Please select a topic for the first paper from one of the two topics below. Make sure to cite specific evidence appropriately when crafting your argument. These are prompt and not questions to be systematically answered, so make sure to write a paper that is coherent and has a logical flow. When you turn in your paper, make sure it follows the format outlined in the syllabus.
- Gender and Sexuality Compare and contrast relationships between men and woman and men and men in Carolyn Cassady’s Off the Road and at least one other text covered in the course. What do these authors choose to represent? What stories do they choose to tell? How are these relationships represented differently and/or similarly across these texts? How do you, as a reader, interpret these different? What does reading and comparing/contrasting these texts tell us about the Beats, the movement, and life in the US in the 1950s/60s?
- Anthologies and the Canon This question will require you to do a bit of extra, original research on an author in The Beat Reader. Select an author and read her/his work that is not collected in the anthology. Compare/contrast this with the work that we have read for the course. How does what you read (and its presentation) alter your view of that author’s work, if at all? Why do you think the works in the anthology are there, compared to the works that “did not make the cut”? What do you think this tells up about power, literature, and acts of canon formation?