Concept Essay (20%)

(Due – Oct 25)

For this shorter essay (4-­8 pp), write in expository fashion about a theoretical concept

of interest to you and synthesize several sources.

For example: Gender. What does it mean to hold
that gender is constructed? Why is this significant?
What are its consequences?

The concept may be one of those assigned or something we don't treat as a class; you may

explore a contested concept in terms of multiple perspectives, engaging in an ongoing

debate (eg. Marxist vs. Feminist perspectives on identity) or you may choose to delve

more deeply into a single perspective on a topic . See Critical Terms for Literary Study.

At least one of your sources (3 min.) should be a “primary” theory text. So, using the example above, you would use our course texts but you would also read something by Helene Cixous or Judith Butler You do not

need to break new theoretical ground. Your goal is to gain fluency, to practice

thinking with and through the paradigms of theory. Please DO NOT “apply” theory to

a literary text for this assignment!