In this short paper (minimum 600 words, submitted via email as a .doc or similar attachment), you should reflect on a community that is important to you and your relationship to it. This paper will provide a foundation for our work throughout the semester, as we will take up different aspects of the community in various assignments. If you want to make your work this semester directly relevant to your academic and professional interests, you are welcome to choose your discipline or future profession as your community (e.g., “biologists,” “accountants,” “journalists”). Your paper should address the following prompts and questions:
- Who belongs to and participates in this community? Is anyone excluded from the community? How is membership in the community determined? What is the relationship between this community and our broader society?
- What are the values and beliefs of this community? How would you describe its orientation toward the world and the issues it addresses? What are the “trained incapacities” of this community and its orientation? What sorts of limitations or blindness characterize the community, its perspectives, and its practices?
- What are the main social practices that this community engages in? What sorts of activities do members of the community engage in?
- What interests and issues are important to this community? What sorts of texts or cultural artifacts does this community produce or engage with?
- What is your relationship to the community? How do you (hope to) participate in and contribute to this community? What role does the community play in your life?