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Targeted UULO:  Global/Multicultural Knowledge and Awareness     Task:   Students will write essays that explore multiple perspectives as represented by texts from various nationalities or cultures.   They will respond to diverse perspectives linked to identity, including age, ability, religion, politics, race, gender, ethnicity, economic status, and sexuality, both in American and international contexts.


The above is a brief English department description of the purpose of WP2.  I thought it would be good to start with this since is kind of packs all the possible diversity themes into a couple of sentences. 



This paper is similar to # 1, but the topic is MULTICULTURISM.  As with # 1, you will—


            1.  Work with Texts, both written and non-written. 

            2.  Call upon Personal Experience

            3.  Analyze and Evaluate


            To put it all in a sentence, in case you prefer that to a list:   Our subject matter this time for our TEXTUAL ANALYSIS and EVALUATION is the theme of MULTICULTURISM (DIVERSITY).     We will also practice COMPARISON/CONTRAST and referring to other texts (either written or visual.)    And you will also work personal experience into your papers.


            You may do either written texts or a film (s).    


            If you do a written text, you must do COMPARISON/CONTRAST.  You can do comp/contrast for the films as well or you can focus on just one movie.   


Length:   3-5 pages (about 1500 words); author’s note:   a page and a half—about 500 words.    Longer paper: 95%; author’s note: 5%.   (I think it is a good idea to strive for 4 pages for the longer paper so it does not seem skimpy.)


Do one of the below: 


I.   WRITTEN TEXTS--Comparison/Contrast choices--



            From our book:     Cisneros and Tan  (family)

                                          Tan and Silko      (language)


                                             Malcolm X (in our book) and MLK “Letter from Birmingham Jail”  (online)



                                      Diane Cameron,  “Want Less, Spend Less” 

                                        E.M. Forster,  “My Wood ” (materialistic culture)  (FAV)


    Murray Ross, “Football Red, Baseball Green”                             

    John McMurtry, “Kill ‘Em! Crush ‘Em! Eat ‘Em Raw”

    Tom Verducci,  “The Passion of Roger Angell:  The Best Writer in Baseball…”

            Sports Illus. 22 July 2014

    Roger Angell’s New Yorker articles

   Nicolai Ouroussoff, “Two New Baseball Palaces”    (sports culture)                          



Visual texts you could refer to:  films, paintings, ads, video games.

Make at least 2 references to non-written texts if you do this option—more if you like. 

Also use personal experience as you did in paper #1.



This is choice # 1.  If you prefer to work with films, that is next--




II.    FILM choices   


Writing about movies involves analyzing and evaluating themes, characters, and cinematic elements (all in the service of your multicultural theme).  Your essay could focus more on character than on themes, but including all three of the above makes for a stronger paper.  Also, many times it is easier to compare and contrast films—it often helps you come up with better content. 


Please refer to two movie critics in your paper.   Note how these critics tend to make allusions to other movies in their reviews.  You can do this as well, if you like, but for this choice, the movie critics will be the main written texts you refer to.


Also bring in personal experience.   If your paper is rich in the above categories, you can just touch on your own life.  But if your movie(s) seem really relevant to you, then do more with the personal experience aspect. 



            Your paper can be about just one movie, or you can do a comparison/contrast. 



MOVIE (and TV) CHOICES—I have grouped some together for comparison/contrast purposes.


1.  Sports Culture


A League of Their Own; Bend It Like Beckham (gender)

Remember The Titans; The Blind Side (racial conflicts) (FAV)

Rudy (class struggle); Eddie the Eagle (Feb. 2016) –underdogs

Field of Dreams (what does the film say about American culture and the American Dream?)

Major League—underdog

Bull Durham



Boxing:  Rocky, Raging Bull, Southpaw, Creed, Play It to the Bone (1999, Woody Harrelson, Antonio Banderas);   Diggstown  (1992, Louis Gosset, Jr.)


Rodeo:  8 Seconds



  Wimbledon—does this accurately reflect the world of tennis?

 Why are we so fascinated by sports—both as spectators and participants?  What do they do for us?  “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

Discuss the appeal and necessity, perhaps, of violence in sports—then move to other aspects, like sports as a cultural bridge in Remember the Titans.



2.   Disney Princess CultureLittle Mermaid, Mulan, Pochahantas, Tangled, Brave, Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. 


Compare a Disney Princess from long ago (Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty) vs. one of those

strong, tough, liberated females from more recent movies like Little Mermaid, Pochahantas, Tangled, Brave, etc.  (Note the theme of the rebellious daughter.)

Pochahantas flies though the trees rather than fleeing through them (like Snow White does).  Rapunzel

inventively defends herself against the world with a frying pan—rather than cleaning them the way

Cinderella did.  A good gender topic. 


Role of the sidekick animals as the girls set out on their adventures?   (FAV) 


3.  Chick Flick Culture : When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, Failure to Launch, Two Weeks’ Notice, Pretty Woman, The Proposal, The Holiday, Notting Hill, The Wedding Planner, P.S. I Love You, The Devil Wears Prada, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Notebook, Sabrina, Roman Holiday


            What is this “chick flick” culture that we are so enamored of?  What kinds of chick flick cultures do we find in the above films?  Or in a show like Sex and the City?  Do you live in a chick flick culture?  What is your reality like compared to that of the women in chick flicks or in Sex and the City?


            Comparison of chick flicks then and now?   When Harry Met Sally is the UR chick flick—the one against which all others are compared.  It set a high standard back in 1989. 


            The de-masculinization of men in chick flicks. 


Educating Rita, My Fair Lady, Pygmalion, Pretty Woman, Sabrina –all deal with class conflicts within the context of the classic Pygmalion love story


Reality vs. fantasy in chick flick culture.  Chick flicks tend to present us with idealistic, romantic scenarios.  How do they conflict with real life?  Can real life live up to a chick flick? 



