Lensed Reading AssignmentFor this assignment, you will use the arguments put forward by David Palumbo-Liu in the
“Introduction” chapter of his book The Deliverance of Others: Reading Literature in a Global
Age (2012) as a lens to perform a close textual analysis of Arundhati Roy’s essays in her book
Walking with the Comrades (2011).
By looking at globally distributed books and films as “delivery systems,” Palumbo-Liu claims
that such literary works introduce the audience to cultural and ideological “others” who they
might not have encountered in their daily life. He is particularly interested in how ‘how
discursive “delivery systems” try to accommodate… a more radical sense of otherness produced
in contemporary historical contexts’ (Palumbo-Liu 21). In this paper, you must explain in detail
how such “accommodation” of other characters or other situations takes place in Roy’s essays.
Your response should be 5 pages in length, with Times New Roman type, 12 point font size, 1.5 spacing
and 1 inch margins. As per the syllabus, your paper is due by the start of class on 3/28 and is worth 15%
of your entire class grade. You should bring a paper copy of the essay to class on 3/28 Mon, and email
me an electronic version of the paper before the start of class. Until both copies are received by me, your
assignment will not be considered submitted. Use the subject line “Lensed Reading Assignment” to email
me your essays.
A well-written paper response to this prompt will achieve the following:
• Present a well-structured academic paper, using the first paragraph to lay down the
purpose of your paper and your main arguments regarding Roy’s essay. You should
either write this paragraph last, or re-write it after completing the rest of the paper.
• Devote a section of the paper to explain the lens argument in your own words. This
involves engaging in-depth with key elements of Palumbo-Liu’s ideas, such as, what he
means by “extreme behavior [being] tamped down,” how the audience is moved to
“feeling ‘the same,’” and what is accomplished in literary works that evoke “ideas of the
family [and] of the body” (Palumbo-Liu 10, 7, 1).
• Dedicate several pages of the paper to a close interpretation of Roy’s essays, focusing on
specific characters, places, events and situations selected by you. In this section, you
should present your original scholarly arguments about Roy’s writing in a persuasive
manner, using Palumbo-Liu’s ideas as a lens. Your aim is not to make broad arguments
about Roy’s essays or provide general commentary about the people depicted by her.
Rather, you should adopt a “close reading” approach to her writing, and explain how
you’ve developed a unique understanding of her work as a result of reading it alongside
Palumbo-Liu’s “Introduction” chapter.
• Lastly, make explicit how your paper uses Palumbo-Liu’s ideas to interpret Roy’s essays,
and how it provides a “unique reading” of Roy’s work as opposed to a straightforward or
layman’s reading.

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