Summary: [Note: If you do not use headphones to listen to this you may miss the opening narration spoken over the opening credits by literary critic and novelist Amitava Kumar and composer and musician David Amram.] I'm Happy To Be Here is a short ethnographic film about the global presence and rhetorical power of the English language. The video was shot entirely on point and shoot cameras and produced from start to finish in the field on a borrowed lap top computer in Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana and Brazil during the winter and spring of 2010 while I was working as Faculty for the University of Virginia's Semester At Sea Program. Co-produced by one of my students at the time, Adam Friendshuh, (of the University of Minnesota), it is the pilot for an on-going film project I am working on with students who take any of courses I teach, which are set outside of a traditional university classroom, (i.e., see some of my Travel or place-based courses). Called, I'm Happy To Be Here, students participating in this project are assigned two tasks to complete over the duration of the semester: First, to learn how to say the phrase I'm happy to be here in any language they encounter that is different than the language they speak at home or at school or work. And then second, to document themselves actually learning and using this phrase on digital video tape.
Submitted By: Audrey Sprenger