Mary Louise Pratt's Rhetorical Analysis: Arts Of The Contact Zones

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Pratt’s Rhetorical Analysis Stanford college professor, Mary Louise Pratt, spoke on the “Arts of the Contact Zones” in 1990 to collaborating professors in an effort to change the teaching of multi-cultural literacy. Drawing the idea of cultural literacy from an ideological standpoint, she desired to criticize the traditional approach to teaching and embrace what she calls “contact zones.” Pratt has done studies on what she defines contact zone as, she remarks that contact zones are social spaces were two cultures meet with each other. Her aim, however, is very clear that she wants to convince a group of educators to help create a new standard in education that is student-centered and has the intentions in what she calls the contact zone. Pratt…show more content…
Gauman Poma, speech provides a long analogy to her point that perspective can change our understanding of culture. Gauman Poma wrote a letter as an Andean citizen to his Spanish King. A text that included over 800 pages and 400 illustrations, Poma sought to describe life from the perspective of an Andean. He provided insights and knowledge about the life of an Andean citizen in a way his King could understand. Sadly, when Poma sent off his big book of information, his culture had been deemed illiterate in the minds of academia and his stories were lost. Pratt claims, that if the receivers had observed the reading and pursued to learn from it, they would have stored a better understanding of what life was like for the Andean subjects. Nevertheless, this text didn’t fit within the existing understanding of Andean culture and what was almost lost for it. As a replacement, another text, written by a Spanish, Andean citizen living in Spain colored the perspective in a Spanish positive light and was assumed to be the right perspective. Written in standard Spanish without illustration The Royal Commentaries of the Incas by Garcilaso de la Vega, was and up to Pratts speech considered to be the precise narrative for understating the Incan culture. Pratt would have this example surprise us into understanding that by disregarding several perspectives in favor of the right

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