In Prate’s speech “Arts of the Contact Zone,” she uses terms, such as ethnography’s and transfiguration, to help demonstrate the reasoning Of her ideas. The main force of this essay is to explain how the various sections, such as Prate’s son’s baseball arts and Gunman Pomp, support Prate’s argument.
Pratt Starts her speech by sharing her son’s experience which about collecting baseball cards. She points out that her son learned more than just baseball through those cards, those baseball cards gave her son the chance to learn plenty of lessons. For instance, he can learn about the history of America racism and also the struggle against it because he was curious about the difference between each baseball card. And also, collecting and trading those baseball cards gave him a sense fairness, exchange, and trust. Baseball cards opened his eyes and showed him the door o the world.
A contact zone has both positive and negative influences. The positive side, for example, students have different culture backgrounds study in a same classroom. Under such situation, people are able to discuss their idea with different views and share their culture to others, However, a contact zone has a negative side, colonialism is one of the many examples. Following the story about her son, Pratt introduces Gunman pomp, pomp wrote a twelve hundred pages letter to King Philip Ill of Spain minion. This lettering’s in two languages and it can be divided into two different parts.
The first part, “Nouveau Chronic,” “was the main writing apparatus through which the Spanish presented their American conquests to themselves” (Pratt 487). According to Pratt, Pomp’s first part of the letter is an ethnographers text. The second part of the letter, “Been gibbering y justices,” States that the collaboration between the Inca and Spanish is the only way to achieve a “good government and justice”. Gunman Pomp’s text is created With Spanish and Quiches. “He does not simply imitate or reproduce it; he selects and adapts it along Andean lines to express Andean interests and aspirations” (Pratt 491).
Such process is called transfiguration, the cultural change induced by the introduction of elements off foreign culture. Prate’s son’s baseball card experience and Gunman Pomp’s letter share one similar theme and each situation was a contact zone. As mentioned before, a contact zone can be either positive or negative. In Prate’s son’s collection of baseball card experience, his activity with his other collectors not only helped him gain a better knowledge of baseball, but also a better knowledge of life. There was exchange of ideas or aloes through those baseball cards.
The contact zone in Gunman pomp’s letter shows between the Incas and the Spanish and it was a negative example. There was no exchange of ideas or values under such situation because the Spanish conquered the Andean people and enforced new policies that were inequitable to them. In conclusion, Prate’s speech, “Arts of the Contact Zone,” introduces a phrase that a contact zone is an area where ideas, cultures, and values meet. It can be a positive or negative experience and also a chance to contrast a group of people about language, communication and culture.