Reading Our Histories, Understanding Our Cultures: A Sequenced Approach to Thinking, Reading, and Writing
Reading Our Histories, Understanding Our Cultures is an innovative cultural studies reader based on the assumption that the life of every person is intimately connected to the life of the culture.
By translating the best of current work in cultural studies and process approaches to writing into practical sequenced assignments, it motivates students to develop essential critical thinking, reading, and writing skills.
Students are asked to engage in two complementary forms of inquiry consistently throughout the book: “historical analysis,” in which they analyze change and continuity over time; and “cultural analysis,” in which they explore how and why different perspectives can exist within the same time period.
This kind of inquiry is meant to engage students' personal interest and, in the process, to reconceptualize what is thought of as “the personal” within larger social contexts. It enables students to move from writing just “opinion” to writing analytically and persuasively about their own perspectives and those of others.
Reading Our Histories, Understanding Our Cultures teaches students to trace how a particular issue is woven into the larger cultural and social fabric, and to negotiate among different perspectives from the past and present to develop a position of their own. This kind of work is where genuine critical inquiry begins.