Feminist Critical Theory
The purpose of this assignment is to write an essay with a thesis that is supported with evidence.
Annette Kolodny’s “Dancing Through the Minefield: Some Observations on the Theory, Practice, and Politics of a Feminist Literary Criticism”
Barbara Smith’s “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism”
Plato’s The Symposium.
Feminist critical theory has evolved to include more than just the critique of men. Aside from feminists exposing the inequalities between men and women, they have also established a coherent theoretical framework that intersects with other pressing issues such as women’s power, sexuality, literary creation, and political engagement.
Using either Kolodny’s or Smith’s text, answer the following:
What can we learn if we read The Symposium with a feminist theoretical framework?
Please type three to four pages of double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font
Use one-inch margins
Include an original title
Include a thesis with one claim and one rationale
Quote from one of the feminist texts and Plato
For this essay, write from third person perspective
Avoid second-person perspective
Responding critically in this context means you look closely at logic, rhetoric, theory, metaphor, analogies, symbols, language, gender, ‘structures,’ opinions, beliefs, feelings, the mind, the setting (the context), the culture, and any other linguistically charged letter, word, or phrase to answer the question above.
Begin by introducing the author (Plato), the title of the text, and a summary of how he is either sensitive or insensitive to women.
Then, clearly state your thesis at the end of your introduction.
In the body of your essay, introduce the author (either Kolodny or Smith), the title of her text, and then provide your reasons to support your thesis (make your thesis believable).
You should clearly state and develop one reason per body paragraph.
Remember to provide specific evidence (quotes) from the text(s). Let the quotes support your answer to the question, not the other way around.
Conclude your essay by echoing (restating) your thesis and leave your reader to believe how or why it is important or not to read The Symposium through a feminist theoretical framework.
If you get stuck when writing, give yourself a break. Walk away from your work for a bit, have a stretch, close your laptop, discuss out-loud what you want to write, talk to someone about your ideas and have that person ask you questions that will challenge your opinions and assumptions until you feel confident that you ‘discovered’ the words you want to use.