In this class, we have discussed novels and the state of connection today. For your final essay, I will ask you to reflect on these topics from one of two directions:
- How can we use novels to think about forms of self-fashioning online?
- How can social media and digital culture help us think about novels?
Your final essay will be, among other things, an opportunity for me to learn from you. What did you take away from the class? What questions remain open? What themes and concerns emerged? Look back through your notes and draw on the concepts and themes we discussed throughout the semester, including:
- persons / characters / selves / individuals
- science fiction and literature
- allegory / parable / fable
- heteroglossia / dialogism
- privacy / secrecy / intimacy
- unreliable narrator / implied author
- social media as self-portraiture
- representative personhood in naturalism
Whether you decide to use literature to think about networked selfhood, or use networked selfhood to think about literature, you will chose only one of our four novels this term as the subject of your essay. I expect you to draw from the secondary readings we considered, as well as sources we did not cover, to guide your essay. There is no magic number for the appropriate amount of secondary sources to use, but avoid simply summarizing someone else’s argument in each of your paragraphs.
Essays will be 8-10 pages in length (double spaced with 1” margins, approx. 2,400-3,000 words). For a sense of the things I will be assessing when grading your writing, please reference this lexicon.