Monthly Archives: November 2004


Henry Giroux, et al, Counternarratives (1996), chapters 1, 2, 4, 5

Term paper, stage six: Peer critiques of drafts

For this stage of the term paper process, each of you should turn in, both to your peer-review partner and to me, a fully-elaborated, careful critique of your peer-review partner’s paper. This critique might take the form of a letter; you should use this letter to help your partner improve his or her paper by giving the author constructive and specific criticism and advice. Some questions to help guide your response are below:
What is your sense of the author’s argument? Restate that argument in your letter — this will help the author to make sure that their intended argument is coming across to the reader. If you have difficulty discerning what the paper’s argument is, say so. If you have a clear sense of the argument, but feel that it could be made more complex or interesting, suggest how the author might go about improving things.
How well substantiated is the argument? How important is the theory to the author’s argument? How well does the author use evidence from the texts to support his or her points? Are there places where the evidence presented might have been more carefully analyzed? Are there places where you needed more evidence? Are there places where your interpretation significantly differs from the author?
What is the experience of reading the paper like? Is the paper coherent and fluid, or could the sentence-level writing use help? Are there other problems, whether mechanical or argumentative, that you want to draw the author’s attention to?
Finally — and most importantly — how interesting do you find the paper? Does the author give you a good sense of the “so what?” factor? If not, how can the author make the importance of his or her argument more apparent?


Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers (1992), chapters 1-3
Term paper, stage six: Peer critiques of drafts due

in-class discussion, 11.17.04

Today we’re wrapping up Radway, and I want to pay particular attention to her conclusions, and what significance those conclusions bear for the project of cultural studies (and particularly Marxist-inflected cultural studies). Start today by spending 15-20 minutes in your small group discussing her conclusions, with respect to the following questions:
1. What are her conclusions?
2. How are those conclusions made complex or left ambiguous? Are there ways in which her conclusions might have been made more satisfying?
3. What do the complexities or ambiguities of Radway’s conclusions suggest about the project of cultural studies?
Think, too, about what other questions Radway’s conclusions raise for you. We’ll come back together after 15-20 minutes to talk as a large group.

Radway (part two)

Radway, Reading the Romance, 119-222

Term paper, stage five: First draft

At last, the draft: On this day, unless you have made other arrangements in advance, you must turn in both to me and to your peer-review partner a draft of your term paper. This draft should be as complete as you can possibly make it, such that you get in return the best possible comments to help you revise. You should accompany this draft with a brief note asking your peer review partner (and me) specific questions aimed at soliciting the kinds of help you need.


Janice Radway, Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature (1984), 1-118
Term paper, stage five: First draft due

de Certeau (part two)

de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 131-203

de Certeau

Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life (1984), xi-xxiv, 1-130
Brief essay due

Term paper, stage four: Annotated bibliography

This is the last stage of the term paper process prior to drafting the paper itself. At this point, you should turn in a bibliography of at least seven non-class texts and two class texts that you expect to use in your. These texts must be annotated more substantively than they were in the preliminary bibliography. Make use of these annotations to think seriously about how these texts connect to your argument, and how you’ll use them in your paper.