Gender Identity

Final Assignment – Structures of Difference (15% or 15pts)  As discussed within both our lectures and texts, we have come to understand that social categories such as gender, race, class, and sexuality are socially constructed and are therefore understood and employed differently in their respective cultural and historical contexts. Given our ongoing objective in engaging with the historical (and contemporary) trajectory of these configurations, our final assignment will take up the issue of difference both literally as well as figuratively.  Situating difference within the location of its occasion (time, place, etc.), we will be approaching these constructions in a manner that both addresses and contests projects of belonging. That is to say, that rather than exoticizing/fetishizing difference or calling for assimilative identities/communities, there is something to be said for valuing difference AS difference.  In your final assignment, you will be taking this initiative to task by drawing from the ongoing work and assignments that we have completed up until this point. Thinking about social categories of difference and the power structures that inform/impact them (past and present), you will need to select a concept (listed below) and contemporary art that engages with your thematic selection in their practice. After selecting both your theme and artist, you will need to select 2-3 artworks that you feel best exemplifies/contests/complicates your chosen concept.  The final assignment may take one of the following forms:  1. Critical Research Paper: 8-10 pages  2. A Substantial Creative Project (Art, Creative Writing, Performance, etc.): This will need to be accompanied by a 4-5-page critical paper that relates the project back to the Assignment Due: Digital Spaces / Queer Times – New Media Assignment due OCTOBER 29th by concept/artist of your choice (if you elect to go with this option, choosing an artist to inform the project alone will suffice).  Thematic Choices: • – Sex/Gender Binaries • – Emergence of “Normativity” • – Leather, BDSM, and Power • – Feminism, Separatism, and Alternative Communities • – Materiality of the Body • – Gendered Labor • – Queer Politics and the Policing of “Deviant” Bodies/Sexuality • – Cyber identities (Sexual/Gendered) • – Institutional Repression/Representation • – Performativity, Drag, and Gender Identity • – Intersectionality (Race/Class/Gender/Place/Sexuality) • – Stereotypes and Cultural Representation/Visibility  Regardless of your choice, your final assignment on the visualization of difference will need to utilize and EXPAND ON the concept of your choice, discussing not only HOW it is exemplified in the context of the artist/work that you have selected, but also how it engages with the “cultural order” of difference.  If you are electing to go with option one (1) for the final, you will need to include 2-3 photographs of the artwork of your choice at the END of your paper (these pages will not count towards your total pages). If you go with option two (2), you may elect to include reference photos if appropriate, however, if you are not specifically referencing any artworks, listing the artist alone will suffice.  Both options will require that you use at LEAST 3-4 academic/scholarly sources. Please note that you are more than welcome to use ANY of the articles/texts we’ve read in class or any other relevant scholarly peer-reviewed sources. In fact, I would encourage doing so since we’ll have already discussed them in detail!  Final assignments will be turned in via Blackboard and must be double-spaced, titled, pages numbered, and correctly cited (in accordance with Chicago Manual Style).

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