• April 17th, 2016

Cultural memory

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

Final Research Paper

In your Final Research Paper, you will apply the tools of historical and literary critical analysis to a specific example cultural memory. Choose a specific cultural identity (e.g., race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, social class, religion, etc.) and examine that group’s cultural memory.


Analyze how that group’s identity has been constructed through its location in a historical narrative, and show how that historical understanding has been transmitted through one specific literary text.


You may consider either how that group has constructed its own identity or how other groups have constructed an identity for it, but you will not have room to do both.


You may use any literary text you wish (including pop culture sources such as films), though it would be easiest to use texts assigned in this class. Likewise, you may reference any scholarly sources you wish, though you are encouraged to use the sources from the course reading list.

Steps to Complete the Assignment:


Review the concepts of cultural memory (Week Three) and cultural identity (Week Four). Make sure you understand these concepts as you choose a specific group’s cultural identity. Be specific. Is it African American, Asian American, gay, working class, Wiccan, Muslim, Iranian, etc.? Choose one.

Then, explore that group’s “cultural memory” and “cultural identity” through one literary text. Using either one of your instructor’s assigned literary texts or a literary text of your choice, select a novel, film, poems, etc. that illustrate the group’s cultural memory and cultural identity.

Has the group constructed its own cultural identity or have others constructed an identity for it? For example, Edward Said’s orientalism illustrates how others have constructed a cultural identity for the people of the Middle East that is in stark contrast to their own cultural identity. The prompt suggests you choose one or the other (self-constructed or externally defined cultural identity), but not both.

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