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How does dissent/protest function? With what

How does dissent/protest function? With what end/s)?/Howdoessocialprotest,aswellasgreatliterature,oftenarisefromexploitation/oppressionandthestruggles
against it?/Why does dissent/protest emerge? Are the causes always the same?/Whatseparatesradicalaimsfromprotest/dissent(ifanything)?/ Areallproteststhesame?/fnot,whatdoesthissuggestabouttherightordutytodissent?

Order Description
Background: Using the argumentative frames developed in our early discussions and through our early material (V for Vendetta, the Declaration of Independence, Common Sense and the Declaration of Sentiments), critically engage either 1) a piece of popular culture (movie, song, comic, work of art); 2) one of our upcoming works (e.g. Gilman’s Herland or a poet from the Harlem Renaissance); or 3) a historical or contemporary “radical” or protest movement in America, considering specifically how your choice reflects, advances, or challenges the connections between natural rights, the duty to dissent, and the proper role/aim of government vis-à-vis its citizens.
More than simply demonstrating a connection, your essay should advance a critical analysis in terms of 1) a particular problem your subject presents to the reader; 2) specific symbolism, representations, and perspectives used by your subject to legitimate/justify/negate the right for a people to protest; or 3) the affirmation/critique of dissent in a democratic society. Meaning, your aim in this essay is to explore how an expression of popular culture, a work of art/literature, or radical movement draws on the ideas that situate the American republic as a nation of dissent and what more generally this tells us about the relationship between the rights of citizens and the role of government.
Here are some questions to consider as you move forward. In no means is this list final…
1. Howdoesdissent/protestfunction?Withwhatend(s)?
2. Isthedutytodissenta“naturalright”orafunction/resultofdemocracy?Whatmightbethesignificanceofthis
distinction between a “natural” duty and a governmental function? What are the implications for non-democratic
societies and the reality of protest?
3. InwhatwaysdoesprotestliteratureprovideavehicleforanexpansivearrayofUSsocialmovementstovoice
their cause & shape a responsive narrative aesthetic?
4. Howdoessocialprotest,aswellasgreatliterature,oftenarisefromexploitation/oppressionandthestruggles
against it?
5. Why does dissent/protest emerge? Are the causes always the same?
6. Whatseparatesradicalaimsfromprotest/dissent(ifanything)?
7. Areallproteststhesame?Ifnot,whatdoesthissuggestabouttherightordutytodissent?
8. Howmightamovement/workofpopularcultureaffirmtherighttodissent,butchallengetheconnection
between the rights of the people and the proper role of government? For example, how might protest seek to solidify the power of government over the rights of the people? In literature/popular culture, this might constitute a distinction between “utopia” and “dystopia” as developed in V for Vendetta…
9. HowdoesthemessagedevelopedinitiallyinCommonSense,andthenadvancedbytheDeclarationofIndependence, come under attack by future moments of dissent/protest that, at their core, seek to overcome the limitations of Paine’s and Jefferson’s vision? For example, how does the Declaration of Sentiments (and feminism generally) illustrate the value of protest but also the profound limitations connected to America’s founding moment?
It is strictly up to you to choose a subject and find an angle to pursue, but do not remain surface level—push your analysis to explore the underlying motifs, critical implications, and significance of connecting protest with individual rights. In developing your argumentative perspective, consider hidden assumptions, both of the author and of yourself. What biases impact your subject? What biases impact you the writer? It is important, then, to engage your selected work/movement through the critical methodology our course has explored so far this semester.
Remember, within this course the aim of criticism is not only to locate a main idea or primary message, but also to take a step back and ask how, or what, this reflects about America, government, the rights of people, art, and protest. In this regard, the most jarring critical analyses may be those that expose underlying truths or hidden assumptions, locating what a work/movement says both explicitly and implicitly. Your role as a cultural critic is to dig to this level, to ask not only what the work of art/movement aims to argue, but what you, from a removed vantage point, uncover as important and worth critically writing about.

Requirements: 3-5 Pages; 12-point Times New Roman font; double-spaced; one-inch margins; full citations following style of your choice.

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