Translating with the Arts: Seeing Ourselves In the Classroom
Gina Padilla Muriera
This interactive lecture was designed to be presented weekly on the second meeting pattern day for 3 weeks, so as to transfer and apply various arts discipline strategies taught on the first meeting pattern day. One CA 177 CLO is to design co-equal instructional goals, assessments, and activities that evaluate K-8 student learning through both standards-based artistic processes and non-arts standards. With this objective, I model an arts as emancipatory education framework that empowers students to reflect on personal experiences where injustices were made in their own K-12 grade school journey, and to communicate these injustices through verbal monologue, creative movement, and lastly to envision the conflict’s resolution through tableau.
Rebecca Kling, Jorge Gonzalez, and Valerie Lo
Students will have spent much of the semester learning about the history of race in American culture from its beginnings up until 1877. This not only includes the history of slavery, but also the racialization of indigenous peoples and various groups of immigrants (including those today deemed “white”). Students will also have studied key concepts and theories central to racial studies, such as proto-racism, racial formation, racial justice, biological racism, etc. We encourage them to interrogate the concept of race as natural and to consider how race is ideological and how it evolves over time. We also explore how we behave, practice, and enact our lives according to these ideologies and consequently experience race as something that is real. Through this foundational historical and ideological context, they will have a vantage point to reflect back on how their notions about race have evolved throughout the semester.
Context: I designed several assignments to accompany the March 1st symposium “Listen Differently: Black Feminism, Music, and Popular Culture.” One assignment is a Mixtape assignment. It encourages students to apply Dr. Tricia Rose’s analysis of sexual politics from her seminal work Black Noise to popular songs from the last 5 to 10 years. The assignment should help students investigate how songs by women of color, especially Black women, changed since the mid-1990s when Dr. Rose’s critique of hip hop was first published.
Context: I designed several assignments to accompany the March 1st symposium “Listen Differently: Black Feminism, Music, and Popular Culture.” My first assignment is a Concept Album – it allows students to be creative yet also analyze and interpret the musical catalogs and existing work of women of color in popular music. My hope with this assignment is that by studying the music of women of color, students will better understand Dr. Tricia Rose’s analysis in her book Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop.
Inclusion initiative composition
You will compose a short piece that is inspired by your vision of a more inclusive and just future, or illuminates a path that will lead there. This will be a multi-track, multi-instrument composition using MIDI, synthesis, audio, and sampling using the DAW of your choosing. The composition must use processing and effects and be mixed for balance, stereo spread, and depth. Projects must include source material, original synth patches, sampler instruments, and originally recorded audio tracks.
Social Justice and Racial Equity and Animals
Inclusion Initiative Project (Final Collaborative Composition Project)
Write a piece for 4-part chorale using text related to Social Justice and Racial Equity. For example, set the words of a speech by John Lewis to music or depict the noble character of MLK Jr. in music. You may alternatively write a solo piano piece, a work for piano and solo instrument, and/or other chamber ensemble (no more than 4 instruments please—which instruments are in your group?). The hard rule is that the work must be collaborative and inspired by our times from some other art form, and it must explicitly depict its source.
Final Project: “Language as a Tool for Social Justice, Racial Equity, and Cultural Learning” Grant Proposal
You can apply for up to $10,000 in grant funds to support a project addressing a social justice, racial equity, and/or cultural learning goal that is based upon linguistic/language awareness, knowledge, and action. First, please think about communities and institutions that you're familiar with. You can propose a topic addressing an issue that you perceive in one of these:
- Your hometown and/or San José or another city/town close by
- A public institution/organization in one of these places
- A company or work environment you're familiar with
- A general or particular organization or administrative area of SJSU
- Another school you're very familiar with
- A social media app, game, or other online community that you and people you know are significantly involved with
- Another community/organization you are very familiar with
Then, in order to decide on a proposal topic, please review this semester's readings, discussion posts, and our class discussions on Canvas. When you have decided upon a topic, please develop a proposal of 900-1500 words total. Alternatively, you can create a video/multimedia presentation of 4-6 minutes (spoken narration and visuals).
The Google Tour Project
Context: This assignment helps culminate our class theme, “Reading and Writing the City,” in which we explore representations of urban life from a variety of perspectives and academic disciplines. Our final unit takes on the issue of gentrification; more specifically, we explore how the issue revolves around stories of either progress or subjugation (depending on who is telling the story). After scaffolding some background on the issue and what it means, students form into groups and create these digital tours that serve as visual essays. In creating their own arguments either for or against gentrification, they take on their own stories of this issue and how it affects their immediate community. At the same time, they are able to utilize our lessons on essay structure, close analysis, and argumentation in order to express their own opinions on an issue that impacts all of them.
The two texts we’ve read before this assignment, Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place and Tommy Orange’s There There, help model the ways in which personal expression can highlight issues in one’s home city or country. We especially focus on Kincaid’s subversion of the tour guide structure in order to conduct her own visual analysis of St. John’s, Antigua and its lingering traces of colonialism post-independence.
Aside from the opportunity for students to put their analytical and argumentative skills to work on concrete space, this project seeks to empower students to mine their own experience as part of their intellectual archive. In doing so, our course posits that to understand the city is to read it as a diverse and constantly shifting space, one that requires embracing renegotiation and understanding.
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