Six Titles in Search of a Paper

There is nothing more important or difficult to write than the title of a paper. Okay, that’s not true–it’s actually much harder to write the paper. It takes tons of time and thought and dedication.

But titles do their own kind of work as well. To get our conversation about Tropic of Orange off the ground today, I offer, below, six titles that could all lead to awesome papers. In your small groups, your task is to chart out the argumentative story that each of these titles seems to suggest or imply. Which characters or scenes might you focus on? And which concepts or methods would you bring to bear on that material?

Here are your titles:

  • Between Self and Subject: Claiming Subjective Agency in Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange
  • Be Mine: Mediation, Media, and Missed Connections in Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange
  • Reclaiming Space: Occupying Imaginative and Physical Environments in Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange
  • Embodying History: The Revenge of the New (Third) World in Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange
  • “The Virtually Real Could Not Accomodate the Magical: Spectacle, Media, and Imaginary Memory; or, Why The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”
  • Selling Passion, Selling the Globe: The Commodification of Experience in Tropic of Orange

After you choose a title in your group, please come up with the following:

  • Research Brainstorm (what kinds of outside sources would you need to find in order to make sense of this research topic). Be specific–look stuff up using keyword searches through the discovery service on the library website
  • Thesis Statement: many of these titles imply if not an actual argument, then at least a potential argumentative story. Please come up with a thesis statement for your paper that will organize the hypothetical research as well as your analytical excursions into the text. It often helps to come up with evidence before one offers the thesis: after all, a thesis is a sort of map and mirror for the analysis that follow.
  • List 3-4 moments in the text that you will analyze and follow through with one of those moments. These are the crucial hinge points in your argumentative story.

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