Students will write a seminar paper that explores thematic elements of at least two texts. The paper should NOT use any outside sources. Instead, the paper should offer an argument for a particular interpretation or understanding of a text. Evidence or research for the paper should come from the primary text itself, rather than an outside source.
Students will choose from two possible types of papers:
1) Students will identify a shared theme in two texts from different eras or regions and offer analysis of textual evidence to support their argument for a given/shared theme. (For example, if I want to argue that the Illiad and the Song of Roland have a theme of male bonding/homosocial relationships,I would identify the important male-male relationships in the text and offer close readings of passages that support my argument. I would also offer a discussion how these representations might assist in our understanding of male bonding, or help us to identify shared human experience across cultures.)
2) Students will find a modern text (this may be a book, short story, television show, film, commercial, play, etc.) and identify the ways in which the modern text and a text from our readings explores the same theme. The student will provide textual examples from both texts and then offer a close reading of each to connect the two. (If, for example, I want to write a paper about how both the Illiad and Lord of the Rings explore male bonding/homosocial relationships etc, I might offer examples from both and then consider how they are similar and how they are different, and what this might say about the time period in which it was written, the genre, the different audiences, etc.)
• MLA format
• 12 pt times new roman font
• double spaced
• 5-7 pages
***Your paper should offer the kind of analysis we do in class. I expect close readings of texts. This means that when you offer up a quote or refer to an element of the text, I then expect to read your interpretation.
***This class aims not only to give you a general understanding of literary texts across cultures, but also to teach critical thinking skills. Do NOT simply summarize the texts and then say they are alike. You must find specific evidence in each text, as we have done all semester.