Artifice & Creation

  Artifice & Creation

Challenge Piece

ENGL1010: SEC

What You Need:

  • Ede, Lisa. The Academic Writer
    • “Understanding – and Designing – Academic Arguments,” 144-146
    • “Habits of Mind” & “Exploring a Topic and Finding a Focus,” 183-191
  • Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. (University of Chicago Press, 1958)
    • 12: “The Thing-Character of the World,” & 13: “Labor and Life,” 93-101
    • 18: “The Durability of the World,” & 19: “Reification,” 136-144
  • Inquiry of choice that challenges the false dichotomy between nature and artifice

Challenge Piece:

You have just read selections from Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition. In it Arendt discusses nature through the process of labor, work, and action. Instead of isolating nature in its noun form, Arendt theorizes the aspects of nature that highlight its capacity as a verb, its power in its activities and process. In this way we see nature as quite like artifice. Arendt writes, “Human life, in so far as it is world-building, is engaged in a constant process of reification, and degree of worldliness of produced things, which all together form the human artifice, depends upon their greater or lesser permanence in the world itself.”[1]

In this challenge piece, you will choose a topic/example to use to answer a central question about the relationship between nature and artifice. Use selections from Arendt’s The Human Condition as your starting point to help you articulate the (false?) dichotomy that you see in your chosen topic. Consider the implications, for example, of an advertisement geared toward women to shave their legs, organic agricultural practices, a commercial selling a sleep-inducing drug, wind-farms etc. (Note: don’t use these specific topics unless you come speak with me directly). The idea here is to form a topic around a question that you want to answer.

Details:

  • Please use 12 point Times New Roman font with 1” margins, double-spaced.

Due Dates:

  • Challenge Piece: [1] full page (~300-400 words) by Thursday, October 26th

Artifice & Creation

Conversation Piece

ENGL1010: SEC

What You Need:

  • Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. (University of Chicago Press, 1958)
    • 12: “The Thing-Character of the World,” & 13: “Labor and Life,” 93-101
    • 18: “The Durability of the World,” & 19: “Reification,” 136-144
  •  (1) Academic Source: book, book chapter, journal article

Conversation Piece:

“Unit III” asks you to choose a topic of choice that engages the (false?) dichotomy between nature and artifice. In your “Challenge Piece” you used Arendt’s theory of creation and reiteration (nature and artifice) to challenge, critique, or trouble the topic that you chose for your third assignment. Since our third paper assignment is a research-driven assignment, you will be finding one additional academic source through the University of Connecticut Library to help you (1) extend or complicate Arendt’s theory and (2) articulate your claim, that is, an idea that you want to stake out on the topic you chose. [Note – you cannot use Aristotle’s Physics for this requirement, although you can quote it in addition if you like.] “Conversation Piece” asks you to take what Arendt’s says about creation and reiteration and put her ideas into conversation with another scholar’s idea, opinion, or theory. When you choose your additional academic source, consider the following:

  • Is the source relevant to your research topic?
  • What is the project of the piece? (i.e. what is the author trying to prove?)
  • Who is the scholar citing? (i.e. who is the author in conversation with?)
  • What evidence does the scholar present and how?
  • What is similar or different to Arendt’s piece? How might you put these texts into conversation?

Details:

  • Please use 12 point Times New Roman font with 1” margins, double-spaced.

Due Dates:

  • Challenge Piece: [1] full page (~300-400 words) by Completed!
  • Conversation Piece: [2] full pages (~600-700 words) by Tuesday, November 7th 

Artifice & Creation

Paper III Assignment

ENGL1010: SEC

I. What you need

  • Ede, Lisa. The Academic Writer: A Brief Rhetoric. (Bedford St. Martin’s, 2017): pp. 144-233.
  • Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. (University of Chicago Press, 1958)
    • 12: “The Thing-Character of the World,” & 13: “Labor and Life,” 93-101
    • 18: “The Durability of the World,” & 19: “Reification,” 136-144
  • (1) Academic Source: book, book chapter, journal article
  • Topic of choice that challenges the false dichotomy between nature and artifice

II. Your Project

“Unit III” of this course focuses on the role that creation plays in both nature and (art)ifice. Arendt establishes two figures that help to think through ideologies of creation: homo faber “man the maker” [labor] and animal laborans “the working creature” [work]. Arendt argues that creation through labor is anchored to biological processes of the human body, the need to labor for food, for example, to alleviate hunger. Differently, work does not compensate mortality, as it only provides an “artificial world of things” meant to “outlast and transcend” its creator. We have spent this unit discussing the dichotomy between artificer and laborer, and still this model helps us to question the role of “creation” in natural and artificial phenomena.

By this point you have chosen a topic that troubles, extends, or reimagines the (false?) dichotomy between nature and artifice. By putting Arendt’s theory about creation in conversation with your academic source, your third paper will investigate a topic that engages the dichotomy between nature and artifice. In this project you will learn to design an argument and participate in a scholarly conversation. The goal of your project aims to explain an issue that you have identified (i.e. what is at stake?), synthesize evidence to make new connections, and respond to a conversation about the issue at hand. This project may feel like a “traditional” academic essay, and we will discuss the benefits and limitations of this somewhat standardized genre, as well as the ways in which we can move beyond this format.

[Note: Your inquiry and topic may change from the Challenge Piece to the Conversation Piece to this final assignment. Allow your ideas and inquiry to be flexible. The way in which you began answering your question in this project may change when you encounter new research, texts, or ideas. This is the mark of learning – embrace it!]

III. Details

  • The length of your paper should be a minimum of (6) full pages.
  • You must have a work cited page and footnotes following the Chicago Style format.
  • Please use 12 point Times New Roman font with 1” margins, double-spaced.
  • Please use page numbers on the upper right-hand corner of the page.
  • Please use the Last Name # format (Ex: Bell 12)

IV. Due Dates

  • Challenge Piece: [1] full page (~300-400 words) by Thursday, October 26th
  • Conversation Piece: [2] full pages (~600-700 words) by Tuesday, November 7th 
  • Draft: [4] full pages (~1000-1200 words) by Tuesday, November 14th
  • Final Draft: [6] full pages (~1400-1600 words) by Friday, November 17th 
    • Very Important: This should be submitted to me via email in .doc, .docx, or Google Drive format.
    • Make sure you save the document as “Last Name_Project III”

Note:

What is a successful paper?

  • Express a nuanced, creative, & thoughtful claim
  • Use a variety of textual evidence to support claim
    • Including paraphrasing, direct quotations, & pointed summary etc.
  • Use close reading of the ‘text under consideration’ as evidence
  • Make specific moves to come to terms with theoretical material
    • Make specific moves to either forward, counter, or take an approach to said theoretical material à i.e. create, show, expand a conversation
  • Free of spelling errors & basic grammar mistakes
  • Use concise and specific vocabulary, i.e. define your terms
  • Follow all formatting directions under Details
  • Proper citations, both in-text and on the Work Cited page

An excellent paper will do all of this, and…

  • Take risks. I privilege big ideas, radical thinking, & new knowledge in student writing

[1] Arendt. The Human Condition, 96.

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