Writing Assignments

There will be two shorter (1000 words) writing assignments due at the end of each section and one final research paper (3000 words) due at the end of the semester. We will be happy to suggest topics for you, but you may also feel free to come up with your own.


Paper 1. Life story as cultural narrative.

In Tropical Truth, Caetano Veloso conjures a kind of an inner cultural map tethered to his own life experience and knowledge, as a way to explain his perspective on Brazilian culture at large. Make an argument either affirming or critiquing this exercise, using specific passages from the book and other readings, and, if needed, examples from film and music we discussed in class.

Due October 12.


Paper 2. Architecture/urban design/city practice

Take an experience that you have actually had in an urban environment and write it up focusing on your physical experience in space and using that physical experience as a way of explaining how and why you thought and felt the way you did when you were in the environment. You should use the readings in the Worlding Cities book to theorize your experience and scenes from the movies that we have watched to clarify your actual experience.

Due November 13.



Research Paper.

You should start now to figure out what you want to write about. Please email us your topic no later than Midterm, October 10.

The final paper is an opportunity to synthesize the experiences, ideas and approaches we explored during the course. You may choose to investigate more deeply some aspect or topic we covered, or come up with one of your own, drawing from your own interest and experience.

This paper needs to include at least five sources. A valid source is defined as one of the following: An article from a peer-reviewed journal, a book published by a publishing house with some longevity or national or international reputation (i.e. not a publishing house that produces propaganda or things that reputable establishments will not publish), a web site either open or closed that engages in some quality control and professional editorial practices (talk to the librarians about how to determine these things). Please note that while Wikipedia can be an excellent source of information at the outset of your research it cannot and should not be used as a sole source of information on a particular topic and certainly not on a topic that has received wide scholarly attention, such as for example, Bauhaus aesthetics.

Due November 30. If you want to submit a draft we will accept drafts two weeks before the final is due.

PLEASE NOTE: We do not accept late papers!

Last modified: Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 6:42 AM