Analytical Essay 4
(AE4-RD1, AE4-RD2, AE4-FD)
Saidiya Hartman, “The Anarchy of Colored Girls Assembled in a Riotous Manner.” [REQUIRED]
David Treuer, “Digital Indians: 1990-2018.” [REQUIRED]
And one (1) of the following:
Karen Ho, “Biographies of Hegemony.” OR
Susan Faludi, “The Naked Citadel.” OR
Cathy Davidson, “Project Classroom Makeover.”
As you’ve noted in class discussions, Davidson, Faludi, and Watters all discuss how broader forces, larger than the individual, can have real power effects in the lives of rank-and-file members of a social group. Davidson argues that the authority principle of 20th-century education fails students for the 21st-century. Faludi discusses how institutionalized social hierarchy – the Fourth-class System at the Citadel – works to shape Cadets into the contradictory ideal of the “Whole Man.” Ho shows how recruitment to Wall Street may not truly reflect innate talents or passions, narrowed instead by a hegemonic Ivy campus elitist culture; Hartman shows us someone who lived free – Esther Brown, who chose no compromise in her life not despite, but because of the stark options the racial politics of America provided her at the time. In this context, all our essays concern the way everyday citizens are not always in total control of the person they are, or the world around them. In other words, we see evidence in all three essays that the world we experience and understand is made – at least in part – through structures and systems we can sometimes easily see, and are sometimes invisible to us in daily life.
For AE4, you are required to use three (3) sources: Hartman (required), Treuer (required) and one (1) other of the assigned readings of your choice to make an argument that addresses the following question:
What does it mean to live freely in 2020?
Please note the draft genesis for this question: “How does Hartman help us understand freedom today?” The edited version chosen above is to help students avoid writing a response paper/report on Hartman; the thesis must still be independent on the sources, as in every other paper, but the draft question should give you some thoughts on how to apply anything your find in Hartman’s article to the question above.
Draw upon three essays for evidence and analysis in crafting your thesis – make strong connections between them; put them “in conversation” with each other. As always, avoid opinion, anecdotal evidence, and extraneous material to make your case.
Questions to brainstorm quotation evidence selection and interpretation:
What is freedom? How do you understand that term? Are there different types of freedom you can be specific about in your thesis?
Is there a difference between the “freedom to” do something, vs. “freedom from” something? When you talk about free above, are you talking about freedom to do, or freedom from a greater force or power?
Why is Esther Brown an example of a woman who chose to live free, and defy the punishment given her for defying the “order” that was meant to promote “the public good” in Harlem at the time?
What is order? What is disorder? What are the effects and impacts of each?
What is within your control, and what, if anything, is outside it?
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