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please select one or more authors and/or texts from our course and develop an approximately five (5) page (double-spaced) essay that aims to either 1.) develop an argument that expands on and/or critiques the authors/texts selected by way of comparison/contrast with another author/text or 2.) deploy the authors/texts to make an interpretive intervention into a particular historical or contemporary cultural topic or question. In other words, please compose either a theoretical compare/contrast essay, or an empirically-grounded essay applying course materials to a particular cultural issue or question.For example, if one was intrigued by Freud’s analyses, two options present themselves: one might choose to further elaborate the implications, strengths, and limitations of Freud’s position in comparison/contrast with the analyses provided in, say, Althusser. Or, one might like to pick up the arguments developed in Freud and elaborate on their significance in the context of the political climate or actions pre/post the recent U.S. elections. Perhaps you enjoyed our discussions of race or gender – then one could choose at least two authors/texts to expand upon, highlighting their strengths and limitations in light of each other’s analyses. Or, one might use a particular reading or set of readings from class as a theoretical lens through which to discuss the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement. Perhaps Marx’s thought illuminate aspects of the discussions swirling around questions of work and well-being in the context of COVID-19? Do any of our authors provide particularly poignant insights into the positive or negative role of social media in our lives? The cultural sky is the limit here!It is also suitable to craft a final paper that ‘goes big’ insofar as it aims to address the ‘big picture’ questions of our course – what possibilities do or could exist for expanding individual and collective liberation? What obstacles to individual and collective freedom do our authors highlight and what, if any, interventions do they explicitly lay out or implicitly gesture towards?
Important: Whether folks choose to embark on a more theoretically-based elaboration/compare/contrast-style essay or to develop a more empirically-grounded application of course materials to past or ongoing current cultural concerns, please be sure to include direct textual evidence in support of any central claims made in the final paper. Insofar as technical terminology is necessary, please be sure to briefly explain what theoretical concepts mean for the author(s) in question. While these papers are necessarily motivated by individual interests and concerns, please be sure to fully explain the arguments and significance of the materials developed prior to elaborating on one’s personal position/assessment of said materials. Some subjective interpretation and assessment are most welcome; however, final papers should not mirror impassioned letters to the editor! In other words, please be sure to establish the main positions and reasonings behind the materials chosen before extending or applying them beyond the scope of our class discussions. .pdf file