In the course of our study of literature this term, we have focused on how literary writers produced writings that are a response to a culture or society’s way of seeing the world. For this paper assignment, I want you to extend our readings and discussions to our own contemporary social and global conflicts that we are witness to in the world today.


To do this, you should become as familiar as you can with the scope of daily national and international news events. As often as possible, preferably on a daily basis, peruse the headlines and news stories of The New York Times at Identify news stories whose themes you can relate in some way to one or more of the literary texts we’ve read in the course. Think about ways in which you might relate the literature we’ve read to some aspect of these news stories – what issues, questions, and conflicts resonate in both the news issue and the literature you’ve read? Once you decide on a news topic that interests you and one that parallels in some way the writings we’ve studied, learn more about the issue by clicking the Times Topics tab located in the row of files on the top left of the New York Times online screen on the first (main) page (just above the newspaper’s banner). On the Times Topics page, you’ll find a searchable index of all the archived stories about that topic. Read as many articles and relevant links as you are able to in order to gain a wide and deep knowledge about the topic. (Note: Eventually you will run out of allowable articles and be asked to purchase a subscription. You are not expected to purchase anything to complete the assignment. After you’ve fully utilized the Times Topics tool, you may research other news sources if needed but any alternative news source you use should be approved through me.)


Write a 900-1200 word (3-4 page typed, double-spaced, 11 or 12-size font) discussion of how your reading of two of the assigned literary texts helps us to better understand the complex nature of a significant news event. Start by describing why the news event is significant and then develop a discussion about how the literary texts you’ve chosen especially resonate with the contemporary topic. What is similar in both the texts and the contemporary event? What are some notable differences in the texts and the contemporary event? How can you help your reader better understand the contemporary event thru the lens of the texts? Be as creative with your choice of texts and discussion as you wish, but you must ground your discussion by quoting and paraphrasing directly from the literary texts as often as possible. Be sure to give your paper an attractive title that reflects the main idea of your discussion. Proofread your paper carefully for correct English grammar and conventions.

Email me a description of your news topic/event and the literary texts you will discuss as early as possible, but no later than Sunday, October 6. A grading rubric for the assignment and a sample paper is attached below. The paper is due no later than midnight (CST) on Wednesday, October 9. No late papers will be accepted.

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