For this Blog post, I want to build on our work from last class by “reading between the lines” and working to analyze and examine crucial, controversial material that is NOT found in a particular story of your choosing. Specifically, you are to write 2-3 paragraphs of careful, in-depth analysis on the dangers of “single stories” (to borrow deliberately from Chimamanda Adichie’s well-known TED talk). In general, the goals here are for you to: Use your critical thinking skills to build upon Adichie’s ideas from her popular lecture; and practice your skills in critically reading a notable historical or political story – skills of the very kind you will be using for your final writing assignment of the semester.
With these goals in mind, here’s what I would like for you to do in your Blog post:
-For your topic, I want you to pick out a significant narrative “text” that is either written BY someone from another culture, or written ABOUT some person or occurrence from another place. You might, therefore, select a literary story or some other form of media narrative that deals with important historical or political ideas (a feature news story or even photograph would qualify here). OR, as an alternative here, if you would like to address a problematic “story” that has emerged in the wake of the controversial 2016 presidential election, that would be acceptable as well.
-Because the goal is to use and build on Adichie’s ideas as a way “in” to some other “single story”, you should quote her talk and use her specific words and ideas in your discussion.
-As Adichie says, the truth is that “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” So, in looking at your chosen story, you might ask/answer the following questions (in some way): What other stories are there but do not get told? What are some of the most important gaps or omissions in your chosen story, and how can you tell? Perhaps more importantly, what are the ramifications of these gaps for what the reader perceives to be the “reality” of the situation, the “truth” of the society or political idea in question? Putting things even more simply, if you “read between the lines” and deconstruct the narrative (in terms of what is seen but also NOT seen), what do you find – and why is this so important?? To answer these questions will likely require a bit of research, and the key is to bring some intellectual nuance to an overly-simplified “story” that will, in the process, allow your reader to more fully see the “big picture” in regards to the situation in question.