Research Essay Instructions And Topics
Choose one of the following topics and follow the formatting/general instructions presented below the list of topics. The essay will be 1500 words in length (+/- 100 words), not including your works cited page. The main support for your argument will come from the texts themselves; in addition, however, the essay must include references to as least 3 secondary sources. You cannot pass the assignment if you do not include at least 3 secondary sources (necessarily academic). The essay’s argument will be the one submitted in your research essay proposal, revised as necessary based on the feedback you received on that assignment. All essay topics are purposefully general because you are expected to create your own original approach to discussing the subject matter. Essays that do not attempt originality and only answer the questions “as is”, will receive a failing grade.
1)Choose 2 texts from the syllabus that discuss how race is a social construction. How was race mobilized socially, politically, economically? The best papers will choose one of the three methods of mobilization and create a debatable and precise argument. While the methods are related, push yourself to focus on one if possible.
2)Part of every lecture was a biographical brief on the author whose work we were reading. This topic is potentially one of the most challenging because you are to investigate 1 author from the syllabus and look at outside (outside of their text/writing careers) factors of their lives and argue how these factors influenced their scholarship. For example, if you were interested in Edward Said, you would know he is an accomplished musician. You could investigate his music as a starting point for your argument on his politics and his book, Orientalism. Please note, a paper that exclusively summarizes the author’s lived experiences will receive a failing grade.
3)Choose 2 texts from the syllabus that discuss race and/or sex(uality) as a performance. How can we understand performance as a method of survival (maybe think about Venus Xtravaganza here)? Ambitious papers will delve into Judith Butler, among other theorists of gender and sexuality, for the research component of this assignment.
4)Pending my approval, you may create a course-related topic of your choosing. Please email me before the submission date of assignment 3 (research proposal) to set up a time to meet and discuss your idea.