Final Project

Final Project & Presentation

The rest of the assignments for this class are multi-tiered and designed to help you produce a reflexive and critical final project. They will include the following elements:

  1. Abstract and Annotated Bibliography (20%) – Due Thursday, May 17
  2. Presentation (10%) – May 31 – June 7
  3. Paper, Creative Piece, Blog (25%) – Due Thursday, June 7

Final Project Options

Research Papers  – Relate a text from this course with one outside text (literary, graphic, digital, etc.). Make an original argument about an element, image, symbol, trope, etc. and its significance to the two texts. Make sure your analysis is sustained through close reading and additional research, address the formal elements, the genre, the narratives, depictions, and discuss their importance to Asian American cultural production.

Creative Pieces – Informed by your own critical work in this class, create a short piece that responds to, critiques, remixes, or reimagines images or themes significant to Asian American culture. The creative piece will be accompanied by a short critical analysis of your text. These can be in a variety of forms: short stories, comics, short video, theater, etc.

Blogs – Produce a critical blog addressing a specific phenomena, genre, history of images or tropes, etc. important to Asian Americans in popular culture.

Breakdown of Project Components:

Abstract (10 points)

In 250 words, tell me what you want to write about and how you will do it:

  • Briefly introduce the texts you choose to work with or are responding to
  • Specify the themes, tropes, elements, etc. you will be focusing on
  • Present your original argument or intent with the piece
  • Outline the connections you initially observe (these may change as you write)
  • Define the analytical framework and sample secondary/theoretical sources that you will be using. (These are recommended for establishing context and background, but your paper or blog should be primarily based on your own close readings.)

Note: These abstracts will be used to organize you into panels for your end-of-term presentations, so be specific in introducing themes or elements you will be working on. For example: “The theme of queerness and performance central to Yankee Dawg You Die and M. Butterfly will be further explored in a one-act play about an Asian American porn star.”

Annotated Bibliography (10 points)

Produce a bibliography of 5 sources, including the primary text(s) that you will be analyzing or drawing from. Include one or two sentences discussing the specific elements you will be focusing on in each text. For research papers, you should include outside articles or books found through independent research. Take advantage of our campus online databases and the Asian American Studies collections; Gary Colmenar, the Asian Americans studies librarian, is also an excellent resource. Use MLA formatting for the citations.


Hwang, David Henry. M. Butterfly. New York: Plume, 1986.

The speeches of Song Liling, especially in the French courts, will be of particular importance in exploring the representations of the emasculated Asian male and feminized Asian bodies. I will try to use Hwang’s humor, word play, and orientalist critique as a model for drafting my own dramatic monologue.

Eng, David L. Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.

Eng’s third chapter, “Heterosexuality in the Face of Whiteness: Divided Belief in M. Butterfly,” and his epilogue, “Out Here and Over There: Queerness and Diaspora in Asian American Studies,” will be used to inform my short play and my analysis of performing sexuality in national as well as inter-personal contexts.

Presentation (10 points)

In the final weeks of this course, you will be organized with several other students into thematically specific panels based on the content of your project. In a 3-4 minute presentation, you will present your final project to the class. Staying within your time-limit:

  • Introduce the texts you chose to work with or are responding to
  • Specify the themes, tropes, elements, etc. you address
  • Present your original argument or intent with the piece

Final Projects (25 points)

Research Papers must be 6-8 pages in MLA format, 12 pt. Times New Roman Font, 1-inch margins, and include a works cited page. Don’t forget an original title!

Creative Pieces will be 6-10 pages (12 pt. Times New Roman, 1-inch margins) plus a 2-page critical analysis of your text. Include a works cited page that includes theoretical and primary sources that influence your work. The following link may be of help to students interested in working on digital projects (check out the sidebar for specific categories of tools: ask me if you have questions): Digital Toy Chest for Humanists

Blogs should be roughly 2500 words. You are encouraged to be less formal in tone, but equally critical and analytical in content. Bloggers are encouraged to take advantage of the multimedia affordances of digital media, by including images, film clips, sound, etc. to establish contexts and intertextual connections. Sample student blog with excellent (and humorous) critical analysis: “Intro to Revenge-Adventure Genre“; a more serious example that relies heavily on hypertext and multimedia: “Lies, Damned Lies, and the Complicated Accounting of Identity [Counterpoint]


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  1. Pingback: Final information | Asian American Pop Culture

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