Cultural Experience

For this assignment, you will choose a virtual cultural venue from the instructions below to visit online and write a short 500-800 word report about your visit.

The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to the process of engaging with the cultural venues and communities. This will inform you personally of the Humanities and groups that support it.

This assignment will help you practice the following skills that will be useful to you in your professional and personal life beyond school.

Identify cultural venues and inform you with deeper knowledge about the cultural form chosen.
Organize reflections about engaging with a cultural experience and community
Use concepts and skills learned in class to describe and interpret cultural experiences and communities
Use appropriate and proper grammar, organization, and academic-style formatting in order to communicate
This assignment will help you become familiar with the following important content knowledge in the Humanities.

Available virtual cultural venues and communities
Methods of interpretation within the Humanities
For your report, choose one virtual venue from this pre-approved list that most interests you, or contact your professor for approval of your own online choice. If your choice below has both a website and a video, make sure you examine both. If you need special accommodations to complete this assignment, please inform your instructor and contact the Accessibility Accommodations office for guidance.

Please watch the entire performance or thoroughly explore the venue you choose.



First Encounter: King Lear (adapted for children)

The Tragedy of Richard II

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

NEW MA by Dora Dee Hunter

Watch a full performance of one of the plays on this list of full length plays available on Youtube.

Watch a full performance of a Broadway musical that is available for streaming on various paid services. A list is available here:


Author interviews

Toni Morrison on “The Bluest Eye” and “Paradise”

Inside the Imagination with China Miéville

William Gibson: Technology, Science Fiction & the Apolcalypse

A conversation with Ursula K. Le Guin

George R.R. Martin On Strombo: Extended Interview

Salman Rushdie on Storytelling

Alice Walker

Poetry Readings

Joy Harjo

Leslie Marmon Silko

Rita Dove

Naomi Shihab Nye

Arthur Sze

Heather McHugh

Juan Felipe Herrera

An Evening with Robert Pinsky

Poetry Festivals, Slams and Spoken Word

The BreakBeat Poets

The Last Word Festival- Poetry Slam Final 2018

The Last Word Festival –Poetry Slam Final 2017

Louder than a Bomb (Millennial Stage)

Henry Rollins “Up for It” spoken word performance (includes some obscenities)
Kate Tempest spoken word performance on KEXP


Watch an entire DVD/Blue Ray film with the “audio commentary” special feature as long as the commentary is by or includes the director or a film historian/expert, not just the actors/actresses or commercial film critics.

Examples of a few films on DVD/Blue Ray with director’s commentary:

Get Out, commentary by Jordan Peele
Lord of the Rings films, commentary by Peter Jackson
Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, GoodFellas, commentary by Martin Scorsese
Pan’s Labyrinth, commentary by Guillermo Del Toro
Das Boot, commentary by Stephen Spielberg
National Treasure: Book of Secrets, commentary by Jon Turteltaub
A list of older films with DVD/Audio commentary is available here, just make sure you are listening to directors and film experts:

Listen to a director’s commentary on a film on this podcast: Watching With… NetFlix:


Your choice should be different from one’s own religion, if practiced. Please view all videos under the ritual, service, or ceremony you choose.


Passover Seder Meal

The Passover Seder: What to Expect

Model Passover Seder

Yom Kippur

What is Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur Neilah (Concluding) Service
Yom Kippur Ritual: Kaparot in Israel


Baptism rituals

Catholic Baptism

Evangelical Full Immersion Baptism

Baptists in India

Baptist Ceremony
Rituals of the Eucharist

Catholic Sacrament of the Eucharist 101

Orthodox Communion

Baptist Communion Service

Evangelical Communion Service



The Adhan: Call to Prayer during Ramadan

What is Ramadan?

Welcoming Ramadan: Shaykh Abdul Moez Nafti


Hajj: BBC News

Hajj: real footage from Mecca to Medina

Bosnian Hajj Pilgrims (transcript/translation of speakers in video notes)


Upanayana Ceremony

Upanayana Adhar: A Rite of Passage

Upanayana: Thread Ceremony example 1

Upanayanam ceremony example 2

Why is Puja necessary to maintain Hinduism?

Daily Puja ritual example

Puja Temple Service


Heart Sutra Ritual

Heart Sutra Chanting

How to Chant the Heart Sutra Mantra: Robert A.F. Thurman

Heart Sutra Translation

New Heart Sutra translation by Thich Nhat Hanh

Ordination Rite

Ordination and Closing Ceremony

Becoming a Buddhist Monk

Ordination Procedure in the Theraveda Tradition

Restrictions: The experience should be viewed during the current semester. If this is impossible, contact the instructor to arrange for alternatives. You may not report on a cultural experience viewed prior to this class.

Write a report after you have explored or viewed the online resource.

Your report should include the following information. Include photos or links that help convey the information. As always, be sure to document all sources you consult in preparing your work. This includes any learning resources from the class, or information from the websites that informed you about the particular item you explored.

Name and location of event or name and director of the film, writer’s name etc. If there is on-line information about what you viewed, be sure to include a link to it within the text of your essay in an appropriate place.

Type of event. For example is it a film, ritual, service, ceremony, poetry reading, festival, author interview etc. Make sure to include the name of the authors, directors, producers, speakers, author of your favorite poem (if poetry festival or event).

Briefly describe the general setting by talking a bit about the location (you can research the location online) and the general overall “vibe” of the place or places viewed.

Describe at least one aspect of what you viewed that you found especially interesting. For example, you might write about the different ways the same ritual is conducted by different groups, a poem you really liked from the reading or poetry festival, something an author or direct said that really struck you. Explain what impressed or affected you, and why. Your reaction can be positive or negative, as long as you offer an explanation.

Identify and use at least two tools, concepts or methods that you have learned about in this class in the Learning Resources to talk about your viewing. For example, if you view a director’s commentary, you might point out what the director says about lighting or the set, or if you view to a ritual, talk about the myth the ritual is based on, or if you watch a spoken word or poetry reading, you can talk about specific literary language or imagery. Make sure you are explicit in identifying the tools/concept/methods you are using and the specific learning resources they come from. Be sure to inform the reader about the tool/concept/method through a quote or paraphrase from the learning resource. Then, make sure to tell the reader how you interpret and/or analyze some elements of what you experience with the tools.

Be sure to cite the learning resources you have used in MLA format. Please see

Reflect on the relevance–if any–of your viewing to your everyday life. How did the experience engage your feelings or emotions, if at all? What does this tell you about human culture, and/or about yourself?

STOP: Before you hand in your assignment, ask yourself the following questions:

Have I clearly provided identifying information about what I viewed in terms of who was involved and where it took place and provided the URL, if applicable? Have I done what I could to describe the setting and/or vibe?
Have I identified and explained an especially interesting aspect of the experience and used examples to illustrate reflections and to explain why this aspect was interesting?
Have I identified and applied two tools, concepts or methods of interpretation from learning resources to concrete and specific examples from visit?
Have I used examples to clearly explain the relevance of my visit to at least one of the following: 1) emotion 2) human culture 3) self-identity 4) cultural identity?
Have I used Learning Resources from the class and provided a list of resources, and do all of my citations conform to MLA 8th edition guidelines?
Have I proofread this assignment for grammatical, structural, and spelling errors that might impede someone from understanding what I am trying to say?

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