Applying what we’ve learned so far (“Midterm” writing assignment)
Using the readings and other course materials we’ve looked at so far, apply an intersectional lens to the the idea of technological progress. In order to do this, you might draw on readings we’ve done and discussions we’ve had so far, and you might want to show how those readings apply to things that are still going on today, or talk about how technologies have changed, and how that has–and hasn’t–shifted power structures.
Your essay doesn’t have to be too long–write no more than 700 words (this equates to roughly 4-5 pages of double spaced text in a standard word processing program). Essays will be passed in by posting them as a comment on this blog post, and will be due on
October 5 October 10th by 11pm (note the extended deadline).
A few more details: As you are writing your essay, resist the urge to simply say that nothing much has changed. The most important part of history is looking at change over time. Sometimes this change will not always be progressive. Sometimes things change for the worse. Or they get better and then change back. But they almost always change, and in these changes we can find some sort of lesson, if we look carefully and are clever about synthesizing new knowledge from the details we’ve taken in. Try to tease that out—the new lesson that you find in analyzing the course material and the change over time (and yes, the similarities over time too) that you see played out.
Remember that every essay should try to argue something new and support it with specific evidence from the texts and the course. So start out with a statement that isn’t obvious—maybe even one you’re not too sure about—and see if the evidence holds as you write, altering your argument as needed as you go along. Try to tell your readers something we wouldn’t have known or understood before reading your essay, even if we’d done all the same readings. Try to surprise us—maybe even yourself—with your new insight.
If you’re stuck figuring out what an argument or thesis statement should look like, go back over the readings that we’ve had in the course and try to write down what the argument is in each of those readings. That will help give you an impression of what a historical argument can look like. Sometimes the argument is explicitly stated, but sometimes it’s not and you have to try to infer what it is.
Note: Please LEAVE AN EXTRA LINE of space (hit ‘return’ or ‘enter’ twice) after every paragraph, because this system strips out indents and your paragraphs will run together in one solid block of text if you don’t leave an extra line. Also, your paper will not be visible as a comment immediately after you post it because I have to read and approve them. Because this website, unlike our class discussion board, can be viewed by anyone on the web, I will only make your post visible if you give me permission to do so–please let me know in your post if you do or don’t want me to make your post visible online. And, you can choose a pseudonym for your screen name–you do not have to use your real name.