Thus far in the course, we have explored and analyzed some of the ways that cult

Thus far in the course, we have explored and analyzed some of the ways that culture, as enacted in language and literary issues and/or texts, engender different ways of seeing and knowing which in turn affect both perception of and policy towards “the other” across various contexts. Now is your chance to complete a deeper analysis of one example of a cultural event or cultural product that has/had political implications of one kind or another.
You will choose one of the following approaches to your paper:
Analyze the political implications of a cultural representation in a novel, film, television show*, poem, song, music video, cartoon, painting or other artwork of your choosing.
If you choose this option, you will consider our discussions on the novels, poems, and music videos we have analyzed in class and bring these methods of analysis to a new text of your choosing. You might make an argument about how the cultural representation you choose reinforces a particular political narrative, or takes an implicit stand on a political issue. You might analyze the political implications of the use of language or consider how the representation in question “writes back” to previous representations. The paper will depend on close reading of the piece of art itself. Keep in mind that your analysis can be a critique.
Make an analytical argument about a political controversy (past or recent) surrounding a cultural product (novel, film, song, music video, cartoon, statue or literary translation) or media representation.
If you choose this option, your analysis will focus on describing the political context surrounding the event or controversy rather than a close reading of the text itself. You will make an argument about how and why the particular cultural product became the center of the political controversy under question.
Examples of Topics for Option 2:
Media representations of the COVID-19 pandemic as the “China Virus”
The awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Peter Handke in 2019
Controversy over the translation of “The Hill We Climb” (by Amanda Gorman)
Tennessee School Board Banning of Maus (by Art Spiegelman)
Blacklash against the “Fearless Girl” statue (by artist Kristen Visbal)
*A note about TV shows: you can talk about a series as a whole, but your argument will be much better served if you focus on one episode or character.
For either essay approach, in order to help establish the context of your discussion and support your argument, you must use at least two secondary (scholarly) sources; these secondary sources may include both course readings and outside material. You may choose to include more than two scholarly sources. For Option 2, in particular, you may also need to include additional popular media sources to provide context. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about appropriate sources.
Formatting Guidelines:
Your final paper should be a total of 5-7 pages of word-processed, double-spaced text. Please use Times New Roman, 12 pt. font and 1 inch margins.
Give your essay a title that relates to the focus of your argument
Include parenthetical citations for all references (whether direct quotations or paraphrases) and a formal Works Cited Page in MLA or APA format
Do not forget to include the honor statement at the end of your paper: “On my honor, I have neither received nor given any unauthorized assistance on this examination (assignment).”

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