Short Paper

Thus far we have examined the early history and foundations of Asian American activism and scholarship in relation to the more recent move toward the transnational and the global. We have also read a variety of texts spanning different media and forms (graphic narrative, memoir, novels) that materialize these larger social, cultural, economic, and political concerns through a range of subjective perspectives.

With this in mind, write a short paper (3-4 pages) in which you make an argument about the role of a specific text within this larger scholarly historical project. Your argument must deal with the particular contributions of ONE text and support it with strong literary analysis and close reading of one aspect of the text.

Because of the short length of the assignment, you will need to be concise about your argument. Focus on a specific trope, recurring theme, use of symbol/ image/POV, characterization, deployment of genre, etc. You must limit your examination to one text from the course or you can bring in a related text, with prior approval, from outside the class. You are welcome to bring in or refer to theoretical readings from the course, but these should be limited. Block quotes are not your friend here. The point of this assignment is to showcase your analytical skill.

You must do all  the following things in your essay:

  1. Introduce the text and a specific topic (your choice) within the text.
  2. Make an assertion, contention, or extension about the significance of that topic and how it is expressed (media form, rhetorics, genres, etc.)
  3. Present your own close reading of a passage, character, scene, or outside example to further that argument.

Things you may want to consider in making your argument:

  1. This is potential groundwork for your final project. It should be substantial, but concise.
  2. What is the author trying to convey and how is this done? Through what voice? What point of view?
  3. How does this text function as an example of transnational Asian American media? What does it do?
  4. If you are having difficulty formulating an argument, try addressing one of the course questions in relation to your text.

The details: 3-4 pages, in MLA Format, due  at the beginning of class on Wednesday January 30, 2013, in hard copy. Papers that do not adhere to the standardized formatting guidelines will be docked points.


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