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GSS 400: Seminar in Transcultural Gender & Sexuality (Ryan, Spring 2020)

Final Project (Research into Global Gender and Sexuality): 30% and final presentation: 10%

Over the course of this semester you have been introduced to how gender and sexuality are constructed in a range of different cultures, with attention to issues like AIDS, masculinity, and the politics of sex.  We have read novels, essays, and viewed films that examine these aspects from different points of view, and we have discussed the ways in which these issues arise in these texts in similar and different ways.

Now, this is your chance to explore gender and sexuality in one of the countries/cultures we have covered (other than the United States). For our final project, which is a research essay, choose a culture or country that interests you, and research it by looking at a variety of books and articles. Narrow your research by looking at one aspect of gender and/or sexuality in that country. (For example, if I were to research gender in Japan, I might look at the current landscape for transgender individuals, or I might look at maternity, child care, and the working woman.) Your goal in this research essay is to examine the following question: how is your issue represented in the literature? How do you interpret these points of view – what do they suggest about the current state of your issue in the culture you’ve chosen?

This research essay should not read like a book report, where you summarize the sources you have found.  Rather, it should be a thoughtful and intuitive look at the issue you have chosen. It should reveal how your research into your topic informs your analysis of that issue.  The way that you shape your analysis is up to you. You might decide to present a problem, look at possible causes for the problem, offer some solutions, and make a case for which solution you think is most promising. Or, you might do an analysis of a particular issue – how is it dealt with from different standpoints (governmental, societal, etc.), and why?

For this essay, you must use a minimum of five (5) secondary sources.  These sources may be scholarly/informative sources relating to your topic, scholarly/ interpretative sources relating to your text, or a combination of both.  Your essay should also have a thesis, in which you propose an answer to the questions above and apply it to your paper.

This essay should be 6-8 pages, double-spaced, with proper headings, MLA citations, and MLA Works Cited page required.  No plagiarism.

This project will be due in several parts over the last month of the semester.  The research proposal is worth 5% of the overall 30%, the rough draft is worth 5% of the overall 30%, and the final draft is worth 20% of the overall 30%.  In addition to your research essay, on the last day of class (April 30th), you will give a 10-minute presentation of your topic to the class. Your presentation should offer an overview of your topic, and present your point of view. More on this presentation closer to the end of the semester. It will be worth 10% of your final grade.