Cultural Commonplaces Speech – The Venus Figurines

Create a speech discussing the cultural artifact: The Venus Figurines.
Provide an analysis of the cultural artifact using public identity as a critical lens. Your goal in this speech is to explain to your audience the basis for your critical judgment about the artifact. The body of the speech should back up your claim about the persuasiveness of the artifact. Divided into 3 points:

Point 1: Context. Describe the artifact, how it came into being historically and/or culturally. Some may find it easy to fit this in the intro for well known objects, but others may need to spend a main point on it.

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Point 2: Answer the question one of the following questions (How does the artifact create/reinforce/undermine a community’s beliefs/understanding of gender roles, identity, or sexual orientation?) or (How does the artifact create/reinforce/undermine a community’s social, economic, &/or power structures?)

Point 3: Evaluate. What were the consequences or (potential) impact of the object? Were the purposes of the object fulfilled or contradicted by its persuasive stance? Were the principles behind it valid or good?

Your analysis should focus on claims made by the artifact on the audience in terms of the issue of public identity (race/gender/orientation, citizenship, or public memory). Additionally, your speech should inform us about the context of the artifact by presenting sufficient historical and cultural background for the audience in class. Ultimately, you should be presenting a clear and thoughtful argument about the object as something that can be understood as a material instance of rhetoric. This argument should not be limited to whether the object was merely aesthetic, functional, or in conversation with community standards, but should judge it according to the criteria of how it—intentionally or not—persuades someone to think, to act, or to believe in specific ways. Were the purposes of the object (assuming it had an intended purpose) fulfilled by its persuasive stance or contradicted? What were the consequences or potential impact of the artifact? Were the principles behind it valid?

Keep in mind Logos. Logos is one of the rhetorical proofs that lead to judgment by the audience. Logos is based on evidence and reasoning, language, and structure. Your analysis, given in a speech, will demonstrate how you use criticism as a form of civic engagement. What you believe to be the persuasive dimensions of the cultural artifact will demonstrate that you know how to be a critic involved in public life, that you know how to do criticism that is engaged in civic matters, and that this functions in ways that are important for the good of the public.

Provide support for your speech by drawing on what others say about the artifact or about artifacts like it: include a minimum of six published sources cited in the speech. . Four of the six sources must be scholarly (edited, peer-reviewed) publications.

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