For this course, students are required to write three critical commentaries. Commentary #1 is due online by 9 am on January 30th. This commentary should explore topics in the readings assigned through January 30th.
The aim of each paper is comparative inquiry and analysis, not mere description. The emphasis is on reasoning and critical thinking. It is not enough simply to recapitulate what each reading has to say about a given theme. You must compare and contrast what they have to say about a topic of your own choosing. To do this, you must evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the types of analysis and theories presented, and offer some conclusion of your own. Thus, each paper should include the following:
A clear, persuasive introduction with an explicit thesis statement and a roadmap to tell me where and what you will try to demonstrate in the paper.
A very brief summary or literature review of the selected readings for the paper, with an emphasis on key arguments, type of analysis and conclusions found in each work. Avoid summarizing details. Stick to the main points.
A brief summary of the theme to be discussed in your paper. What are the issues involved and why are they important? What do we learn from each paper?
A comparative inquiry and analysis of what the readings have to say about the theme. What do we learn from these discussions? How does the chosen analysis advance or weaken the key arguments? Which cultural or political perspectives are at play? What remains to be learned?