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Multiculturalism and Literature
As the course syllabus indicates, all senior seminars involve independent research. This semester, you are to complete a 3000 word (roughly 7-8 pages, double spaced, excluding references and title pages) research paper. You can complete this project by choosing to answer one of the following questions through research. Whichever option you choose, the following guidelines must be followed to achieve a successful grade:
• Papers must present an analytical claim – a “point” your paper is trying to make related to the course materials. Your paper’s main point would be an answer to the question.
• Papers must include course texts, even those that are more about a “topic” than about “literature” specifically. You must do research to supplement your own point of view, but also consider making use of the fiction/non-fiction we have read to illustrate a point or an idea. Does a certain character exemplify your claim or social phenomenon? Does the way an author writes demonstrate your idea or data from a social/scientific investigation?
• Papers must include at least three secondary sources which you find on your own. These should be appropriate to the task and to college-level writing. This means, for example, that your sources are
1. reliable, and from reputable sources. Does the source have an author? Has the piece been written for a recognized institution that must remain credible and accurate (eg: academic journal, news organization, government website, activist organization)? To ensure this requirement for your source is met, it’s best to avoid blogs, random websites without an author, etc. You must be able to evaluate the reliability and trustworthiness of your own source carefully.
2. appropriate for a college-level paper. Dictonary.com, Wikipedia, and other encyclopedia-type sources may be helpful for you in starting your research, but these kinds of sources do not belong in college-level writing. Citing an encyclopedia – like Wikipedia – is a very elementary level of research, and this course expects you to demonstrate senior-level writing.
The following questions may be used to create your final project. Review the expectations below as you formulate an “answer” and plan out your project. Remember that you must include a course text in the paper, as well as independent research. Both of these inclusions help to demonstrate your engagement with our course material, allowing for the project to serve as an assessment of your performance this semester.
1. How do issues of diversity, multiculturalism, or global migration impact your field specifically? Sometimes students entering this course claim that studies of race and culture have nothing to do with their professional, working lives. But often, these students quickly learn they had too narrow a view of what that means. For example: last semester, a student named Oscar realized something. While he felt at first that his BME major didn’t “cross-over” into social/humanities courses like this one, he realized after reading a few articles in this course that as a Latino male, he was less likely to get one of the higher-paying jobs in his field than his white counterparts. This made Oscar angry and confused. He then launched into a final project exploring Latinos studying engineering and found major research projects spanning decades. He wrote about these, included some course materials we read together, and connected to his own plans and job prospects in the process.
2. How do services and industries that provide products for and/or care for people account for differences of social identities like race and gender? How well, for example, do public health systems and practitioners accommodate “difference” in populations? How well do designers of technology? Some make the argument that particular biases are built right in to the design of technology, or to the procedures and protocol we make as doctors, health workers or other forms of service professionals. Do you agree, or disagree, based on your research?
In a summer session version of this course, a student named Mina was following the controversy Snapchat created when it offered a selfie-altering filter that rendered users as a stereotypical Asian caricature. Mina wondered what other aspects of tech/app design seemed to have such specific cultural choices and stereotypes “built in” – or whether one could even argue this is an issue of “racism by design”. She wrote an interesting paper delving into this question of racism-in-tech design, and came to some very interesting conclusions that allowed her to overlap with our course texts.
(I will attach all the required documents to serve as primary sources, just need to use two or three of them, as well as 3 secondary sources that will be researched online, for a total of 5 sources. My field of study is Electrical Engineering)
As the course syllabus indicates, all senior seminars involve independent research. This semester, you are to complete a 3000 word (roughly 7-8 pages, double spaced, excluding references and title pages) research paper. You can complete this project by choosing to answer one of the following questions through research.