple facets (e.g., social, cultural, economic, historical, etc.) of the issue underanalysis and use writing to construct informed positions about this topicConduct inquiry-based research and writing which is driven by the desire to study a culturalartifact/phenomenon or cultural icon/figureSelect thoughtfully and integrate effectively academic secondary sources as support bysmoothly integrating and properly citing quotes and paraphrases from secondary sources in thebody of the textInclude a Works Cited page that documents all sources used in the essayUse the MLA documentation system properly and consistently throughout the entire document

 

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