For the research project I am interested in studying either;
- The Latin American film industry or;
- How the Latin American fashion culture differs from the trends we see here in the United States.
If I choose to study the Latin American film industry, I would like to examine and compare the stages of production, from pre-production to post, to the corresponding stages in the film industry in the U.S. As someone who once considered being a film major with a Spanish/Latin American studies minor, I am incredibly interested in how the two subjects interact within each other. Throughout my high school, Spanish classes would always use Latin American films to help promote Spanish skills, however, I would love to investigate the common themes in these films and what the commentary of those films have to say about Latin American culture. As I previously mentioned, I am used to seeing these films in intermediate Spanish classes, however, these films, as well as their actors and actresses, are becoming very popular in the United States’ culture and the world of entertainment. I am interested in exploring how these Latin American actors/actresses are becoming so popular in our society, as well as answer the question “why?”. Wikipedia had quite a bit of information on a select list of films. Included in this list was a brief explanation of the general theme of the films. Credo had much more information and even touched on details such as film festivals and how the films display Latin America culture and identity.
The second topic that I am interested in is Latin American fashion and couture. I am mostly interested in this topic because it is a topic I have never studied before. Throughout my years studying Spanish culture I’ve never studied the fashion trends and/or compared them with the trends that are exhibited here in the United States. I think this interest stems from experiences I had in Ecuador. It is very obvious that the fabrics, colors, and styles are very different but beyond that, I think it’s interesting to examine what “provocative” in one society means versus in another when it comes to clothing. When looking at the Wikipedia pages for Latin American culture, I couldn’t help but realize there wasn’t much information on the topic. There was one page that provided links to specific articles of clothing by country. Credo, however, did have a lot more information as well as a book listed as a source that looked particularly helpful on the topic.
In the article “Latin America’s Campus Revolution” I read about how areas in the Latin American region have established better higher education opportunities. Though dated from the summer of 2017, the article mentions that the problem with higher education in these areas was a problem at the beginning of the century and the improvements being made are still incredibly relevant today. The article looks into the campus revolution through the eyes and experiences of current student César Huamán.
César Huamán is a current student at one of the new private universities in the area. Human and his family all contribute to the costs of education which adds up to approximately $137 a month. Huamán’s family says that they don’t mind paying the price because they want “to have a professional in the family, even if it’s only one”. This quote genuinely surprised me because where I grew up in the U.S. seniors in high school were, for the most part, expected to go to college after completing some form of high school. I think that this expectation is so widely spread in the U.S. because there is a wider variety of schools in North America. I find this article interesting because I had never really thought long and hard about higher education and universities in Latin American countries, so to hear a mother saying that she wanted at least one professional in her family was really off putting to me and a moment of realization that the access to education is not the same throughout the world.
The article applauds the growth of universities in the Latin American region, however, it discusses that the education is still not up to standards. There are still many problems with the education system including that there are few engineering and science students, and the poor-quality education that the newer institutions provide. Due to this fact, higher education is risky for many Latin American students because their families try to pay the high tuition and costs, but the student does not receive an adequate enough education for the money to be worth it. Thus discouraging the idea of students attending a University at all.
The majority of the novel shows the expedition going anything but well. The travelers experience all kinds of obstacles that result in their starvation, dehydration and even their enslavement by Native Americans in the New World. It is apparent throughout the first half of the journey, that the travelers were unprepared for the hurdles that they had to face, making it easy for the reader to believe that Narváez’s expedition was inept in their endeavors. However, in Chapter 8, Reséndez writes that:
The castaways continued to burnish their reputation as healers. Cabeza de Vaca in particular became more confident in his skills. He became bolder in his inventions; he was no longer content merely to pray and blow. The medical procedure he employed may go some way toward explaining his success. ( Reséndez 189)
Reséndez completely changes the argument to argue that though the men seemed unfit to explore the New World at the beginning. They ultimately were able to adapt to the ways of life in the Americas. It is important to understand this new development in the text so that the audience understands that Reséndez believes that the journey the men went on was not easy, but they are ultimately capable of learning the ways of the land.
In A Land So Strange, written by Andrés Reséndez, the topic of family and marriage is not one that is highly elaborated on. In fact, the topic of women, children and family lifestyles is not mentioned until Chapter three and is not discussed in detail until after that. I think Reséndez’s lack of discussion about and involvement of women and the family unit says a lot about how family and marriage were thought about during the time period and specifically on the expedition. As the book and expedition progress, the idea and theme of family and marriage feels almost as an after thought, as if the concept is placed on the back burner while the highlights of the men’s expedition are in the spotlight. Though women and families are not shown as being the most significant aspects in the novel, each of the few4 times that the theme was brought up, it was depicted differently. The first mention of a woman was the “neighbor’s wife in [Vázquez de Ayllón’s] house as a concubine” (74). This implies that women were objects to be kept for sexual pleasures, an idea that was popular through out the time period. The second mention of women portrays them as being fickle at the heart and not truly valuing the ideals of marriage that we hold ourselves to today. Reséndez shows that the wives could not show commitment to their husbands as they explored the lands of the New World; instead the wives of the men opted to “give up on their land-bound husbands and even urged [themselves] to seek protection immediately among the crew members, who would reman on the ships with them” (89). These are ideals that we do not stand by today; in today’s society, we practice long marriage and sticking with the same partner through sickness and health. Reséndez’s depiction of the Mariame families is much different than the European family depiction. These households treat women and mothers like slaves, and daughters as burdens that should be sacrificed for the well being the family (162).
