One of the primary questions of critical-cultural work is “what’s going on?” That is to say, we are interested in understanding the complexity of contemporary events. Just like how our connection presentation will ask you to make connections between course readings and current events, this assignment will ask you to write a 2,000-word public essay which could be published in an online blog or magazine which draws on the materials we have read and discussed in the classroom and apply them to some sort of text, object, practice, or event you find meaningful or important. This assignment coincides with the third unit of our class, which examines some case studies of cultural studies work exploring issues related to our community.
Here’s what you should do:
Pitch a story to and get approval
Your pitch should include 1) a topic, 2) how it connects to our course, and 3) what you will examine (news stories, television episodes, podcasts, policy reports, etc.) to write the post. This can be just a few sentences, enough for me to assess the pitch. once you have your idea, and at least three days before the assignment is due.
Research thoroughly with appropriate news reporting and academic research as necessary, or examine texts (like movies, television episodes, comics, etc.) thoroughly with detailed notes.
Write a 2000-word essay. The style should be formal and written like you were writing a feature for a publication like The Atlantic. You might also consult the examples from Culture Critically we are reading in the third unit of the course for inspiration and for potential templates
Your essay should be argumentative in nature, using your research to make a claim about the significance or importance of the topic you are studying.
Your essay should include at least three academic sources, including two from our course syllabus, and at least non-academic sources, which might include newspaper/magazine articles, editorials, other public essays, etc.
Your essay will additionally be graded on the clarity of its writing, which includes correct grammar and a well-developed argument supported through research. While this essay is not necessarily “academic” in the traditional sense, effective public writing still depends on well-researched and clearly communicated ideas.