ENGL 300
Masculinities in Literature & Culture, Spring 2006
Paper #1 Assignment

Pick one of the options below, and compose a 1,000-1,500 word paper in response to that topic. Be sure that you keep your paper focused on your topic, and that you refer to, quote, and cite the literature often -- but no bloc quotations! Also, no plot summary (where you retell the work you're discussing). Assume that we've all read the literature, and get right in to your discussion.

The paper should be uniform and professional:

Citation of the literature should appear in MLA style--see me if you are not familiar with MLA style. You may use outside sources, but I do not require you to -- if you do use outside sources, cite them in MLA style and include a works cited page in MLA format.

PROOFREAD YOUR PAPERS BEFORE SUBMITTING THEM. PAPERS WITH BASIC ERRORS WILL BE RETURNED UNREAD, UNGRADED, AND COUNTED LATE. Make sure you refer to works by their correct genre (essay, play, story, novel), and keep them distinct. Take advantage of the SU Writing Center in the Guerreri Center for help. (For extra help, see my Writing Tips page.)

»» OPTIONS (pick only one of the following):

  • OPTION 1: discuss the problems that occur when masculinity is presented as only a binary opposite to femininity in any work we've covered. When does masculinity run into problems by presenting itself primarily as feminine's opposite? What kind of problems, and for whom? With what results?

  • OPTION 2: discuss masculinity as a phenomena of self-representation or performance from Euripides' Bacchae to Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. In what ways have these works shown masculinity as an act, a presentation of a certain sense of self to the rest of the world? How much does masculinity depend on a receptive and interpretive gaze or audience?

  • OPTION 3: discuss masculinity as related to notions of either ethnicity or morality in any works we've read. How is that connection made? Based on what logic? With what results, and for whom?

    Paper Due to my office Wednesday March 29 by 4 p.m. Do not e-mail me your paper; I accept only hard copies turned in on time. If you want to discuss your paper or topics with me, please make an appointment for an office visit (344 Holloway). Remember that failure to turn in either of the long papers will fail you from the course.

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