Theorizing Identity

This short paper (500-800 words) asks you to analyze one of our recent readings from McIntosh or Febos. These readings direct our thinking in a new direction by offering a broader framework for theorizing our identities and experience. McIntosh helps us look outward toward the larger social structures and dynamics that shape our experience; Febos helps us look inward toward aspects of our experience we don’t always think, talk, or write about. Your analysis should address the following prompts:

  • What is the purpose of the text? What does the text aim to achieve? What does it encourage us to think, feel, or do? What is the main argument advanced by the text?
  • What does the text do to support its main argument, develop its perspective, and support its thinking? What sort of reasoning, evidence, or examples are offered?
  • Assess the uses and limits of the text. In what ways is the text helpful and productive? What sorts of questions, situations, problems, or challenges does it help us address? What are the text’s limitations? What perspectives does it overlook? What are its blindnesses or trained incapacities?
  • What is your response to the text? What does it help you see or understand about your own experience? How does it shape your understanding of your experience, either in general or with reference to a specific situation?