Paper 3

Our third paper (minimum 800 words) asks you to theorize and reflect on your identity by drawing on the concepts and perspectives of Febos, McIntosh, and/or Graeber. These readings direct our thinking in a new direction by offering a broader framework for theorizing our identities and experience. Febos helps us look inward toward aspects of our experience we don’t always think, talk, or write about; McIntosh helps us look outward toward the larger social structures and dynamics that shape our experience; Graeber encourages us to address aspects of our experience that embody a principle of playfulness and fun, that have no meaning beyond their own enjoyment.

Your thinking in this paper should look both outward and inward, reflecting on your personal experience and how it fits in a larger dynamic or context. We want to take our individual experience as meaningful and worth addressing, but we also want to put it into conversation with how identity works more generally. In this sense, you are not making an argument about your identity so much as theorizing how identity works and how it shapes and fits with your experience.

You should accomplish two main things in this paper. First, take up some aspect of your experience and describe it in detail. This might be one specific event or a series of related experiences that happened over time. Either way, include a detailed description and narration of your experience. Second, analyze and reflect on this experience, helping us see how it is significant, how it shaped you as a person and how it adds to our understanding of identity.

As you work toward these two main goals, it will help to take up your experience through the lens of one or more of our readings, focusing on some combination of privilege, merit, trauma, difficult experience, playfulness, fun, lightheartedness, etc. This paper does not require research, but you are welcome to draw on outside sources if they help you develop your thinking. You can include quotes from Febos, McIntosh, or Graeber as well. If you do include any sources, be sure to include appropriate MLA or APA citations.