What questions about your artifacts are you asking?

Racism and Stereotypes in Movies

Introduction and Explanation

Topic: By February 19th, you will prepare a couple of sentences that describe the general topic you will be working with. These sentences should describe the artifacts you will be working with and the conceptual question(s) you think you will be considering. You may upload this as a Word document to Sakai or type the sentences directly into the Sakai submission portal for this assignment.
Thesis and bibliography: By March 5th, you will prepare a bibliography of the (potential) academic sources you will be referring to for your project as well as a succinct thesis statement that encapsulates the argument that you will make. The bibliography should contain at least 7 sources, and you are encouraged to draw from course readings for these sources.

One-page proposal: By March 26th, you will prepare a short proposal that narrates:

The goals and objectives of your paper:
What questions about your artifacts are you asking?
What theoretical apparatus are you using to ask these questions?
How do you think this apparatus will allow you to answer questions about your artifact?
The relevance and significance of your paper
Are you offering novel interpretations of culturally relevant material?
What constituencies might your paper respond to, help inform, or reframe?
Peer Review: On April 30th, you should have a draft of your full project. On that day, I will send a list of pairs or groups of three. You will exchange your papers with your partner or group, read them, and complete the peer review form that you can find on Sakai.
Final project—paper option: Writing humanistic, academic criticism can be tricky. I’d encourage you to pay special attention to articles from academic journals and to try to use them as a model. Additionally, I have prepared a guide, “How to do criticism,” that you can find on Sakai. While you do not have to adhere to the method I outlined in that document, it is a good place to start if you are confused.
Your final project should be a thoughtful, specific, and critical engagement with theories and artifacts of popular culture. The default version of this final project will be a (minimum) 13-page research paper in the style of humanistic, academic criticism that engages with some aspect of popular culture, broadly construed, and with a significant conceptual question reviewed in the course.


That said, engagements with culture and theories about culture do not need to be in the register of written academic criticism. I encourage you to reflect on your skills, interests, and goals if you think you’d prefer to do something that isn’t a paper. Come speak with me if your skills and interests are pointing your project toward a different format. Some examples might be any sort of artistic engagement with theory and culture (e.g. visual art; narrative or poetry; drama or performance art); or something in a popular medium (e.g. a video essay; a podcast).


While I do not expect this to be a formal annotated bibliography, you should write 2-3 sentences for each source that 1) index what, for you, is the most important idea in the source and 2) give a good reason for why this source will help you develop or support the argument you will make.


This assignment should have the thesis at the beginning of the document followed by your list of references, formatted in the citation style of your choice. Each reference should be followed by descriptive sentences.

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What questions about your artifacts are you asking


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