Another World is Possible: Re-Imagining Race and Place

We believe it is our right and responsibility to write ourselves into the future.”

–Walidiah Imarisha and Adrienne maree brown

Due: July 30

Audience:As before, your audience for this project includes a mixed audience of people interested, but not necessarily well-versed in, the topic—for example, college students on a college campus or community members in a public setting.

Purpose:Your purpose for this assignment is a) to build consciousness on the topic you’ve chosen to focus on, b) maximize the audience for which your perspective on the topic is convincing, and c) engage in various of the Student Learning Outcomes, such as analysis, interpretation, and the evaluation of complex academic topics and/or a range of works.   

Assignment:Your task for the Unit 3 Essay or Project is to choose one of the options below. As indicated below, you are free to opt for a project instead of a written essay. You are also free to work independently, in pairs, or in teams, but each person should give their essay or project the labor equivalent of a 6-page essay or, if working collaboratively, 4-5 pages.

Option A (Close Reading):Offer a close reading of oneof the short stories we looked at in class that does the following:

  1. Offers a coherent and overarching interpretation of the work (thesis)
  2. Supports your interpretation with examples or scenes from the work (support)
    • Sample Thesis: In title of work, author suggests X is Y since A and B.

Option B (Comparative Analysis):Compare two or moreof the short stories in an essay that

  1. Identifies a single, coherent pattern or trend in the representation of some specific topic in multiple works from Unit 2
  2. Demonstrates the trend’s appearance in multiple works with examples from the works and elaborates the trend’s significance
    • Sample thesis: In works A and B, X is depicted as Y, suggesting Z (trend)

Option C (Book Review): Write a book review of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movementsthat makes readers aware of the work’s central contribution, including its purpose and writers, perhaps offering a selection of readings and interpretations of multiple short stories in the work (i.e. its content).

Option D (Project):Do a project. You could make a podcast, for instance, examining a topic such as Afrofuturism and/or other kinds of speculative or visionary fiction with the aim of bringing a more just world into being.

Option E (Art):Make art, following the example of our artists in this unit. You could write a work of speculative or visionary fiction, for instance, or you could rewrite one of the works in this unit, perhaps from the POV of a different character. Or you could offer a creative interpretation of one of the works, via poetry, songs, or a photo series, for instance.


Convert your essay or project to a presentation (via Google Slides or PowerPoint, etc) by making the following 5 slides: 

  1. Title of project and epigraph
  2. Guiding question and your answer/thesis (To come up with your guiding question, ask yourself what question your thesis answers). If you’re doing a creative option, like the music narrative, you probably still have a central insight and/or a “dominant impression” (the thesis equivalent in a narrative)
  3. Main supporting points with examples or a selection from your work (such as a scene from your short story)
  4. Main supporting points with examples or a selection from your work (such as a scene from your short story)
  5. Conclusions/Recommendations/Next Steps or your takeaway reflections or parting insights or last paragraph(s)

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