1) You will write a 3,000-3,600 word thesis-driven essay that analyzes one or more primary texts related to HIV + AIDS media. Your essay must make an argument about the text’s exploration of one key aspect of AIDS representation in relation to a particular historical, aesthetic, or theoretical context.
2) To that end, you will need to identify and select a primary text or set of primary texts directly related to the chosen HIV/AIDS problematic, whether narrative film, experimental video, activist project, sound piece, or other artistic that is rich enough to support detailed close reading. You may write on a primary text or texts from the course syllabus, or you may write on a primary text or texts from outside of the class. You will also need to place it in its aesthetic, theoretical, and/or historical context – drawing on primary and secondary sources to understand its significance, the creator’s background, its intended audience, and any political or artistic movements to which it speaks or belongs. Most importantly, you will need to put these two modes of analysis—formal and contextual—into conversation with each other. Your paper will thus make a clear argument about your primary text(s) and a context, either using the context to illuminate the source or explaining the significance of the source to a historical, artistic, or political problem.
a. You may use the same primary text and/or secondary text you explored in your close reading assignment, but you must expand the scope and reach of the essay and your argument by exploring additional primary texts and/or secondary texts. Secondary Sources: For your essays, you are expected to substantively consult secondary sources (at least 4), which may include cultural or social histories of the period; sources on theories of the fantastic, monstrous, or supernatural; sources on your primary source’s production, reception, or audiences; literary, TV, or film criticism related to the genre of your primary source; or specific analysis of your primary source. You may use secondary sources from our syllabus.