For this assignment, you will write a review essay using 2-4 texts from those covered in the class so far. Course readings, even from the same week, are rarely on exactly the same topic and rarely discuss a topic from exactly the same point of view. Therefore, the challenge is to find and make connections, to make the readings speak to each other by reorganizing them and selectively focusing on certain aspects of them. You can focus your review on the overall relationship between race and class in America, a more specific aspect of this relationship, or another related theme that connects the texts. (1700 words)
Katz Nelson- When Affirmative Action Was White
Dana Franks- Buy American: The Untold Story of Economic Nationalism
W.E.B Dubois- Black Reconstruction in America
Matthew D. Lassiter- The Silent Majority
The readings form the raw material from which you are to make a coherent and critical argument. Ask yourself: What would author S say to the arguments of Author T? Review essays present an argument based on the readings so that they are in constant and full dialogue with one another. This requires imposing your own intellectual framework on the readings. Do not just say “Article A focusses on X, but Article B focuses on Y”. The aim is to get a theme that runs through the entire essay so that in “reviewing” the readings you are really interpreting them. This is an interpretive, exegetical exercise. You might want to briefly introduce what the authors talk about in general, but very quickly you need to impose some intellectual order on all the information. The reader needs to know at every paragraph where you are going and how it all fits together.