The final assignment requires you to synthesize course concepts into an analysis of a recent, specific issue/controversy that interests you. You must turn in ALL components to receive a passing grade. Sexuality will serve as a point of departure as you engage in intersectional, transnational analysis. Pick something that interests you. You may choose something besides the topics suggested, but I must approve all final topics. The main requirement is that the topic piques your interest! This project will stretch across the last six weeks of class and is divided into smaller tasks with specific deadlines. We will discuss specific expectations for each component ahead of time in class. Each component (with the exception of the final draft) will be due at 5pm electronically on the Monday listed.
1. Compiling Coverage: Who’s talking about it? (due April 15) (3%) Choose a contemporary debate/issue around sexuality in a transnational context. Select at least four primary sources that reflect different perspectives on the issue and develop some possible research questions based on course concepts and the primary sources. Why are you interested in this topic? How does a transnational feminist analysis help us understand the issue?
2. Argument Seed: Developing a Critical Analysis (due April 29) (5%) Having selected an issue/controversy, you will now begin to analyze the relevance of sexuality to the matter. How do the class readings and discussion help you historicize the issue? Are there any connections? You should also find a secondary source related to the topic that will help guide your analysis. We will discuss narrowing down research questions as well as how to find appropriate sources in class well before the deadline. Based on your reading of both primary and secondary materials, begin to develop an argument about your topic. You will create a brief (300-400 word) blog post that starts to explore the issue as it relates to sexuality in the Americas. This assignment will help you test out your arguments in an informal setting with fellow students and will help us develop thesis statements in-class and via the blog.
3. Rough Draft (due May 13) (10%) You will submit a 5-page rough draft that incorporates your argument ‘seed’. The draft should develop the analysis further, be in conversation with class readings/discussions, and incorporate at least two secondary sources. Further instructions will be discussed in class.
4. Paper Feedback (due May 27) (5%) Students will be paired up and asked to provide each other with constructive feedback and comments outside of class. You will provide your colleague with a 2-page double-spaced letter outlining strengths and weakness of the paper and suggestions for improvement. We will review how to provide constructive feedback in class.
5. Spreading Knowledge- Critical Blog Post (due June 3) (5%) By this point you will have produced a rough draft of your research project and are in a position to summarize your research findings and share them with the public. This assignment asks you to write a polished 600 word post that introduces your issue/controversy and provides a transnational, feminist analysis of one component. In order to focus your post, you should select a key image, object, meme, or slogan from the issue/controversy. It should be something iconic or something recurring- how does this image/object help elucidate the issue? What meanings does the object have? How do these meanings shift in different locations or from different perspectives? Describe the cultural significance of your object for analysis. Think about how cultural anxieties are enacted through the object and its context in relation to categories of difference. If analyzing an image, how does it construct a story? What is it? Does it evoke other images? Which ones? Further instructions will be provided.
6. Final Research Paper. (due June 11 @ 10am) (15%) This final draft will reflect revisions based on feedback from fellow classmates as well as the instructor and should be in conversation with class readings.
7. Quarter Reflection (due June 11 @ 10am) (3%) You are asked to provide a 1-2 page reflection on your intellectual and personal progress during the quarter—what new things did you learn? What questions linger? What worked and didn’t? What could be improved? This assignment is not graded for content, so please be honest!