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HUMA Y 1300
Cultures of Resistance in the Americas



PowerPoint Slides

HUMA W 3315
Black Literatures and Cultures in Canada
HUMA F 3316
Black Women's Writing in the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States
HUMA F 6129
Black Women's Writing in the African Diaspora
Teaching Philosophy

AP/HUMA 1300 9.0A
Cultures of Resistance in the Americas
Fall/Winter 2009-2010

Research Essay (20%)


Defining the Topic

The readings assigned in this course between January 6 and February 3 raise important questions about popular culture, gender, sexuality and the educational system.

Using as a critical starting point the material assigned in these weeks, define your own area of research, critically examining some aspect of gender, popular culture, sexuality or education. For example you may choose to discuss one of the following: 

  • Black students in the Canadian educational system
  • Black female sexuality in music videos and/or films
  • Black men and police profiling
  • Homosexuality and the response of the black community


Remember, you are not limited to these topics. Please consult your tutorial leader or the course director if you have problems formulating and developing a topic.

Building the Argument

The assignment requires you to make detailed reference to at least two sources assigned in the course between January 6 to February 3 and at least two external sources (non-academic internet sources do not count). Define your topic as clearly as possible and develop your argument(s) carefully and thoroughly.


Purpose:This assignment is aimed at helping you further develop your critical reading and analytical skills, encourages cross-textual analysis and emphasizes the development and practice of library and other research skills.


Length: 7-8 pages (1750-2000 words)


Due Date: March 3, 2010


Format: The assignment should be typed, doubled-spaced and have numbered pages. A cover page should include the title of your assignment, your name, and your tutorial leader's name. Choose a title carefully that will suggest the main ideas of your paper.


Your assignment should also include carefully cited references within the body of the text and a works cited page at the end. We recommend you use one of two commonly used styles of citation: MLA (humanities) or APA (social sciences). Refer to pages 11-18 of Keys for Writers for details on these citation styles.

Criteria of Evaluation


  • Analysis based on detailed and careful references to and discussion of at least two readings assigned in the course and two external sources (external journal articles, chapters in an anthology, or books);
  • Appropriate use of a controlling idea (claim, thesis statement) with main ideas clearly stated and demonstrated through the use of relevant material;
  • Demonstrated comprehension of all material used, particularly as seen in summarizing, making analysis, selecting examples and contextualizing;
  • Presence of unified, developed, coherent paragraphs with a clear relationship among the paragraphs;
  • Absence of misspellings, sentence fragments, run-on sentences and comma splices;
  • Appropriate use of MLA or APA citation styles


You are required to hand in, before or with your essay, two online library tutorials: the library research roadmap and the academic integrity tutorial. These are designed to help you develop your research and are linked to the in-class lecture on library research strategies. The quizzes are available at http://www.yorku.ca/tutorial. To take the quizzes, you’ll need to log in using your Passport York ID and password. When you have successfully completed the quizzes, print two copies—one for your records and one for your tutorial leader.

The research essay will not receive a grade if the online library tutorials are not completed and handed in before or with the essay.