American Studies

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements



This open-book take-home exam will focus on FOUR of your reading assignments: Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi; Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems; Mary Crow Dog, Lakota Woman; and Matthew Avery Sutton, ed., Jerry Falwell and the Rise of the Religious Right. Use pertinent lecture material to enhance your analysis of the reading assignments and be mindful of the interconnections between race, gender, and class as you analyze historical change. You should include one well-developed example from each book. (This includes a well-developed example from at least one of the sources in Sutton.) 
We encourage you to seek assistance prior to submission regarding your essay’s grammar, syntax, and organization at the Undergraduate Writing Center: Your paper must be no longer than 4 pages, typed, double-spaced, and using 12-point font, and one-inch margins. Additionally, you must limit quoted material from the reading assignments to leave enough room for analysis. Any quoted material MUST include a page number and author’s last name: for example, (Moody, 136). 

Choose one of the 2 prompts and analyse them through including references to both the books mentioned above and key words from the document that I will have uploaded. I need it to have content, direct phrases and straight to the point, no infinite introductions with no point and no sense.

1. Popular songs, such as “Rock Around the Clock” (Bill Haley & His Comets, 1954) and “My Generation” (The Who, 1965) celebrated youthful cultural autonomy. Similarly, grassroots social movements, such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, were sites of autonomous youthful political activism. Using Moody, Ginsberg, Crow Dog, and an essay of your choice in Sutton, please analyze selected examples of youthful autonomy in conjunction with generational conflict. In other words, how did youthful independence trigger the so-called “generation gap” between parents and their children? How (if at all) did race, gender, and/or class shape these expressions of autonomy and conflict?

2. From “the going steady complex” to the grassroots movement against sex education, virtually all aspects of American life related to sexuality—such as courtship, reproduction, sexual orientation, sex roles, birth control, censorship, sexual contact, and representations of sexuality in popular culture—have been major minefields for social and cultural change. How have issues of sexuality and/or sexual control been expressed in grassroots activism, “personal” politics,” and/or traditional legislative politics from the postwar period through the 1970s? What historical generalizations about the broader “sexual revolution” can you draw from your analysis?