Your final paper should be 1500 words maximum, and it should draw directly upon one of the texts we’ve read throughout the course. This means that you need to quote the author you’re writing about at least twice, and explain each quotation in order to achieve full marks. You should also try to include at least one example of the ideas you’re discussing in the paper.
I will list several potential topics below. If you choose to write on one of these topics, please make sure to answer the question directly. If you would like to write a paper on a topic of your own choosing, please send me a proposal by May 1st with your thesis statement (that is, what you want to show in your paper). In both cases, avoid simply listing things you know about the author or the reading, avoid making sweeping generalizations (since the beginning of recorded historyâ€¦), and try to focus on what evidence you need from the text to answer the question, and answer it in a way that even someone who hasn’t taken the class would find convincing.
You do not need to include a works cited page unless you do secondary research from outside the course (but this is not required).
1. What does Plato think democracy is, and why does it necessarily devolve into a tyranny?
2. Aristotle argues that a person without a polis is either a beast or a god. What does he mean by this, and is he correct?
3. John Locke claims that there is a “Law of Nature” that justifies murdering another person like a lion or a bear. What is his argument for this?
4. Charles Mills argues that white supremacy has been the predominant political system for the past several hundred years. How is white supremacy “political”? Is Mills correct in his assessment?
5. How does gentrification relate to Charles Mills concept of the “racialization of space”?
6. Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera highlights ways we might live in terms of doubled or tripled identities. Choose one of these ways, and explain it. Feel free to draw upon your own life if you would like.
7. What does Anzaldua mean by “borderlands,” and what are their defining characteristics?