The first major project for this class is an analysis of one or more of the texts we have read this semester as a piece of cultural criticism. In a standard literature class, we might look at a text and keep the focus solely on the language and world in the text. For cultural criticism, we look closely at the language of the text; indeed, the actual language provides much evidence to support the thesis. However, in cultural criticism we also must account for the historical, social, and political context. There are many ways to approach this analysis. Here are some examples:
A focus on the reception or impact of a text at its time of publication. For example, what were the controversies around Fanny Fern’s columns and what can we learn about her possible impact from reader responses? All essays will have a claim that is the argumentative thesis for the essay. Your good analysis, research, and, the text(s) you choose, function as evidence for the claim. Please use at least five good academic or academically-credible sources that you have found through our library catalogue, the MLA Bibliography, Academic Search Premier, LibSearch, or other databases.•
Does the essay have an appropriate yet argumentative claim?•
Is the claim supported with credible evidence and analysis throughout the essay?•
Does the essay demonstrate an understanding of the relevant context, characteristics,•
conventions, etc. associated with nineteenth-century literature and culture?
Does the essay contain clear and credible close readings of a text?•
Does the essay employ at least five academically-credible sources, three of which are•
scholarly and peer-reviewed, documented correctly, using MLA or APA style of
documentation in the essay and in a Works Cited page?
Is the essay clearly and effectively written?•
Is the essay about 2500 words or ten pages?•