Up to Speed with Comparative Cultures 12

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 -

Earlier in the year I wrote an article about Comparative Cultures 12, and now I figure that since we have completely shifted gears since then, an update is necessary to do justice to just how interesting this course is. Mr Pasquale’s Arts 253 classroom is one students have been keen to attend since the beginning of the year - and it hasn’t moved to the distant Woodward!

During the fall term, we began to familiarize ourselves with basic cultural terminology which would be integral to understanding the material that has been covered in the last handful of months. After gaining an understanding of cultural diversity and cultural geography, we were able to kick the clutch in and really get into the course. Starting with cultural expression, we focused primarily on cultural appropriation and the role art plays in different cultures. We spent a lot of time focusing on religion and belief systems: starting from the spread of religions historically, how they started, evolved, changed, and where they are today.

We also read and spoke about different belief systems covering not just religious belief systems but political and philosophical ones as well. Unlike some electives, Comparative Cultures is mostly assignment based. Having only written one test this year, lots of work has been put into countless presentations, genuinely interesting essays, reports, and more. Buchannon F, Rogers ‘22 enjoys how the class is assignment based: “It allows me more flexibility with my other courses and knowing I’ll always have something to work on for the class has been nice.”

Sharing a snippet of the course with the student body, Yang L & Gregor B prepared a presentation on cancel culture which was delivered during Assembly a few weeks back. Yang, Privett ‘22 was “glad to have been able to share a presentation about a topic that is prevalent in today’s societies.” Currently, we have begun our fifth unit which is all about conflict and tension in and between cultures and for our last assignment we had to provide a resolution for any conflict between different cultures, present or historic. It has been a good year.

Thanks to Mr Pasquale for offering such a thought-provoking and engaging course.

Lucca P, Whittall ‘22

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