Lisa Bloom’s article, “National Geographic Society and Magazine,” analyzes the rise of National Geographic magazine, its constructions of “primitivism,” race, gender, and class, and the way the magazine ties these issues to a construction of “nationalism” in the United States. The article discusses the ways that National Geographic establishes a sense of ‘scientific” authority that makes its presentation of other cultures seem “objective” and apolitical, but it also reveals ways that the magazine’s depiction of non-Western cultures reflects a certain cultural politics. After reading the article, locate a copy of National Geographic and analyze it. Write a paper that focuses on and analyzes some dimension of the magazine that is discussed in the article. You might want to one article in the magazine, photographs, advertisements, subject matter, etc. This is a brief paper and you cannot discuss everything, so pick a specific subject and analyze it in detail. You might have to look through several issues of the magazine to locate something interesting to talk about. BE SURE TO PHOTOCOPY RELEVANT MATERIAL FROM THE MAGAZINE AND TURN IT IN WITH YOUR PAPER. You might focus on one or more of the following, or something completely different: *How does this issue of NG construct its own authority (scientific, objective, rational, civilized, etc.) to report about other cultures?
*How does the text and/ or photos of a particular article represent culture?
*What is the function of the advertisements in the magazine? How do they depict Western or other cultures, or the world in general.
*How does the magazine construct a feeling of “nationality” for the reader? Remember the key is to analyze some dimension of the magazine, not to simply describe or summarize.
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