Sequence 3--Research Project

Cultural Environment/Identity

Note: All assignments are due at the beginning of class


October 16

Paper # 2 Due

Discussion of Assignment Sequence


Read: "How To Tame a Wild Tongue " by Gloria Anzaldua p.85

In her essay, "Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza," Gloria Anzaldua states, "I am a border woman. I grew up between two cultures, the Mexican (with a heavy Indian influence) and the Anglo (as a member of a colonized people in our own territory). I have been straddling that tejas-Mexican border, and others, all my life. It's not a comfortable territory to live in, this place of contradictions. Hatred, anger and exploitation are the prominent features of this landscape. However, there have been compensations for this mestiza, and certain joys. Living on borders and in margins, keeping intact one's shifting and multiple identity and integrity, is like trying to swim in a new element, an 'alien' element. There is an exhiliration in being a participant in the further evolution of humankind, in being 'worked' on".

Write: Think about how that adjective defines who she is and in many ways is central to her identity; the word "border" is not a term that she uses lightly because that notion of herself as existing between cultures, communities, and languages is the lens through which she must look as she defines who she is, both to herself and to the world at large. Fill in the blank: I am a _______ woman/man and write a paragraph or two that explains how the adjective you use is an integral part of your identity. Avoid adjectives that refer to various moods like happy, sad, quiet, etc. Instead come up with a complex adjective that you can explain as you discuss how it defines your identity and helps you understand your place in the world. To help you find your adjective, start by thinking of various characteristics that you have and how people might describe you. Then find an adjective that represents what you consider to be your true self. Once you find your adjective, fill in the blank and explain how this modifier represents you, where you come from, and how you see the world. (10 pts)


Read: "Our Time" by John Edgar Wideman p. 657

Write: Assignment 3 p. 695 (5 pts.)


Read: "Social Identity and Group Solidarity " by Tommie Shelby p. 582

Write: Assignment 4 p. 615 (10 pts.)

Sign up for conference times.

30 Introduction to Research Day: Discussion of Finding Sources

Individual Conference Day:

Bring in a draft for the long essay assignment (at least an introduction). Below the draft (or on a separate sheet), list two sources you plan to use to help you in the essay. These sources should be listed as you would list an entry on a works cited page according to MLA format. Follow the entry with a short summary and an explanation of how you plan to apply information in this source to your thesis.

Note: None of the sources can be web-page sources. Journal articles, books, magazines, newspapers are acceptable.

Though there are no points awarded for this assignment, you bring it to the conferencefor me to accept your final essay.


Individual Conference Day: See Above

8 Peer Review Day; Please bring a complete draft to class. You must have a draft in order to participate.

Essay #3 Due

Think about: Identity is a complicated topic, one that depends upon ideas of home, environment, and the world with which people interact. The readings in this sequence have given us a chance to reflect on the ways in which experiences within the world that people inhabit shape their identities and their worldviews. We have also seen how, influenced by experiences, location, language, and frontiers, identities can develop and change. Review the work you have done this semester and think about what you determine to be the most important aspects of "you" and of the world you see yourself as a part of. How do you define your world? What experiences have shaped your concept of the world? What experiences have shaped your sense of identity? Make connections between your environment (cultural, natural, political, economic), your identity, and your worldview.

Write: In a 4-6 page essay, explain what your worldview is, where you think it comes from, how it has evolved, how it has shaped who you are.  Be sure to use evidence from the texts to support your claim that differing worldviews and experiences can shape the ways people think of themselves. This essay must contain at least three sources and you must use at least one source other than those we read for the sequence. You should draw on the sources you used for the library assignment, but none of these sources can be internet sources (web pages). The paper must also include a properly formatted works cited page in MLA style. Please include photocopies of the material you cite (if it is not in the textbook). I will not accept the essay without copies of the pages you are quoting and/or paraphrasing from.