Making Race and Nation Essays

Making Race and Nation Essays

 

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About the assignment: This exam has two parts. In Part I, you will respond to three “long answer” questions (like very short essays). In Part II, you will produce a shorter essay that requires you to push yourself analytically and intellectually by applying what you know about Marx’s theory and read of history to the Chicano movement in the US, which Marx does not cover in his book. This second part requires that you watch approximately 2 hours of film on the Chicano movement.

 

Grading criteria: You will be graded on the completeness of your responses, the degree to which they directly address the prompt, the level of specificity and precision in your writing (including references), and the clarity of your overall writing (including grammar, spelling, and concision). See below for specific notes on each part.

 

Formatting and style:

  • Use size 12 font and 1” margins. Single or double spacing is fine.
  • Adhere to word counts specified for each prompt.
  • Include the ‘pledge’ above in your final document but do not include these other instructions.  You do not need to include the wording of each prompt, either, though you may if that helps you.
  • Clearly label each response with the question number and letter.
    • For example:

Heading [Include your full name, Course title, assignment and date]

 

Part I. 

1A. [START YOUR RESPONSE HERE]

 

2B.  [START YOUR RESPONSE HERE]

 

3B. [ RESPONSE HERE]

 

Part II. Prompt #X

[Start your essay below]

 

Bibliography and citation requirements: Use parenthetical references like we have used in weekly discussion prompts.

  • An example is: Your sentence goes blah blah blah (Marx 1997, p.31). Additionally, blah blah (PBS 2011, min. 45-47).
    • That last reference corresponds to the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. film on Brazil.
  • You do not need to include a formal bibliography.
  • As in other assignments in our class, be sure to include page numbers and specific moments of the film so your reader can find the material you are referencing if they’re interested.

 

 

  Part I. Short Essays

 

Respond to one prompt in each of the following three pairs. This will yield a total of three short essays, each of which has a maximum word limit of 400 words including parenthetical citations. If you follow these directions correctly, all three of your responses will start with a different number (1, 2, or 3). Include the full prompt before each of your responses.

 

  1.                   Respond to either 1A or 1B (you choose):

1A. Marx argues that state-led “race making” is a double edged sword. What does he mean by this?  Illustrate with reference to the South African case.

 

1B. The experience of World War II influenced politics in states around the globe for decades to come. Drawing on relevant points from assigned films and Marx’s book, explain how WWII influenced South Africa’s political trajectory.

 

 

  1. Respond to either 2A or 2B:

2A. Before Marx wrote this book, some scholars argued that Brazil was a “racial paradise.” Marx refutes this view and offers an alternative analysis. Summarize Marx’s view of the relationship between processes of “making race and nation” in Brazil over time with specific references to key concepts, figures and events.

 

2B. According to Marx, why do race-based protest movements emerge in some times and places, but not others? Illustrate with reference to the cases of Brazil and the US.

 

 

 

  1. Respond to either 3A or 3B:

3A. According to Marx, the codification and reform of racial orders is related to central state strength. Explain how this relationship evolved in the US from the Civil War to the 1980s. Cite Marx’s book and at least one relevant film from the course.

 

3B. According to Marx, the codification and reform of racial orders is related to central state strength. Explain how this relationship evolved in South Africa from the start of the ‘Boer War’ through the 1980s. Cite Marx’s book and at least one relevant film from the course.

 

Part II. Chicano! Essay (max. 500 words)

 

Instructions: Watch the two episodes of “Chicano!” assigned in Module 7 on Canvas. Then SELECT ONE OF THE TWO PROMPTS BELOW. Respond to it in roughly 500 words or less.

 

Expectations for each response are clearly spelled out below. I will use these expectations to guide my grading of the essays. In addition to these more specific expectations, grades will also reflect your ability to adhere to the these formatting guidelines and writing expectations:

 

FORMATTING – HOW TO CITE EPISODES: Use parenthetical citations (as we’ve been doing in class), but abbreviate the title of each episode to save space. Specifically, abbreviate episode one, entitled “Quest for a Homeland,” simply as “Quest.” Abbreviate episode two, entitled “The Struggle in the Fields” simply as “Struggle.”

Here’s an example of how this will look: 

Women played important roles in both the Chicano nationalist movement based out of Denver (“Quest,” min 34-37), and the Farm Workers’ Movement in California, where Delores Huerta was a prominent leader (“Struggle,” min 8-9).

