Exercise 1.1

Objective: to introduce ideas from “The Question of Cultural Identity” and understand writing as a conversation.

Estimated time: 1 – 1.5 hours
Due by 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 29th

Part 1—Watching

Watch the Stuart Hall interview video “Questions of Identity”.

Part 2—Reading

  • Read the Reading (and Writing) for Conversation writing guide.
  • Read Section 1 of “The Question of Cultural Identity.” Make note of any questions you may have.

Part 3—Writing

Pretend that you are in a conversation with Stuart Hall. Describe to him a time when you experienced internal or external conflict due to possessing (or being perceived as possessing) multiple cultural identities. For example, it may have been a situation in which you felt that one of your cultural identities was challenged by or in conflict with another of your cultural identities. Post your response below as a COMMENT to this post.

Part 4—Journal 1.1: Context Research

Spend 15 minutes (only) researching the following context online and bring it with you to class on Wednesday.

  • Stuart Hall
  • Kobena Mercer
  • The Enlightenment
  • Anthony Giddens
  • Ernesto Laclau
  • Jacques Lacan
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Clarence Thomas / Anita Hill
  • Renee Descartes
  • Michel Foucault
  • Ferdinand de Saussure
  • Raymond Williams

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Exercise 1.2

Objective: to better understand “The Question of Cultural Identity” by identifying main ideas, connections, and rhetorical patterns in Sections 2 through 4 of the essay.

Estimated time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Due by 9:00 a.m. Monday, February 3rd

Note: As we discussed in class, I am aware that Hall’s text is dense and may seem difficult to you. However, as you will learn over the next few weeks, writing about a difficult text is the most effective way to understand it. Remember that our purpose in reading is to respond to the ideas it explores, not necessarily to understand every minute detail. Once you have completed the reading the text, it will make more sense to you—I promise. Just keep reading.

Part 1—Reading and Annotation

  1. Re-read the Reading (and Writing) for Conversation writing guide in your course pack.
  2. Carefully read the Identifying Intellectual or Interpretive Problems writing guide in your course pack.
  3. Using strategies for close, critical reading that we discussed in class Wednesday, carefully read and annotate Sections 2 through 4 in “The Question of Cultural Identity.” Write down ideas and questions that you have in response to specific parts of these sections. Make note of any connections you notice between the sections.

Part 2—Writing

Using the connections you noted when you were reading Sections 2 through 4, how does Hall develop the concepts of the three identity subjects explored in Section 1? What elements of the rhetorical situation of the text can you identify? How do those function to help Hall develop his analysis? Be as specific as possible and include page numbers. Post your response below as a COMMENT to this post.

Part 3—Journal 1.2

Reflect on how reading for conversation differs from reading solely for content and memorization. How did that change your reading practices as you read these two sections?

For our new additions, in order to post comments on this course website, you will need to set up your QWriting account. Use this QWriting Getting Started document for step-by-step instructions. Once you have set up your QWriting account, you can log into this site to comment on the exercises.