The mini-criticisms focus primarily on one text (or set of texts) and are relatively informal. The student is not expected to have discovered the perfect theoretical or social context for analyzing the document just yet, but they should make an effort at writing about the text, analyzing its symbolism, or unpacking the ways it supports broader power relations. Although much of our focus in this class will be on “rhetoric” (acts of public persuasion) and “media” criticism (through television, film, digital and popular culture). The student can focus on any sort of communicative object: poetry, prose, film, television, speech, tweets, photographs, etc. The paper should include: a description of the text, a clear thesis statement, and multiple paragraphs that break down the student’s argument about “what the text means,” “how it works in relation to similar texts,” or “what the text does; the experience of encountering the film, speech, poem, etc.” Students are permitted to focus on aesthetics, genre/technique (e.g., such as filmic or artistic technique), but must consider questions of persuasion as well: how is it that the text persuades the audience into seeing the world in a certain way? How does the text ask its readers to see the world? This also means that the mini-criticisms must do more than just relay the text’s narrative. Students must apply content from one reading from the course to each criticism. Papers must be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12-point font with one-inch margins. Grading includes: 1. Clarity of thesis; 2. Clarity of argument as related to the text’s meaning or force; 3. Use of evidence from chosen text; 4. Quality of the application of course readings.

The item I want to have be the topic of this essay is spike Lee’s wake up campaign ad for Bernie sanders from 2016

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