On the syllabus you will see that after first two weeks of class, we will go through four rounds of what I call Binary and Mess posts. Each round will focus on a different theme relevant to our class discussions; however the essential requirements for the post will be the same throughout the semester.
In a Binary Post, you will:
1) Identify a binary (relevant to the section theme) that you see working in this text. Perhaps you noticed there’s a devil/angel binary being constructed.
2) Make a claim about how that narrative is using that binary. Essentially you will answer the question: What story does this piece tell about that binary? Perhaps you posit that the story’s angel/devil binary is a way to police female gender expectations because the story suggests that a good angel means being a girl who likes to help mother and play with dolls and being a bad devil means being a girl who takes up boy games and boyhood aspirations.
3) Provide specific, relevant, and accurately cited examples from the text that illustrate/support your claim.
4) Explain your evidence (what you quoted) and how it actually illustrates the binary story you said the text was illustrating.
NOTE: All binary and mess posts should be between 100-200 words, clearly written, and accurately cited.
SECOND NOTE: There are four rounds of Binary-Mess Posts. Rounds 1 and 3 are general binary and mess. You can pick whatever binary you want to discuss, and the mess post can respond to those binary post as they please. Rounds 2 and 4 have specific themes that your binary should focus on. see the syllabus for which week is general and which is a theme. The description for those rounds are as follows:
- Round 2: The “American Adventures in Gender Assignment”, you will focus on a gender binary: What kind of binary narrative about male and female/men and women/ boys and girls does the narrative prevent?
- Round 4: In the “Racial Animal Assignment” you will focus on racial binaries: What kind of binary narrative about race does this story tell? This may be a story about black and white or it may about the human and nonhuman animal or both!?