The Final Project revises, redesigns, and rebuilds Short Essay Assignments #1-3. It should, therefore, take into written instructor feedback posted to Canvas on those earlier assignments.
Directions (please follow):
Choosing one of the keywords from your short essay assignments — taxidermy, integration, or sovereignty — write a 4-5 page paper (double-spaced), submitted as a Word document — that elaborates your keyword in at least five films that we have watched this semester. Essays shorter than four full pages, or that that use unconventional fonts, font sizes, or margins will have five points deducted from the total.
Your paper should have a descriptive title; descriptive subsections are fine, but not necessary, and should not use a different font size.
The first paragraph should define the keyword; the second paragraph should explain the relevance of the keyword to a discussion of Native Americans; and the final sentence of the second paragraph should deliver the thesis/proposition of the essay. The third paragraph should begin the elaboration of the thesis / proposition.
Keep in mind that if you choose the keyword “sovereignty,” you will want to distinguish between “visual” (Raheja) sovereignty and “political” sovereignty. You may rejoin the terms at some point and suggest that there is overlap. Do be aware that ¨visual¨ sovereignty is a term derived from the long-standing concept of ¨political¨ sovereignty and is not widely used outside the Raheja essay. ” In any case, you should demonstrate that you are aware of the distinctions among the terms.
Keep in mind, as well, that if you choose the keyword “taxidermy” that this critical term was coined in connection with ethnographic film, and thus posits some idea of actual Native Americans who are disappearing and need to be preserved. Thus, not all course films will work well with the keyword “taxidermy,” e.g. *Drums Along the Mohawk,* which is not at all interested in “preserving” Native Americans. If you choose “taxidermy,” therefore, do feel free to discuss some material from popular culture that imply preservation. Some such material was introduced and discussed by students in blog assignments.
For the final project, you must discuss *Smoke Signals* and *Atanarjurat,* paying particular attention to how these films may be said to represent a new (or familiar) approach to your keyword. These films count as part of the required five-film total.
If you write a concluding paragraph, it cannot be a summary of the paper. It can speculate on the future of your keyword in film or society, put the keyword in a broader context, e.g. other racial groups or ethnicities, or take your paper topic in a different direction. But a paragraph that restates your paper topic is not permitted in such a short assignment, and it will lose points because end-of-paper summaries, as everyone knows, are formulaic and do not add anything new.