 

 

NOTE: EXPECTATIONS FOR WRITING QUALITY: ASEMs require you to practice improving and polishing your writing. Leave yourself *at least* 24 hours to review and edit your final draft to ensure that grammar is correct, language is clear, concise and precise, and proper nouns (e.g., names) are spelled correctly. I strongly recommend that you also engage the Writing Center for support.

 

PART II, PROMPT #1: In your view, what are the three most significant (impactful) parallels or commonalities between Freedom Summer in Mississippi (Eyes on the Prize, Episode 5) and the Farm Workers’ Strike (Chicano! Episode 2)? For instance, you might consider the significance these types of dynamics in each of the two civil rights struggles: (1) nonviolent tactics; (2) getting national attention for a race-related struggle; (3) broader effects on racial identity (e.g., “consciousness raising” and “identity consolidation”); (4) religion and competing claims to morality; (5) the role of state-level politicians and local law enforcement; (6) longer term political or socioeconomic impacts. Along which of these dimensions were the parallels (e.g., similarities) across the movements the most significant and why? 

 

Prompt 1 instructions: To receive full credit, you must do the following:

 

  1. First, clearly describe and explain the parallels that you see.
  • Demonstrate your rigorous engagement with course materials and deep reflection on course themes by using clear, precise and specific For instance, provide details like dates and names of places, people and organizations. Cite specific pages or moments from course materials. And be selective so that you’re picking the most appropriate and relevant details for your comparison.
  • Lastly, as discussed in class, most of your response should be written in your own words, while still citing the relevant source material parenthetically. Putting things in your own words (as opposed to using direct quotes) allows you to show that you fully digested the material. By contrast, direct quotes should be kept short and used sparingly (i.e., when the language or phrasing of the quote is particularly powerful or controversial, and/or when it comes from a primary source, such as a key actor in the event.)

 

  1. Then, after you’ve described and explained one of your parallels, explain why you believe this is the (or one of the) most significant parallels between the movements. What is it about the phenomenon that you’ve described that was so influential historically? This should be a separate paragraph and should reference some of Marx’s theoretical insights about how race-related social movements can develop and impact politics over time. Obviously, Marx did not write about the Chicano movement, but your job here is to extend some of his insights to this movement in dialogue with aspects of the Black Civil Rights Movement.

 

*** Helpful tip: Assume that your reader is a very well-educated person, but that they do not necessarily knows any of the history you’re referring to. In other words, assume your reader has not watched any of these documentaries and have not read Marx’s book. Thus, you want to offer fairly comprehensive and detailed explanations, but without “dumbing anything down.” ***

 

 

PART II, PROMPT #2: Consider the historical trajectory portrayed in Episode One of Chicano!, “Quest for a Homeland.” Overall, do you think this movement’s history mostly supports (i.e., is consistent with) some of Marx’s broader arguments in Making Race and Nation? Or, by contrast, do you think there are important aspects of the Chicano youth and nationalist movement that disprove (i.e., challenge) some of the generalizations that Marx makes about the relationship between making race and nation?

 

Prompt 2 instructions: For full points, do the following:

 

  1. Select and describe (at least part of) Marx’s overarching model (theory) of the relationship between making race and nation in the US or South Africa during the 20th Century. 
    • Again, it is important to be clear, precise and specific, to cite pages in Marx where he describes the ideas you’re referring to, and to make sure that someone who has not read Marx can still understand what you’re talking about.

 

  1. Then, explain why and how material covered in Episode One (and, perhaps also Episode Two) of Chicano! either supports or challenges Marx’s theory

Specifically, for full points, you should:

  • Provide a brief overview of at least some of the historical phenomenon covered in Episode One (and, perhaps also Episode Two) of Chicano!. 
    • Note: You may include details from Episode 2, but you must demonstrate comprehension of Episode 1 for full credit. Therefore, discussing Episode 1 is required while discussing Episode 2 is optional.
  • As in the first prompt, use clear, precise and specific language to offer selective details (e.g., dates and names of places, people and organizations) most important to convey the history you’re thinking about.
  • Cite specific moments from the film using the style explained above.
  • Generally, use your own words instead of direct quotes unless a direct quote is justified As discussed in class and noted above, using your own words shows that you’ve fully digested the material. Direct quotes should be kept short and used sparingly (i.e., when the language or phrasing of the quote is particularly powerful or controversial).

 

*** Helpful tip: Assume that your reader is a very well-educated person, but that they do not necessarily knows any of the history you’re referring to. In other words, assume your reader has not watched any of these documentaries and have not read Marx’s book. Thus, you want to offer fairly comprehensive and detailed explanations, but without “dumbing anything down.” ***

 

As always, bring questions to office hours or pose them in class!

 

 

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