Finding Your Hidden Intellectualism: Writing Assignment Inspired by Gerald Graff’s Essay

Background

In this unit, we will look at hobbies and interests through which participants demonstrate “hidden intellectualism,” a term Gerald Graff coined to describe academic skills that participants utilize in traditionally non-academic pursuits, such as sports, cheerleading, comic books, video games, television, music, fashion, dancing, shopping, cooking, and so on. It’s not enough, however, to simply write about interests, student-scholars need to see their hobbies or interests through “academic eyes,” or as Ned Laff puts it, in “a reflective, analytical way, one that sees [their hobbies] as microcosms of what is going on in the wider culture” (qtd. in Graff 64). In other words, students need to show how the hobby relates to larger worlds of academics and culture.

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