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Dr. Andrew Wood
Office: HGH 210; phone: (408) 924-5378
Andrew.Wood@sjsu.edu


Fourth Unit Engagement Portfolio


Rubric: I will use this rubric to assess your work.

Overview: This assignment encourages you to explain the rhetorical framing of one specific challenge to contemporary social order (eg., artificial intelligence, authoritarianism, automation, declining civility, environmental degradation, gun violence, etc.) in a manner that exceeds time and resources available to a three unit course. Your portfolio shall include the following elements:

Two page summary of one utopian or dystopian novel (at least 100 pages, written in the past 30 years): Read the entire book and explain how this text frames your selected challenge. Your summary will include plot overview, relevant characters, key scenes, and at least four brief quotations meaningfully integrated into your analysis. Include an appendix of photocopies of each quoted page.

Here are some resources that can guide your search [remember 30-year limit, though]:

Paste, "The 30 Best Dystopian Novels of All Time": https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/05/the-30-best-dystopian-books-of-all-time.html

Vulture, "100 Great Works OF Dystopian Fiction": https://www.vulture.com/article/best-dystopian-books.html


Two page summary of four additional popular culture texts (half page each): Augment your selected book with a broader constellation of texts that address your selected challenge. Ensure that each text reflects a different medium (eg., song lyrics, music video imagery, advertisement, graphic novel, video game, television show, film, etc.), and strive to highlight points of similarity and divergence between your selections.

One page synthesis: Describe how the book and your four additional popular culture texts frame your selected challenge. Organize this synthesis according to the following questions: (1) How do these texts align and diverge to explain the nature of the challenge? (2) Drawing solely from at least one of your selected texts, how can we hope to address this challenge?