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Throughout the semester, as you are reading, watching, and listening to class material, think about the how the historical patterns discussed are reflected in issues, conflicts, injustices, etc. in our current moment. In the most creative way possible, illustrate your understanding of the connections between past and present understandings and injustices fueled by racism. This includes intersectional oppression. In other words, come up with an alternative media form rather than a written depiction – this is called an UnEssay.
This assignment is an exercise in constructing a coherent visual statement. This means that you will have to make decisions about what points you want to cover.
Allow the following questions to guide the development of your illustration/artistic statement:
What aspect of the current moment will you discuss? select 1 or 2 key issues or representative events
Select specific historical patterns to discuss and connect to the current moment
Try to be as synthetic as possible. Address how ideas/factors/events/etc. are related and to one another versus treating them separately
You should have a minimum of 12 references. Up to 6 should be class readings/videos/podcasts. 6 should be from non-academic sources.
The center of the UnEssay project this semester is based on a few characteristics: students choose their own topics, they present it in any way they choose, and we (Dr. Watkins and our TA, Bea) evaluate based on how compelling it is. The idea is to break away from the traditional essay and encourage students to take a different approach to the assignment. It requires some creativity.
An important note about the UnEssay is that you can turn in the most creative thing, but if you don’t fully answer the prompt, we can’t give you full credit. Fully responding to the prompt is the most important aspect for the UnEssay.
To fully complete this assignment, you must also include an explanation of your project, which serves to help clarify and illustrate how you answered the prompt. A good way to think about this explanation is to think of the plaques that accompany pieces in museums. A good refresher for these plaques’ content can be found for free, and virtually, would be on Google Arts and Culture exhibit.
Your explanation must be 3-4 paragraphs.
A few examples of an UnEssay*:
Stream (on Twitch, YouTube, etc.)
*This list is not comprehensive!
This UnEssay constitutes a critical and active engagement with the course material that shows insight and creativity while also demonstrating time and effort devoted to creating something thoughtful.
The chosen medium works persuasively with the design and polish of the UnEssay. The project’s structural and formal elements productively serve the core concept of the UnEssay. The UnEssay includes a clear and insightful connection between your chosen aspect of the current moment and historical patterns.
This UnEssay come with a clearly stated explanation. This will include your thesis and an explanation of how your UnEssay responds to the prompt.
This UnEssay meaningfully engages with the course material and shows an effort to creatively evaluate the information with some degree of clarity. It reflects some time, effort, and forethought.
The chosen medium works with the UnEssay presentation, but some additional design forethought would have helped. The UnEssay’s structural and formal elements serve the core concept of the project.
The UnEssay includes a clear connection between your choices.
Accompanied statement provides some clarity to the piece but not complete explanation.
This UnEssay shows some engagement with the course material but it is unsustained, uncreative, and inconsequential. It fails to developed a critical and reflective perspective.
The chosen medium doesn’t work with the UnEssay’s presentation. The UnEssay identifies a vague connection between the selected choices and thus fails to offer a clear statement.
Both the project and the explanation will appear to be thrown together at the last minute.
This UnEssay lacks any serious effort to accomplish the assigned task.
The UnEssay idea and execution are ill-defined, lack focus and clarity, and contains an unclear main argument.
This UnEssay is not complete, there are unfulfilled requirements.
The UnEssay idea and execution are un-defined, lack focus, clarity, and contains no main argument.
There is no explanation submitted.
This assignment was submitted as an essay.
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