Final exam: Essay questions

Please read through the questions carefully. You should have a total of three essays – see guidelines for length attached to each. Note that points are set aside for each of the articles/concepts to be discussed (that is, if you are asked to discuss three authors and only do two, you will lose points).Turn in all of the answers as a single document to the Canvas site.

Make sure your essay has a clear overarching argument, and draws on specific evidence from the texts, not generalizations. Make sure your definitions are correct; try to explain concepts precisely in your own words. When you quote from an essay, set up what it means and then explain why it is relevant. Please proofread.

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  1. Question 1: 15 points – at least 750 words.

Is hegemonic masculinity a useful concept for understanding contemporary expressions of masculinity, or is it inadequate? Evaluate Chotiner’s interview with Peggy Orenstein in this context https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/can-masculinity-be-redeemed. What other theories of masculinity could replace or supplement the theory of hegemonic masculinity? [In other words, what other terms or concepts would help Orenstein’s argument, or better diagnose our world?] Your answer should include a discussion of Connell’s essay, and AT LEAST three of the following authors: Bridges and Pascoe, Messner, Randles, Bederman, Rios/Sarabia, Herdt, Mora, Ocampo; plus any other relevant course materials including films, videos or articles. Less is more when it comes to the number of authors – I would rather you discuss three authors and their concepts fully than add a whole lot whom you don’t discuss in detail.

2. Question 2: 15 points – at least 750 words.

What, in your opinion, is Obioma principally trying to show us about boyhood, family, religion and politics in 1980-1990s Nigeria in The Fishermen? Ground your argument in at least three pivotal scenes in the novel, and at least two of the characters. Draw on ANY THREE class readings on masculinity in your answer (– you might consider masculinity to be an important theme in the novel, or you might think the novel is not really about masculinity, so use the readings that reflect your point).

3.Question 3: 10 points — at least 500 words.

Briefly discuss Natterson’s argument in https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/well/family/boys-puberty-silence-beauty-myth.html, including your reaction to the piece. Discuss whether her arguments are confirmed or contradicted by our class readings on masculinity and bodies – choose ANY TWO from Barber, Naher/Hossain, Summers, Pattanaik or Messner; additionally, discuss any one OTHER class reading/text, which best fits your perspective on Natterson’s argument.

Requirements: 2000 words in total

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