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Interdisciplinary Humanities 240 - The Humanities of Asia: The Event Report

This guide is designed to help students complete the research project for IHum 240, Humanities of Asia.


Your instructions from Dr. Lawson can be found in a course document on Learning Suite.  Note carefully the

  • Purpose
  • Focus
  • Sources
  • Format


You are to attend at least three Asian cultural events, select one of them, and write a paper using ethnographic skills discussed in class.

What is ethnography?

The aim of ethnography is to understand people on their own terms.  How does an ethnographer do this?

   1.  Observation.  An ethnographer observes and takes notes, detailed notes.

   2.  Look for patterns.

   3.  Look for meaning in the patterns.


"Sources" for your event report does not mean the event.  Your report is a research paper based on the event you choose--the object of your ethnographic inquiry.  The sources the Instructions for the Event Report refers to are the academic, scholarly, reputable sources you consult to help you draw out the patterns and analyze the meaning of the event you choose. 

This course guide will help you find these sources.  Use the resources of the library.  Those especially helpful in researching humanities, specifically the humanities of Asia, are listed on this course guide.

Getting started

Suppose you have attended several movies made in India and you notice that in all of them the Ganges River is seen or mentioned.  You find yourself wondering what a sacred river is, why the Ganges is sacred, and what a sacred river means to believers.  To start finding the answers to some of these questions, and deciding which of them, or which variation of them, you will write your event report on, first

1.  Look at your event notes.  What questions did you jot down?

2.  In these questions, which words can be used as keywords in a search?

3.  Do an initial search on the main box search on the library home page.  Perhaps you might simply search Ganges and sacred.  Notice that boxes on the left-hand side of the page allow various ways of sifting out the results.

4.  You may find that you need to do some background reading to help you understand the things you have observed.  Background sources like encyclopedias and textbooks are very useful for this.  They are not usually cited or included in lists of sources.

5.  As your understanding of your research question and focus develops, use the databases listed on the Books and Articles tab to search for relevant sources that will help you analyze meaning from a participant's point of view.

Contact Information

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Tim Davis
I am happy to meet with you in person or virtually to help you with any research questions.

Office: 5449 HBLL
Phone: 801-422-4061

Get Help

Humanities Reference
Level 5
Hours: M-Th: 8am-9pm; 
F: 8am-6pm; Sat:10am-6pm


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