College 002: Assignment 1

Write an essay of no more than 1200 words on one of the following two topics, according to the assignment of students to topics that Emily Renschler will give out in your section meetings. Half of the class will be assigned to each topic. The topics will be switched for a later assignment, so that everyone will have a chance to write about both topics.

The essays are due on March 19.

  1. Humanness: Consider the film "Quest for Fire" from the point of view of what it means to be human vis--vis the rest of the animal kindgom. How is the relationship between humanness and non-humanness portrayed? What stereotypes are drawn upon? Choose a specific perspective and argue for it, focusing on particular traits or areas of comparison.
  2. Human variation in gender roles: Consider the depiction of gender and sex in the film 'Tootsie,' with special reference to the relationship among biology, language and culture. In what ways is the depiction of gender and sex in this film culture specific? In what ways does the biology of the human species determine or influence the patterns of female- and male-associated appearance, dress, behavior and speech that the film highlights for us?

Some general advice: