American Identities

Write an essay in which you utilize the lens of ​intersectionality1 to analyze ​three​ American identity groups who we have read about during the second half of the semester. Choose ​one to two ​texts from each identity group. Develop themes across these readings to elaborate a broader argument about how various American identities are formed as a combination of multiple factors and shared contexts (political, historical, geographic, etc).
American identity groups and readings from which to choose:
Gender and Sexuality – ​Judith Butler’s “Your Behavior Creates Your Gender” or Michael Kimmel’s “Masculinity as Homophobia”
Masculinity/War​ – Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral,” Philip Levine’s “What Work Is,” Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” or Viet Thanh Nguyen’s “The Americans”
Black Feminism​ – Combahee River Collective’s Statement or Audre Lorde’s “I Am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities”
Jewish Feminism​ – Adrienne Rich’s “Notes toward a Politics of Location”
Muslims and Surveillance​ – Jeanne Theoharis’ “‘I Feel Like a Despised Insect’: Coming of Age Under Surveillance in New York” or Katie Mitchell’s ​Watched f​ ilm
Chicana Feminism/Central American migration​ – ​Gloria Anzaldúa’s “The Homeland, Aztlán” or “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”
• Length: First draft should be 3-4 double-spaced pages long, Final draft should be 5-6 double-spaced pages long.
• Format: Type work in Times New Roman 12-point font with 1-inch margins on each side, and include footnote or endnote citations. Spell-check and proofread your work. Include a creative essay title and Works Cited page for the final draft. Email your materials to me in a Word or PDF file.
• Argument: Essay should have a focused argument with a distinctly articulated thesis that is
elaborated throughout. Paragraphs should address the themes in relation to the three identity categories and readings. Paragraphs should be clearly organized with topic sentences, original critical ideas that connect with each other, and supporting quotations from sources.

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