New Orleans Literature

Essays must be 6-8 pages in length (12 pt. font, Times New Roman, with standard 1 inch margins and double spacing). All citations should be in the MLA format. You must include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper with all of your citation publication information listed in MLA format. If you have questions about this, see the MLA handbook, or visit this website:
https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html

A FRIENDLY REMINDER: Papers must be at least full 6 pages in length and make substantive use of quotes from primary sources (aim for 8-12 quotes) and secondary sources (aim for 4-6 quotes) or points will be taken off.

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Option 1: Choose one of the texts from the second half of the semester (from Bellocq’s Ophelia poems to the A Village Called Versailles documentary) and analyze how family or kinship is represented. In your exploration, you might define these terms very broadly or more narrowly. Is family/kinship a source of love/support/conflict? Is the family one that is born into/married into/chosen? What kinds of intimacy build bonds between people within the text? What threatens those bonds? How do those dynamics shape familial or kinship relationships?

As you analyze quoted material in your paper, pay close attention to how that textual moment relates to the story as a whole. A strong paper will be attentive to the literary conventions or stylistic elements that are relevant to the text as well.

In addition, you must directly cite 1 or 2 academic sources of literary or cultural criticism in your paper to support your ideas. These may be in the form of journal articles or book-length studies. These sources must be from academic, peer-reviewed publications and/or presses. Please consult me if you have any questions about what sources are appropriate.

Option 2: Choose two of the texts we have read the second half of the semester (from Bellocq’s Ophelia poems to the A Village Called Versailles documentary). Compare/contrast how people (fictional or real) from each text are experiencing or dealing with individual and/or collective trauma. Analyze the source(s) of their trauma (and/or disillusionment) and their responses/ coping mechanisms. What contexts shape their experiences? Consider whether the characters (or real life people) are paralyzed or alienated as a result of their trauma/disillusionment and/or whether they have they are able to affect change or find healing. Be sure to spend some time in your paper explaining why you have chosen to pair these 2 texts together in your analysis.

As you analyze quoted material in your paper, pay close attention to how that textual moment relates to the story as a whole. A strong paper will be attentive to the literary conventions or stylistic elements that are relevant to the text as well.

In addition, you must directly cite 1 or 2 academic sources of literary or cultural criticism in your paper to support your ideas. These may be in the form of journal articles or book-length studies. These sources must be from academic, peer-reviewed publications and/or presses. Please consult me if you have any questions about what sources are appropriate.

Works:
Bellocq’s Ophelia
Old Dyke’s Tale Interview w/ Luden
Tom Dent’s A Memoir of Mardi Gras,1968 or
Ritual Murder
A Kind of Freedom
Katrina Poetry Unit
The City Will Never Die
New Orleans Is
Remembering Katrina
You Can’t Survive Saltwater
Jasmine
A Villiage Called Versailles

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