My entire class was required to present our discourse community artifact galleries to each other this past week. My initial thought about the presentations was how diverse the type of communities chosen by each person were. They ranged anywhere from sports teams at Syracuse University to the Boston Tea Party to a worldwide sneaker fan club. It surprised me how drastically different communities were all able to fit the three criteria for a discourse community. I was also really interested to learn more about these various communities through their four corresponding artifacts and develop a better understanding of how certain items and places can mean so much to a community when they seem normal to people on the outside.
One of the things that stood out to me was how Syracuse does not put the names of the player on the back of their jerseys. Five different people mentioned this fact during their presentations and talked about how it played a part in the idea that their community is a team instead of a group of individuals. Another thing that I discovered was that there are hundreds of Facebook groups for talking about and selling sneakers. Apparently, it is a large and very serious discourse community. Lastly, I learned that the lacrosse team is very minimally represented in the space that they practice. When their community comes together, basketball and football awards take over the area. It is interesting to note this because the lacrosse team is ranked fifth in the NCAA, so it would be expected that they would have some more acknowledgment.
The best presentations were the ones that really took the time to emphasize and explain the artifacts that were chosen and their meaning to the community. I was able to connect more to the community and appreciate it as a discourse community if the artifacts were throughly explained and were significant. Overall, I am really impressed by my class’ ability to present and what communities they are involved with.