The final project for the class is a 900-word critical review of a book, film, or other cultural work. Students examined how one key issue was presented in that work as the thesis of the paper. This was followed up by a presentation to the class of the key elements of their review, supplemented by slides. Selected presentations can be viewed here.
Karen Brito’s presentation examines the film Avatar and argues that it is an analogy for the extermination of American Indians.
Adonis Castro’s presentation is a look at the portrayal of governmental surveillance in the film Eagle Eye and argues that it exaggerates the danger posed.
Eva Galvez’s presentation examined the theme of biracial identity in the U.S. as seen in James McBride’s The Color of Water.
Vivi Huang’s presentation examined the issue of morality in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic The Great Gatsby, arguing that the protagonist’s downfall is brought on by his lack of self-restraint.
Justin Lee’s presentation focused on a critical analysis of George Orwell’s classic book Animal Farm as an allegory for the danger of unchecked governmental power and the corrupting influence of power.
Shelley Lugo’s presentation was an analysis of gender roles as seen in Tennessee Williams’s classic play A Streetcar Named Desire.
Marcel Malena’s presentation analyzed the intersection of gender roles and Dominican history as seen in Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Katia Rodriguez’s presentation examined the film The Hunger Games.