Essay assignment #2 - University of Western Ontario

The University of Western Ontario
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
MIT 256F
Popular Culture and Identity
Essay Assignment #2
Write an essay on one of the following topics:
1. In the movie My Son the Fanatic, who is more authentic: Parvez, the father, or Farid, the
son? Explain.
2. What difficulties does living in our current Canadian society pose to our being authentic?
Are these difficulties surmountable, so that it remains possible and valuable to be authentic?
(You can stress either the current consumerism, the current liberalism, or other aspects of
our current popular culture as the source of the difficulties. Try to refrain from tackling all
the difficulties our culture poses. That might be too ambitious for a 5 page paper.)
Due in class: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007.
Possible things to consider: Berlin’s distinction between rational self and empirical self; MacIntyre’s concept of tradition; Rorty and Wong’s sources of identity; Appiah’s concept of ‘essential’
aspects of one’s self; and other aspects of any of our readings.
External sources: You are not required to use external sources, but you may use one or two.
Length: 5-6 pages, i.e. approximately 1500 words. Do not be pedantic about this length, but treat
the question in a way that is appropriate to this approximate length.
Citation: You may use any citation style you wish, be it APA, MLA, footnotes, endnotes or
anything else. I only have two requirements. (1) Within a paper, keep to one style; for example,
do not switch from APA to MLA. And (2) do not cite the course pack (e.g.“Course Pack: p. 25)’.
Instead, cite the original article and author instead (e.g. “Berlin, p. 166”).
Late policy: I prefer essays to be handed in class on the due date. However, I will accept essays
through the FIMS assignment drop box next to NCB 240. (There is also an assignment drop box
in Talbot College, for the Dept. of Philosophy, on the 3rd floor, across from Rm 316.) Make sure
you have my name on it. The late policy is 1% deduction per day (weekends will count as 2%).
Unfortunately, I cannot accept any essays after the last day of classes, Dec. 5.
Marking and Returning papers: I will unlikely be able to return your papers by December 5.
You can find out your final essay mark by emailing me. But if you would like to receive your paper
after that date with comments, submit your paper along with the grading sheet, available on the
course website, and a self-addressed stamped envelope.