Selecting a Space – You may choose one of the below spaces. I recommend that you research each of these spaces before you make your decision.
Richmond’s Slave Burial Ground,
The Brand Center,
The Lobby of the Business Building,
The MCV Communal Waiting Area,
The Inside of the Siegel Center,
The 1st Floor of Student Commons,
Cary Street Gym,
VCU Barnes & Noble,
1st Floor of the Library,
or the 1st 2 Floors of MCALC.
Sources – You will use three sources in your essay: Your first source will be a local text that will help you to contextualize your space. Examples of the some local sources you might use include Style Weekly, Richmond Times Dispatch, The Commonwealth Times, RVA News, and Grid. Your other two sources will be articles we have discussed as a class:
Zizek’s “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce,”
Hines’ “What’s in a Package,”
Miller’s “The Birth of the Patio Daddy-O,”
Daly’s “Economics of a Full World,” and
Boulding’s “After Civilization, What?”.
Structure & Style – Treating your space effectively will require you to be aware of your audience. Your audience is academic, without any necessary pre-existing knowledge of your space. Remember, however, that contextualizing your space is only one element of your essay. It is your explanation and analysis of how different sources would interpret the space that forms the focus of your essay. Transitioning between your sources is the key element of this essay, as it will bring to the surface the nuanced overlaps and subtle differences which emerge from your analysis.
Grading – For this essay, you will be assessed on the following criteria:
Concisely establishing the context of your space and your interpretation of its meaning;
Clear and accurate understanding, analysis and synthesis of the sources;
Logical organization of your essay that uses transitions to bring key details to the surface;