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In class, we have examined how literature and art can depict alternate histories, that when juxtaposed to official historical narratives, allow readers new perspectives about the current reality. We also have read parts of Represent and Destroy by Jodi Melamed, Black, Brown, Yellow and Left by Laura Pulido, and The City of Quartz by Mike Davis, to help us read literature and the official narrative of history against the grain. This material has informed our understanding of the texts and allowed us to consider texts together in comparative essays that analyzed the effects of a theme throughout two novels.

For this assignment, choose one of the following prompts.

  • Choosing one of the themes below and using two of the primary texts that we have studied this quarter (Zoot Suit, Killer of Sheep, Twilight, Rag Doll Plagues, Parable, Blade Runner), write a comparative essay that:

analyzes how your chosen theme works in the two texts; and

develops an argument, based on your interpretation of the theme within the text, about how the two texts comment on the theme; and

Uses Melamed’s, Pulido’s, or Davis’, concepts as a lens.

Possible themes: Violence/Death/Warfare; Sovereignty; Knowledge Production/Epistemology; Others, check in for approval and tips!

Some questions for you to consider:

  • How does reference to historical political/popular figures outside of the text reconstruct a certain history within the text?
  • How does the theme of death/violence play out differently in two primary texts? What effects does each approach to depicting violence have when juxtaposed against official historical narrative?
  • Track how primary two texts use sovereignty/autonomy, and the process of assigning autonomy, in order to comment on/critique/edit the official historical narrative.
  • How do two primary texts depict potentialities for different epistemologies (ways of knowing)? Different ontologies (ways of being)?

A successful essay will:

  • Formulate a complex claim based on careful reading of the texts, taking stakes and different points of view into account.
  • Examine connections between the primary texts.
  • Provide evidence thoughtfully to support ideas.
  • Articulate how the evidence supports your claim.
  • Summarize sparingly.

Refer to the EWP’s Outcomes. Outcomes 1-4 apply.

Format: Your paper should be 5–6 double-spaced pages with 1-inch margins, in 12-point, Times New Roman font. Ensure that each page has a header with your last name and page number in the top right-hand corner. MLA style citation and Works Cited page.

Audience: You’re writing an academic article for publication, but you can assume that your audience has read the texts you’ve chosen. Thus, your stakes will be about how to read the texts together.

Organization: It is up to you to decide how to structure your argument, but generally speaking, your analysis will be most sophisticated if you integrate evidence from the two texts into a single argument rather than discussing each text in succession.


-The writing employs style, tone, and conventions appropriate to the demands of a particular genre and situation. (2)

-The writing demonstrates an understanding of the course texts as necessary for the purpose at hand. (2)

-Course texts are used in strategic, focused ways (for example: summarized, cited, applied, challenged, re-contextualized) to support the goals of the writing. (2)

-The argument is appropriately complex, based in a claim that emerges from and explores a line of inquiry, taking into consideration counterclaims and multiple points of view as it generates its own perspective and position (6)

-The argument involves analysis, which is the close scrutiny and examination of evidence and assumptions in support of a larger set of ideas. (4)

-The argument utilizes a clear organizational strategy and effective transitions that develop its line of inquiry. (2)

-Errors of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics are proofread and edited so as not to interfere with reading and understanding the writing. (2)

Essay total credit: 20


I want the every word is totally original

I don’t need the rhetorical flourish, I want a clearer roadmap and argument and claim.

Please follow the requirement and rubric.

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