ENGL 300
Masculinities in Literature & Culture, Spring 2006
Paper #2 Assignment

Pick one of the options below, and compose a 1,500-2,000 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: compare/contrast the effect of grounding one's notion of masculinity in the physical body in any two or three literary works we've read since the mid-term. Remember: we're pretty much born with our biological sex, but we learn gender as we grow up. But what effect does that physical body have on characters' ideas of gender? What's the effect of having/not having a penis? Of having muscles or not, etc.?

  • OPTION 2: compare/contrast what happens when the national/ethnic and the masculine intersect in any two or three literary works we've read since the mid-term. How important is a notion of masculinity to one's national/ethinic identity, and vice versa? When does a national/ethnic identity interfere with a gender identity, or vice versa? Do characters' notions of masculinity change in relation to their own or others' nationality/ethnicity?

  • OPTION 3: compare/contrast the treatment of masculinity in any one literary work we've read since the mid-term to any current film, episode of a television series, or recent national-level cultural event or phenomenon (not just some happening local to Salisbury). Make sure that the literary work and what you compare/contrast it to are at least similar enough to work with together (you know, basic ENGL 101 stuff: apples and apples). How would you connect tthese things, and how distinguish them? What do you learn from bringin them into proximity?

    Paper Due to my office TUESDAY May 16 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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