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For this project, the goal is to explore the concept of “culture,” focusing on a particular product or practice in several Spanish-speaking countries or communities. After reading and reflecting on culture, you will create a PowerPoint presentation that explores one aspect of four different Spanish-speaking cultures in depth.
1) Before choosing a particular topic for your presentation, consider this definition of “culture” as presented by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization):
“[Culture] is that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by [a human] as a member of society.”
2) View this short video on Latino Culture and Cultural Values. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15jdTQIr7j4 (Please note that any cultural analysis will include generalizations that will not be accurate in every situation.)
3) You might also enjoy viewing the Disney movie, ‘Coco’. Though I would prefer not to have 25 of you prepare presentations about “The Day of the Dead / El Día de los Muertos”, the movie is very well done, culturally authentic, and highlights a wide variety of other cultural products, practices, and perspectives, including art, food, and music.
4) Read this explanation of “Cultural Products, Practices, and Perspectives”.
5) From the cultural products and practices lists in the above reading, choose one of particular personal interest. Please focus on products or practices, rather than perspectives, though you should certainly try to explain how the product or practice reflects an overarching perspective — you may want to use the video information to help you with this aspect.
6) Prepare a PowerPoint presentation about that topic. Your presentation should:
explore the product or practice in 4 different countries or regions (include each of the following):
Mexico or Central America;
South America or the Caribbean;
Spanish-speaking areas of the United States
give a history of the product or practice in each country/community.
show a personal experience with the product or practice, completed specifically for this project.
be 18-20 slides in length.
incorporate at least 5 different sources. (Reliance on Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica is not acceptable for this project.)
I love art and art history!
I could start my presentation with a short history of Spanish art, from the cave paintings of Altamira to Velásquez to Goya to Picasso.
Then I could explore the Mexican muralist movement that was shaped by Diego Rivera.
I could look at the wonderful sculptures and paintings by Colombian Fernando Botero (including the pieces at the DCPA!)
I could explore the work of an important Colorado Latinx artist.
I could then finish by documenting a personal visit to the Denver Art Museum or the Museo de las Américas.
I also love holidays and celebrations!
I could research a famous Spanish celebration like the “Feria de abril / April Festival” celebrated in Sevilla and many other communities in Spain,
then explore Mexico’s “16 de septiembre/16 of September” Independence Day observances and customs.
I could explain various Winter Solstice celebrations like the one I observed in Cuzco, Peru,
then move to the Cinco de Mayo celebrations here in Denver.
I could finish by preparing a food or craft associated with one of these holidays as a way to make a personal connection with the cultures.
Maybe you’re a fan of social media. You could look at how Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or other medium are used in four different countries/regions.
Maybe you love to dance. You could explore traditional dances in Spain, Mexico and Peru and how they are reflected in dances in the US Southwest. Then you could learn one and include a video of yourself dancing!
If you include a video, please include only the link, as an embedded video will make it difficult to upload your presentation and will make the file too large for Turnitin.
Be sure to cite your sources throughout your presentation. You should consult at least five (5) different sources, and they should NOT include Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica pages.
Include a final slide with a list of “Works cited,” following APA or MLA guidelines. See the “Resources for Writing” module for specific guidance on how to do this correctly.
Each slide should include a short citation so that those viewing your presentation can then find the source in your list of works cited if they want further information.
Use the “Submit” option on this assignment page to turn in your work for grading, which should automatically also generate a Turnitin report. (Check that your file type does this.)
The goal of this project/presentation is to encourage you to explore aspects of Spanish-speaking cultures that are of personal interest to you. The possibilities are endless, and I hope you have some fun with it!