Your project in this assignment is to consider how narratives, the stories we tell ourselves, create our identities, and how individual identities and people are connected. In fact, you may also travel back to unit 1, to call on Richard Rodriguez, Gloria Anzaldua, Richard E. Miller, Mary Louise Pratt as well as Du Bois, if it suits the purpose of your exploration and if what they have to say speaks to you and correlates to the topic of story and identity and interconnectedness. In Kwame Anthony Appiah’s essay, “Racial Identities“ he writes: “Collective identities, in short, provide what we might call scripts: narratives that people can use in shaping their life plans and in telling their life stories” (57-58). How might you tell a story that places yourself in relation to the available scripts, to the life stories available to a person like you – a person of your culture (or collectivity), a person of your age, now, in the second decade of the twenty-first century? Furthermore, Judith Butler is wrestling with the problem of dehumanization. She writes: “What makes for a livable world is no idle question. It is not merely a question for philosophers…It becomes a question for ethics, I think, not only when we ask the personal question, what makes my own life bearable, but when we ask, from a position of power, and from the point of view of distributive justice, what makes, or ought to make, the lives of others bearable? Somewhere in the answer we find ourselves not only committed to a certain view of what life is, and what it should be, but also of what constitutes the human, the distinctively human life, and what does not.” (238). Then, Susan Griffin asks “Who are we? The question is not simple. What we call the self is part of a larger matrix of relationship and society. Had we been born to a different family, in a different time to a different world, we would not be the same. All the lives that surround us are in us.” (411). Lastly, Edward Said muses on the following: “We turn ourselves into objects not for sale, but for scrutiny. People ask us, as if looking into an exhibit case. ‘What is it you Palestinians want?’ – as if we can put our demands into a single neat phrase. All of us speak of awdah, ‘return.’ but do we mean that literally or do we mean ‘we must restore ourselves to ourselves’?” (578).
In thinking of these concepts of self, identity and relatedness, give your audience for this essay a view of you (your identity) and your world (interconnectedness) with the goal of understanding something more general, something about people like you, something about people in general.
You will need to think critically and self reflexively about representations of race, sexuality, gender, class and citizenship, categories that we use to characterize identity in their partial, flawed and incomplete ways.
1. “Racial Identities” by Kwame Anthony Appiah (42)
2. “Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy” by Judith Butler (238)
3. “Our Secret” by Susan Griffin (381)
4. “States” by Edward Said (559) OR
Michel Foucault “Panopticism” (328)
Success In this essay, you should have:
1. A minimum of 4 pages
, following MLA guidelines for formatting in terms of spacing, margins, font size et al;
2. A title of your own choosing that introduces the essay’s content and findings to your reader;
3. a clear and evident audience and purpose in mind, reflecting consideration of the subject
and the message of your essay;
4. a balance of pathos
, ethos and logos
, taking into consideration your audience and purpose;
5. a creative introduction that indicates a “hook” of some sort and/or the necessary background information any reader needs to comprehend the topic, your thesis and the remainder of your essay;
6. a thesis that embodies a unifying or controlling idea, that all of your analyses and supporting information refer back to and dissects; this should be a statement of your premises and conclusion that all of your reasoning within your essay leads to;
7. body paragraphs that are ordered in a logical, easy-to-read manner throughout the essay;
P.S: I am English speaker as second language, so I don’t need sentences highly elaborated.
This is an academic essay, please, don’t write as you’re a teenager or high school student.