Essay 3: Multimedia essay
The essay invites you to build on all the critical thinking skills and pop culture savvy you have acquired throughout the semester select ONE pop culture product Think about how that product challenges or supports one of the ideas we’ve discussed this semester. Maybe you want to look at how RuPaul’s Drag Race challenges ideas of gender, how Modern Family(Tv series)attempts to normalize gay characters (and whether or not you think they pull it off), or how action films like Die Hard or Taken interact with ideas of masculinity.
These are only a few examples. In order to successfully complete this part of the assignment, you should not only pick something to write about, but articulate a research question about it (ex: how does The Simpsons satirize gender roles in the nuclear family?). Your research question should be a “how” or “why” question, not a simple yes/no.
Once you have your research question, use your close reading skills to analyze your chosen film, show, Tv series etc and try to answer yourself. Then, turn to the authors we’ve read this semester. What can, Blank, Warner, Lipton, Driver, et al contribute to your essay? You only need to source ONE of these authors, but are encouraged to include more. The primary author you rely on, however, should be someone you have not yet written about.
Finally, go out and do some research. Find a text (it can be a documentary, article, book chapter, book, news article, etc) that contextualizes the topic you’re writing about. You might find an article specifically about your topic, or one that provides a social or political insight to the culture at the time it was released. Be creative- don’t just look for something directly related to your particular piece of culture.
The written component of this project should follow MLA Guidelines and include a Works Cited. You do not need to provide a tidy answer to your research question, but your project should show signs of critical inquiry and your claims should be supported by research.
Lastly, you will share your findings with the class in a 10-15 minute presentation. Your presentation should include multimedia elements such as video clips, graphics, etc. Explain to us what your topic is, your research question, how you went about your project, and what you found.
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