Multicultural Cosmology -- Writing Assignment #1.


ID 1 Critical Inquiry Section 19 -- Professor Bryan Penprase, Fall 1993.

(First draft due 9/23/93)

For our first writing assignment, please develop one of the topics below.

The report should be 3-5 pages, double spaced, and should include an additional attachment which describes the sources used for the paper. Be sure to make full use of the resources of the Claremont Colleges library, and the computer facilities.

1). Briefly describe one form of astronomical observations from an ancient society. You may choose any culture of any era, and describe the techniques they used to observe the stars and planets. Also address the issue of why the observations were made, how the observations were important to the people, and what the role of the astronomer/astrologer was in the society.

2). Describe and analyze a sky myth from an ancient society. In your paper address the following issues: what astronomical question does the sky myth address? what social issue does the sky myth address? What does the sky myth reveal about the society that created it?

3). Compare and contrast two sky myths from ancient cultures. You may choose two myths from the same society, or from two different different societies. In your paper address the following issues: what is the astronomical origin of the myth? How do the different interpretations of the sky reflect on the different world views and issues of the people who invented them?

For each of the topics, please be specific in your interpretations, and back up your arguments with plausible and specific references. Also feel free to consult your classmates and me in preparing the paper -- don't work in a vacuum!

The "additional attachment" describing sources is more than a bibliography. It should be an acknowledgment section, where you give credit to those who helped you write the paper, and list additional means used to locate books, and understand the contents of the material. Please collaborate with others in the class, and list collaborations in the sources section.

Good luck.. We will discuss the paper in class, and revise the first draft by peer review.