ENGL 496: Essay #2

For essay #2, please answer one of the following two prompts. Beyond following the basic format outlined on the syllabus, please include at least 2 outside sources NOT read for your class in your paper, in addition to any sources we read IN class that you may want to cite. The paper should be a full 3-4 pages in length.

  1. Intro to a Maya autor Select one of the contemporary Maya authors that we have read during this unit of the course. You job will be to produce an introductory essay to this author and his/her work. You will want to include a biographical selection, and literary analysis focused on major themes and motifs found in the works that we have read. Do any social issues come up in this author’s work? If so, which ones and how? How does this author treat racism, economic class, and/or gender? How does his/her approach differ from the approaches that others take? What genre does the author work in? What characterizes his/her work stylistically? As always, these are not questions to be answered systematically, but rather a prompt to get you started
  2. Gender and Maya Literature A number of the contemporary Maya authors we have read take up gender and gender roles in their respective works. Write an comparative analysis in which you compare and contrast the approaches to these in works by two contemporary Maya authors. How do these authors deal with issues of abuse and/or sexual violence? How do these authors through their literary works contest “traditional” gender norms and seek to create new spaces for Maya women in their communities, in Mexico, and beyond? Make sure to cite from your primary sources to bolster your argument.