Getting Started: To help you begin this project, you might want to reflect on how the texts in this course have reiterated Margaret Atwood’s claim, in The Female Body, that the female body is “a hot topic” which is being scrutinized in a number of recent books, in college courses and conferences, and with increasing sophistication in feminist publications in every professional field. Social issues like abortion, pornography, rape, and new technologies of reproduction have guaranteed a continuing, perhaps eternal, controversy about the rights and violations of the female body, not to mention the no less political matter of medical treatments related to anorexia, cancers affecting women, PMS, menopause, and other conditions. Scholars have produced an extraordinary amount of research in order to situate the female body in a diversity of historical and theoretical contexts. However, all of these feminist theories recognize that the female body is not just an anatomical object, but a cultural construction in which society inscribes its variety of desires and more often than not, seeks to control. Requirements: Part I: For the comparison portion of the research paper, pick two or three assigned authors (they must be feminist theorists and therefore, Biss, Jones, and Atwood do not count for this part of the assignment) and compare and contrast their primary theories with each other. How do they contribute to social theories of the body? How do the authors’ theories compliment and challenge one another? What about the body have you learned from these authors? How are their theories “feminist” in the authors’ own definition? You will want to engage these authors in a critical dialogue where they can “speak” to each other’s arguments about the female body and the diversity of their feminist theories. You may also draw from previous writing assignments – either your personal journal or discussion board posts – to further develop your responses to those texts that you are taking up in this essay. Part II: For the self-analysis portion of the research paper, you are required to actively join the feminist discussion regarding the female body by directly addressing the arguments in Part I and responding to them based on your own disciplinary knowledge and research. You will need to locate yourself within the context of the authors in Part I by thinking about how you – your academic field of interest, professional experience, and identity politics – are a part of a larger feminist issue regarding the female body. In doing so, you need to consider how these feminist theories regarding the body apply to you in your chosen field – whether it be health sciences, communications/media, social or natural sciences, or humanities. As we have seen in these past several weeks, the female body is taken up as a subject of inquiry across all disciplines. Therefore, find at least two recent scholarly texts within your discipline and construct a feminist reading of them using the essays in Part I. Use the theorists’ arguments and allow them to complicate your disciplinary scholarship by reexamining them through a feminist lens. In analyzing the female body, the course texts should enable you to say something new about your research, and more specifically, to question givens, add a layer of complexity, or at the very least, introduce a new perspective.