WST 200/TAMEZ Final Project: “STRUCTURES”

As the title implies, the final project requires that you engage in a critical manner with underlying structures of power. Your investigation of power must include a direct engagement with gender—a category of analysis which intersects race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, citizenship, borders, nationality, nations and geopolitics of colonialism and mechanized, industrialized, and legalized forms of oppression—past and present. COMPONENTS:
• • Revised and polished Abstract. Bring yours up to date. Keep using the abstract as a guide into your project’s goals and objectives. This helps you frame your thesis as you go. Turn in your most polished abstract with final project, first page of your project. Must have a full header. A visual presentation which will be one of the following formats: 1. A minimum of four visual texts which are primary sources. 2. Power Point; No more than 10 slides. 3. Professional Academic Poster. 4. or other professionally prepared media—requires prior approval of instructor. One page: Title of Project, Student’s Name & I.D., Instructor’s Name, Semester, Title of Course, Washington State University. Key-word, key-phrase page. Student will identify prominently the keywords of the project. In the process of the project, students will work to intentionally de-mystify the terminology of oppression/privilege and the terminologies of resistance used by oppressed groups/individuals/communities. Throughout project, student works to highlighting the discourse of oppression and tools of resistance. A narrative paper, or narrative ‘pages’ (which can be embedded into the ‘notes’ if student is using Power Point for the visual component). Organized and professionally prepared according to student’s writing style/discipline. Narrative limit: 10 pages, including ‘works cited’, ‘references’, and/or bibliography (depends on which reference style you will use). The paper frames, organizes, discusses and critically analyses the argument (thesis) corresponding to the visual presentation.

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Visual Component, Part 1
• Visuals are key texts because they are produced at the intersections of politics/economics/development/ and the social imperatives of multiple social actors. Visual materials actively shape, construct, organize and reinforce conditions of oppression—and normalize them. They dictate the normatization of ranked, classed, raced, gendered, heteronormative, xenophobe, homophobe identities as ’natural’ and identities which resist oppression as ‘dissident’/’bad’/’wrong’/’criminal’/’Other. Visual texts are key facets of inter-disciplinary analysis because of their potency as ‘sites’ to investigate the cognitives of highly authoritarian and ranked societies. The U.S. American visual culture, therefore, provides a rich ‘field’ for student investigations. Use visual texts to demonstrate specific ideas, ideologies, belief systems that are reinforcing/enforcing particular forms of oppression. Building upon your mid-term work, refine and develop a focused, clear and engaging visual ‘story’ related to your subject/topic statement. The images themselves must construct a narrative/’story’ in their relationship to each other. They visuals should show a narrative-story that you know and will give structure to; it is a conscious strand of meaning that involves your knowledges directly. You are a key text in the construction of the lens on this particular examination of power, oppression, privilege and resistance. Choose images to engage the viewer into a dialogue and response-mode. Must include one slide/site where you show your keywords. Must include one slide/site where you show your definition(s) of gender & power. Your last slide/component of the visual part is a ‘Works Cited’/’References’/’Bibliography’. 10 points deducted if not included.

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Think about: 1

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How do your selected visual images educate, inform, and/or mobilize critical thinking and analysis about power? What work do you want your visual texts to do? How do they function in the overall argument you are making? What forms of power are being constructed in your selected images? Name those specifically, don’t be shy. Don’t leave anything up for speculation—be direct. Which related structures of power are being addressed? In other words, what are the layers of power (intersections with race, class, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, borders, labor identities, …)? Why do the layers/intersections matter to your lens, personally, specifically? So what is the overall significance? Re-state it again, and feed this into your conclusion statement.

Remember:
• • Key words/Key phrasing/Key words that arise from your lenses, your biographical stories—are critical mappings and codes which you assign value to in your narrative as you intentionally construct their relationship to the images. Don’t avoid acknowledging that in your work. These help the viewer ‘see’ how you are unpacking ‘the word’ assisted by visuals. To gain a more critical lens into power + U.S. experiences, you can re-visit my earlier analysis of symbolic and historical meanings assigned to bodies, the land, property, possession, ownership, and the consequences of ‘We the People’ for specifically impacted peoples in the U.S. Do you bring in an analysis of ‘whiteness’ as a category of historical relevance? Why or why not? Think critically about your situatedness within your own research.