For this assignment, I chose to critique the Wikipedia Article entitled “Narváez Expedition”. While originally reading the article, I thought that some of information was irrelevant to the topic of Narváez’s expedition. The article included small details and tidbits of information such as the four surviving travelers being the first to see the Mississippi River as well as details on the short stops in Hispaniola and and Cuba. After rereading those sections, however, I changed my opinion and figured that “relevant information” does not mean that information has to be the most significant detail in the article. I came to the conclusion that all of the information and data provided through the article pertained to Narváez’s expedition in some way. One question that I did have pertaining to this prompt while reading the article was if everything that happened after Narváez’s death relevant to this article. Sure, the expedition continued after Narváez’s death and Narváez’s brief leadership influenced the expedition even after his death, however, I had a hard time accepting the article’s title of “Narváez Expedition” when so much information was given past his death and under different leadership. According to the Talk page, I was not the only one asking this question.
As for claims made in the article, I could not point out any instances in which I felt the authors and editors strongly favored one position over another. I believe that it is hard to be biased in an article like this one because most of the information is strictly factual. I do not believe that certain viewpoints could even be underrepresented or overrepresented in this article because a lot of the information are dates and details that could be fact checked through journals, published primary sources and travel logs. I was particularly suspicious about two sections of the article that had significantly less information and data attached than others. The sections entitled “South Texas” and “Southwestern North America” were comprised about 2 or 3 sentences each, describing what appeared to be an important part of the journey. Both sections began to describe the interactions between the Spaniards and the indigenous people in the surrounding areas, but neither section does the topic justice. Because of the known rough relations between Native Americans and Europeans throughout the time period this lack of information and underrepresentation of a very large theme made me, a first time reader of the article, question if the information was purposefully left out or if there really is little known about the relations of the indigenous people and the spaniards at the time (which I personally find hard to believe).
The article’s talk page addressed a lot of the same questions I asked myself while reading the article. Like I previously mentioned, users on the talk page, questioned the relevancy of all the information written after Narváez’s death to the article. Other than debating on if the article should be temporarily shortened to resolve the prior issue, user’s mostly used the page to discuss factual accuracy throughout the article. Finally, I found myself thinking about how closely the book translate the same topics and themes I’ve read in the book, A Land So Strange, thus far. I tend to think that a lot of information gets lost when it gets translated to Wikipedia, but in this circumstance, I was thoroughly surprised to see so much detail placed into the Wiki article.
The article Creolization in the Americas written by David Buisseret argues that the terms “assimilation” and “acculturation” are not the best terms to be used to describe what we know to be the columbian exchange era. The terms assimilation and acculturation imply that during a cultural exchange, cultural ideas are passed from a superior “donor’ to a “recipient” culture thus alluding that one culture is superior to the other. Buisseret discusses that during a cultural exchange there is no superior “donor”, instead, he says that the term “creolization” represents a blending of cultural ideas and exchange which is a more accurate in the exchange between the Europeans, Native Americans and Africans.
Buisseret does a nice job utilizing evidence such as how the french adapts to climates because of colonization in Quebec as well as many other examples. I think that Buisseret’s argument is compelling because he does an excellent job utilizing skills that we read about in “They Say, I Say” such as summarizing the preexisting beliefs and ideas while simultaneously disagreeing with them.
The article “Only Connect….” written by William Cronon explores the ideas and concepts behind liberal education. Due to the topic that Cronon addresses, I believe that he is responding to essentially students close to our age. Within his introduction he talks about the “glossy admissions brochures that high school students receive by the hundreds”. Cronon traces the roots of the term “liberal” in order to argue the purpose of a liberal education; his use of the root words to define the significance of a liberal education is extremely helpful in conveying that a liberal education should provide the student with freedom to explore a range of topics and to familiarize themselves with a diverse mix of concepts and lessons.
Cronon dedicates several paragraphs to the exploitation of lists of required courses at colleges and universities. I find his argument very compelling and credible especially when I compare his evidence to my own schooling experiences. Even in high school, we are prompted to create “Four-Year Plans” to make sure that we can successfully and efficiently check off the certain classes that are required for graduation. After recently going through this experience, I personally agree with Cronon’s argument that a true liberal education should provide fewer lists for students to muddle through and a wider variety of classes to chose from. According to the reading from “They Say, I Say” in order to decipher my ideas from Cronon’s I would need to state early on who I am responding to, as well as be very clear about why. I would need to state my motive in a well written thesis.
Hey y’all, I’m Camryn! A few facts about myself are that I really like to sing, dance and hang out with friends. Something that might be surprising is that I really enjoy getting to learn about people on a personal level. I really like to hear about people’s backgrounds, how they grew up and small things about them that might seem irrelevant in normal conversation. I originally heard about Wooster through my college counselor at my high school as well as a friend who also attends Wooster but is now a sophomore. I started researching the school more and it rose to one of my top schools. Though it did not have a forensics program like some of the other schools I was interested in, after visiting campus I enjoyed the strong sense of a community more than any other school I visited. My biggest goal for this semester is to get a feel for the college lifestyle and to balance a job with my academic studies and social life.