[see grading / evaluation grid]

There are many possible ways to begin your summary. A solid introduction, for example, might echo Lee’s own, use a real-world example to capture the tensions she describes, or frame the broader assumptions lying behind Sue-Im Lee’s article: namely, that while poststructuralist critique prides itself on tearing down essential, objective truths that do more harm than good, we can’t just get rid of these concepts. We need a sense of history and identity and selfhood and universal good. These concepts help define us and direct us. Rather than get rid of these concepts, we need to use that contextual creativity–that response-ability–that Nealon and Giroux talk about–to take possession of these concept anew.

The intro will also want to offer a clear re-statement of Lee’s thesis, which will look like a very miniature version of her argument. This might take 2-4 sentences. Think of this thesis as a map or mirror for the coming summary: it should anticipate and reflect both the organization and content of what follows.

ORGANIZATIONAL OPTIONS (stemming from our in-class conversation). This is one possible option–there are others as well: 


  • Critique of “global village” (unidirectional) universalism by theorists (the first part of the critical conversation)
  • Critique of same by specific characters (Emi, Bobby/Rafaela, Buzzworm/Arcangel)


  •  Theoretical recuperation (the second part of the critical conversation)
  • Character-driven recuperation: Manzanar and Romantic Universalism


Necessary / Impossible Dialectic: what purpose toes Romantic Universalism serve if it is impossible? Note Lee’s qualifications of her own argument.


Emi’s deep skepticism about any collective identity? Gabe’s dangerous embodiment of a unidirectional globalist we in his relationship with Rafaela? Buzzworm’s encampment as a problematic example of the “instant” of Romantic Universalism that ends in horrible violence? How Lee ignores the anti-climactic conclusion to the wrestling match (counting money)? We came up with a number of great ideas in class: this part is wide open!


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