Explicative and Exploratory Essay, Part 2:
• • • • • • • • • Keep your abstract and your visual component side-by-side as you draft your essay. They will help to guide your writing. The essay should be a direct reflection of your visual component and vice versa. When you compose your essay, you may want to ‘map out’ your visual component side by side. That way, your visuals’ lead you to direct language, confidence, and your own unique ‘voice’ and style. Your essay should have a clear organization: Beginning, Middle, Conclusion, and the appropriate ‘Works Cited’/’References’/’Bibliography’—depending upon whether you are using MLA, Chicago, or APA writing style. Paginate your essay. Conform to college-level format standards: proper heading on first page, and headers on each page with your full name, course title, semester. Your essay should reflect how well you incorporate knowledge and insights which you have gained vis-à-vis our required readings, films, formal lectures, information related to you through the blog, and in-class discussions—as well as your independent research. forums, and other forums from the class experience. Your essay should reflect how well you select which kinds of knowledge is important to your research project. How well do you make those critical choices? How do you balance diverse kinds of sources (primary, secondary, community-based, academic…)? How well do you bring in your own reflections from your weekly “Reading Responses”? Do you bring in a balance of your own critical lenses (Me-Search), as well as critical lenses of diverse communities impacted by your issue/problem (We-Search), and weave those into the kinds of academic sources (Re-Search) you choose to develop your thesis? Weave the ‘research’ and ‘we-search’ with the ‘me-search’—it is not a perfect process. It should be a struggle. That struggle is a very important part of the academic writing process. Hang in there! Don’t despair! This is followed by a well-crafted body where the position/problem is teased out and explored in depth. Always remember: “For example” and “For instance” statements are key to your content. (This is where your visuals help you draw those kinds of statements into your prose/narrative.) They help you ‘put the face’ and ‘put the place’ (contexts!) on the issue/problem, and thus help you ‘show’ and to explicate the issues and problems as you see them. And finally, the final conclusion will re-state the problem, however will expand the the issue by posing your new questions; your deepened, more complicated understandings. , You will re-state your new comprehension of the complexity of systems, structures and institutions ‘managing’ and ‘mechanizing’ inequalities. Reflect on how you want to educate your intended audiences about your contribution to inter-disciplinary scholarship. How do you see your work as part of collective scholarly work? What still needs to be done? A final page of your references/citations/bibliography…is required on the written essay. Omission of references is an automatic deduction of 10 points (from 100).

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Style and Form:
• What is the writing style of your major? If you do not know, this is a good time to learn and apply it.

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Are you currently using a style, but don’t know if that is appropriate to your field of study? Where can you find the answers? strongly urge you to visit the Writing Center in the CUE Building, level 3, as soon as possible. Some basic guidelines for an academic paper are:

BASIC Guidelines for the Academic Paper:
• • • • • • • • • • Always double-space an essay, unless you are given permission to single-space. Use 12pt. Times Roman—a required font/style for college papers. Always write at least 2-3 drafts and then ask a trusted reader to help you discover areas that need refinement. When you have a strong draft, go to the Writing Center and ask a staff member to spend half an hour with you to give you some style assistance and critical thinking support. Expect to be put on their schedule, with an appointment. Pagination! Always paginate each page with your last name and page number, top right corner—according to the style you are using. Staple your paper! Do not wing it, follow the style guide. There is no hybrid writing style! You cannot combine MLA with Chicago and APA! Always provide the following on the header of the first page OF THE ESSAY, two spaces above your title: o Last, First o Course Title & # Professors’ name o Date

Refinements:
• • • • Always give your project an interesting, eye-catching title! Always follow academic honesty and integrity. If in doubt, ask me or the staff at the Writing Center for help with quoting from sources. Yes, you are required to know about plagiarism rules of WSU and penalties. Yes, you are required to have eithera citations page, a reference sheet or a bibliography, depending upon your major’s style guidelines.

QUESTIONS? CONCERNS? margo.tamez@gmail.com

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