ENGL 350 Final project
Final Essay (40% of your overall grade)
- The deadline for your final essay is 3/19/08, at 5 PM. I will not accept late work (except in cases involving documented emergencies). I will discuss the procedure for turning in your essay during the final week of class.
- Your essay should be seven pages in length (not counting works cited page). Please double-space your work and use 12-point Times Roman or Times New Roman font. Use correct MLA format for all citations (no comma!) and include a works cited page (which lists only those materials you actually cite in your essay). Work by yourself in completing this assignment.
- Your essay must address one of the following three topics. Regardless of which topic you choose to tackle, you must frame your essay as a coherent, sustained argument, with a clear, analytic claim (thesis). Do not treat your “adopted keyword” as a static, ahistorical object. Treat it as part of a changing, living “vocabulary.”
Compose a polished, coherent, and argumentative entry for one of your group’s two keywords, using the model provided by the various contributors to Keywords for American Cultural Studies (2007). (You may not write about the same keyword that was the focus of your first essay.) Your entry should note, provide examples of, and explain the significant uses of your keyword by several (ideally, three) authors we have read this quarter. In addition, it should identify and explain all significant shifts in the word’s dominant sense (while noting significant variations in the word’s residual and emergent senses) that we have encountered in the course readings. Lastly, your entry should provide examples of and explain how each of the major shifts in your keyword’s dominant sense is tied to specific “clusters” of other keywords.
Trace the use of both of your group’s two keywords in one of the authors we have read this quarter. (You may not write about Jefferson as your primary author.) You should provide examples that illustrate the dominant, emergent, and residual senses in which your author uses both keywords. Be sure to explain and provide careful analysis of these examples. It may be helpful to contrast briefly your author’s use of these words with the ways in which other authors we have read employ one or both of the keywords differently. (You may use Jefferson as a point of contrast for your primary author.) Lastly, you must provide examples of and explain how your group’s two keywords function together within a particular keyword “cluster,” which is central to your primary author’s larger project.
Explain and compare the various ways in which three of the following four authors theorize textuality: Franklin, Wheatley, Child, Rowson. In other words, how does each imagine the function and power of reading, writing, and publishing—as activities that mediate and/or challenge various social relationships? After you have illustrated, explained, and contrasted three authors’ notions about textuality, situate your own critical wiki project within the textual genealogy you have created.
- If you have any questions about this assignment, please see me ASAP. I will be happy to meet with you after class, during my regular office hours, or by appointment (arranged in person or by e-mail). Don’t wait until the last minute to bring up questions—especially since my availability may be somewhat limited next week.