Mr. Cohen Fall 2003
I) Each student must write a 1-2 page essay on one of the following topics (Due before class 10/1).
A) Analyze the middle paragraph on page 5 of The Communist Manifesto. How do Marx and Engels portray the bourgeoisie here and why?
B) Summarize and explain the factory system as described by Marx and Engels (10). What is it, exactly, and what are its consequences?
C) What do Marx and Engels mean by the terms “bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom” (20)? How do they view these ideas and why?
D) Why do Marx and Engels assert that “working men have no country” (23)? What is their view of nations?
E) What do Marx and Engels mean by “critical-utopian socialism” (34)? How do they view it and why?
II) Each student must write a 1-2 page critical review of a lecture (see sign-up sheet). Please do not summarize the lecture or recount your personal feelings about it; you should rather 1) identify its central point or thesis and 2) assess how effective it was and why. (Due the class day following the lecture)
III) Each student must write a 3-5-page essay on Plato’s The Republic, choosing from among the following topics (due before class 10/20):
A) What is Plato’s view of happiness? Why does he hold that view? Do you agree with it? Why or why not? Your job is not merely to summarize Plato’s argument and offer your personal opinions about it. Ask, rather, how Plato’s view of happiness relates to his overall concerns in The Republic, and be sure to support your argument with specific reference to the text.
B) What is Plato’s view of education? Why does he hold that view? Do you agree with it? Again, rather than rejecting Plato’s views out of hand, first ask on what grounds he holds them. Be sure to support your analysis with specific reference to the text.
C) What is Plato’s view of women? Is he a “sexist”? A “feminist”? How do his views relate to his concerns in The Republic as a whole?
D) Analyze one of Plato’s central stories—the ring of Gyges, the myth of the three metals, the allegory of the cave, the myth of Er—in light of The Republic as a whole. Where does Plato employ the story in his text and why? How does it relate to his overall argument?
IV) Each student must write a 3-5 page essay focusing either on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure or on Lila Abu-Lughod’s Veiled Sentiments—or comparing and contrasting the two. You may choose your own topic, but must clear it with me beforehand. (Due before class 11/14)
IV) Each student must write a 1-2 page essay on The Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop (due before class 11/25). Focusing on a passage of no more than ten lines from one of Bishop’s poems, address the following questions: Who is the speaker (or speakers)? What, exactly, does the passage convey? In what context does it unfold? How might the lines in question be read?
VI) Each student must rewrite either their first or second 3-5 page paper. (Due before class 12/1)