Just a reminder, there will not be a screening tonight. I Have Found It shall be screened in class. Please read the assigned articles (linked from the course schedule) to discuss on Wednesday, following the film. You will receive review materials in class tomorrow, for you to review on your own, in preparation for the Thursday final exam.
If you are doing a blog or creative piece for your final project, please post those by the end of the day today, or I will have to mark you down.
This assignment is designed to assess your ability to write a meaningful and sustained argument, using skills of literary analysis, about the concepts learned in this class.
Option 1: Research Papers
Minimum requirements for this paper: 6 full pages (no more than 8 pages). MLA formatting, 12 pt. Times New Roman Font, 1-inch margins, and include a works cited page. Don’t forget an original title! Please note, that many of the questions are suggestive and you do not need to answer them all or be exhaustive. The goal is to write a cohesive argument that is logically carried through the paper, and supported by substantive and concise close readings.
- Choose one specific feminist discourse and use this perspective to perform a critical literary analysis on one of the primary texts from the class. What arguments are being made in this text? How is this done? How does this text challenge or reinforce cultural norms or conceptions of womanhood. How does this text define “woman” differently? How does reading it through this particular lens change the meaning communicated in the narrative?
- Examine a “woman” from a course text as an ideological construct. How does the character or figure respond to, counter, or reconstruct the notion of “woman.” Make an argument about her as a construct. What function does she play in the narrative and how? Does she embody a theme or make a contention?
- Relate a text from this course with one outside text (literary, graphic, digital, etc.). Make an original argument about an element, image, symbol, trope, etc. and its significance to the two texts. Make sure your analysis is sustained through close reading and additional research, address the formal elements, the genre, the narratives, depictions, and discuss their importance to a particular discourse within feminist theory.
Option 2: Extended Blog Posts
In roughly 2500 words, produce a critical blog addressing a specific phenomena, genre, history of images or tropes, etc. significant to women in literature and women and technology. The blog should be less formal and academic in tone, but equally critical and analytical in content. Bloggers are expected to take advantage of the multimedia affordances of digital media by including images, film clips, sound, etc. to establish contexts and intertextual connections.
These posts should form a cohesive sequence on a single topic. You can choose from one of the above topics, suggested for the research paper, OR you can write about a topic of your own choosing as it relates to women and technology.
How your format and structure these posts is up to you. These can be part of your main blog, or you can create separate pages that are linked off of a single page, made accessible through a tab on the main page.
Option 3: Creative Pieces
In 6-10 pages (12 pt. Times New Roman, 1-inch margins), write a creative piece informed by your own critical work in this class, and a 3-4 page analysis of the piece. This piece should critique, remix, or reimagine images or themes significant to women, technology, and culture. The accompanying analysis of your text must include a works cited page that cites theoretical and primary sources that influence your work. These can be in a variety of forms: short stories, comics, short video, theater, etc. In writing your piece, keep in mind the way the authors of the course material utilized rhetoric, genre, and form to present original creative work that is socially, culturally, and politically informed.
Choosing one of the letters from the Mixquihuala Letters from your own reading of the novel (based upon the path you chose), reflect upon its relation to the Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera. Try to exercise a situational consciousness by viewing yourself in relation to these texts. Each one of you will have very different responses, based upon your own identities/politics/interest, how you read the letters, etc.
Use your close reading skills, and the language and concepts from Anzaldúa, to talk about the effect the letter had on you.
Things to consider (you probably don’t want to attempt to answer all of these things).
- What in the letter had particular significance to you? Was it particular language? Images? Settings?
- Do you relate to one of the characters over the others?
- Or maybe the novel is foreign and alien to you. If so, what makes it an alienating text?
- In your opinion, how does this letter fit in with the rest of the novel?
- What does the choice(s) of reading path say about you? The author? Why do you think the letters were put in that order? Why do you think certain letters were left out?
- If you were to re-arrange the letters in your own path, what order would you put them in? Which letter would you highlight or leave out? What would you name it?
Using the passage that you chose from Angela Carter’s Love, perform a close reading of the passage and connect it to larger themes in the novel, and the course. This assignment is fairly straight forward, but has some distinct steps that must be clearly represented in your blog post. This type of close reading will be applied (with appropriate language and technique) to different texts and media throughout the class, will be expected on your exams, and will be the crux of your final project, though that will be specific to your own research interests.
- Paraphrase – In a few sentences describe what is happening in the narrative at a literal level within this passage. Explain where this falls in the larger narrative.
- Observation – In detail, describe the tone communicated by the author and how is it being achieved. Be specific in pointing out specific word choice (diction), rhetorical devices, syntax, etc. For this, you will need to reread the passage multiple times, annotate, and keep a dictionary on hand (I recommend the OED, which can be accessed through the university library proxy) to look up unfamiliar vocabulary.
- Commentary – Comment on your chosen passage. Why did you choose it? What made it stick out to you? Why is it relevant or paradigmatic of the larger text? Try to connect this to a theoretical reading, in-class or online conversations, and the larger class as a whole.
Do not forget to respond to a classmate’s close reading as well. See if and how you read things differently, and how collaborative readings might bring out different meanings to texts or parts of them.
After you haves started your blog and introduced yourself to the class in your About page, take a moment to write a brief (one paragraph or so) blog post telling us about your research interests, and how you think they might connect to this class. Try to be specific. This will help you to find other class members who may have similar interests come time to comment on other blogs.
Have this completed by class time tomorrow, so another student can comment in class tomorrow.
Whereas Twitter will be a short daily requirement, the blog will be a longer sustained writing exercise that asks you to engage with readings, tweets, class discussions, outside texts, and your own interests. This will be the space in which you are encouraged to explore connections that may not be immediately visible between feminist theory and the things you are interested in (pop culture, video games, knitting, etc.). The purpose of the blog is to give you a space through which to interact but also to make personally relevant, theory that is foundational yet still currently being debated and whose value is still being evaluated.
Each of you, in your groups, is responsible for teaching one piece of feminist theory on the course syllabus to the rest of the class. You may not be the class “experts” for that particular text, but you should demonstrate an emerging comprehension of the text’s terms and concepts so that you can adequately navigate the class toward a stronger understanding of the text through your guided discussion. Like the texts we look at, this exercise serves to destabilize the “expert” and “authoritative” structures that traditionally value some sorts of knowledge and knowledge dissemination over others. It should also make light, the heavy burden of learning very dense theoretical materials. (This assignment is 10% of your final grade.)