Teaching Culture: An Autoethnographic Blog

By Angela Brayham.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

What is culture? How do you teach culture? Immersed in culture, students often give little thought to what culture is, or means. This autoethnography presented in the form of a blog, examines my experience developing and teaching an undergraduate course on culture to non-art majors. With the goal of developing awareness and an understanding about culture as well as skills in research, critical and creative thinking, I presented the students with the opportunity to take ownership of their own learning. Utilizing YouTube and blogging students were encouraged to find their own voice while expanding and developing their notions about culture. Autoethnography and personal narrative are powerful tools with which to reflect on and analyze experience. Autoethnographic blogs encourage dialogue as they make the personal reflective experience public. This narrative account demonstrates how the line between learning and teaching can become blurred, shared and negotiated. How embracing new teaching methodologies can be empowering, engaging and exciting, but also challenging and frustrating. This is a story of risks taken, lessons learned and future opportunities.

Keywords: Culture, Pedagogy, Blogs, Blogging, YouTube, Teaching, Autoethnography, Authentic Learning, Personal Narrative

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.277-288. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 644.378KB).

Angela Brayham

PhD Candidate, Recreation & Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Toronto, ON, Canada

The primary focus of my research is the intersection of contemporary art and society. I am interested in the globalization of contemporary art, especially the festivalization of the arts and the international contemporary art biennial. My current research focuses on exploring issues of female identity through fashion and the visual arts, particularly in how artists provide discourse around issues of femininity and feminism. As a blogger, I am also interested in blogging as a form of autoethnography and personal narrative in and for research as well as in the classroom.

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