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Alien Encounters: Writing about the "Other"

Project Overview

Many of the earliest texts which have come to be associated with the cannon of American Literature were inspired by a kind of "first contact" -- the encounter between Europeans and Natives. The attempts by each group to portray the other were often distorted by the lens of assumptions brought to those encounters, assumptions which say more about how we project our own understandings on the cultural other than the reality of those early encounters.

For this RWLO, students will read an on-line definition of "Ethnocentrism" and then visit UFO/Alien Abduction web sites to explore these contemporary accounts of encounters with "the other." They will then be asked to reflect, in writing, on the similarities between these accounts and those they've read in the course text.