4.   The James Bond movies—how the times have changed!  Contrast the culture of the 60’s (Sean Connery’s era) with the more recent Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig Bonds.  E.g. , the role of women—all those Bond girls—would we have had a female “M” in the 60’s?  How is Judi Dench’s portrayal of “M” typical of a certain kind of image of women in our times? 


How have the actors—Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig—shaped the role? 



            Bond vs. Jason Bourne.   What different cultural views of the world are presented in the two series?

How are the heroes symbolic of their times? 


            Wonder Woman, Lara Croft, Superman, Batman.  Consider the appeal of these famous heroes and heroines—this is a type of evaluation approach—figuring out their enduring popularity. 


5.    The Appeal of a certain series or genre-- 


The Harry Potter series—culture of the magical world vs. culture of the muggle world (FAV)

The Twilight series—vampire vs. human culture


            Other popular series:  Star Trek, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Hunger Games, Divergent/Insurgent, Percy Jackson, Superman, Batman--

            TV:  Buffy, the Vampire Slayer


Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (FAVS)


Figure out what makes us go back, again and again, to these imaginary universes which offer us an alternative “culture” to the human one.   What makes these stories so engaging?  Their characters?  Their themes?  The cinematic world they take us into?  The actors?   How does the culture of these imaginary worlds contrast with your own?     Deal with the cultural appeal of a series?  Why does the series speak to us so powerfully?   Addressing the appeal of a work is a type of evaluation


Bring social messages and cultural icons into your analysis--as, for example, we see in reviews of the Dark Knight which present us with a certain type of modern hero. 


            (Take my ideas as suggestions.) 


Percy Jackson series--

The culture of the gods vs. human culture. 

Thor would fit under this as well. 


Zombie culture—why our fascination with the undead?  Walking Dead, Resident Evil series


Rocky Horror Picture Show--account for how it became such a cultural phenomenon.


X-Men series—mutant culture vs. human culture.  Is unity in diversity possible?  (FAV)






6.   Culture of War and Violence



Black Hawk Down—pair it up with a very different ‘war’ movie, say, Troy or Lord of the Rings.  How does the real world present war, as opposed to fantasy and legend? 

Other war movies:  Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, Deer Hunter, Off Limits, American Sniper, Saving Private RyanJarhead; submarine genre:  Crimson Tide; Run Silent, Run Deep; Hunt for Red October; Das Boat


Culture of ViolenceFight Club, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, Breathless—there are many more—why our fascination with violence?  Notions of masculinity.  Axe commercials?


Courage Under Fire and GI Janemilitary culture and gender



7.  Road Trip and Journey movies that take us through multicultural layers--


Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion and Thelma and Louise (gender; female Road Trip movies) Road Trip movies—physical journeys that also take us elsewhere:  Easy Rider, The Odyssey (the

original ‘road trip’ movie—even though it’s on the sea), Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,

Sullivan’s Travel’s, O Brother, Where Art Thou?  Wild.

Journey movies—Around the World in Eighty Days (a great multicultural journey), The Hundred-Foot Journey, Wild, 2001: A Space Odyssey



8.   Compare Education movies—with attention to multicultural themes:  Up the Down Staircase; To Sir, with Love; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; The Substitute; Dangerous Minds; Dead Poets’ Society; School of Rock; The Corn is Green; Good Will Hunting; Mean Girls; Grease;  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; The Breakfast Club; Take the Lead;  A Beautiful Mind; Educating Rita; Ball of Fire; Clueless, Mr. Holland’s Opus


Pair Grease; High School Musical; Mean Girls; Clueless; Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink (high school culture—what multicultural aspects do we see in these high school environments?)


9.  Dance cultureTurning Point, Take the Lead, Strictly Ballroom, Center Stage, Step Up, The Red Shoes, Black Swan, Save the Last Dance, Step Up.  Take the Lead would be especially good for multicultural analysis.    

TV:  Dancing with the Stars.

Documentary:  Misty Copeland, A Ballerina’s Tale, PBS  (use the documentary to explore how realistic the movies are)--



10.    Compare Remakes


The 1950’s  Day the Earth Stood Still and the Keanu Reeves version

The 1950’s War of the Worlds and the Tom Cruise one

The original Godzilla and the Matthew Broderick one

The 1930’s King Kong and the Peter Jackson one

Wizard of Oz and The Wiz

Magnificent Seven (2016) with the 1960 version or with

            Seven Samurai (1954)

Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty


Ideas:  The 1930’s King Kong compared to the more recent one by Peter Jackson—roles of women, how the gorilla is presented—do you find the same themes of greed versus idealism in both?

            The recent Charlie and the Chocolate Factory compared to the older Willy Wonka version. How do the actors who play WW affect our view of the two very different eras in which the films were made?  


11.   New York culture:  any Woody Allen movie.  His films are a celebration of place. 

Grand Canyon—an exploration of LA culture with a strong multicultural theme.

Yet more LA culture:  Down and out in Beverly Hills based on a French play: Boudu sauve des eaux


Crash—about racial conflicts in LA--the movie designed to offend everyone.  How do you respond to the multicultural strain and tension and conflict seen in Crash?  How does this movie relate to your own life? 


Compare Crash and Grand Canyon (LA culture)


12.   Compare robot movies and robot cultures:  Bladerunner; AI; Bicentennial Man; I, Robot; Transformers, Humans (UK series now on AMC), Ex Machina


13.   The culture of fashionThe Devil Wears Prada; TV: Project Runway


14.   The culture of foodBabette’s Feast, My Dinner with Andre, Tampopo, The Hundred-Foot Journey,

Como Agua para Chocolate, Chocolat, Woman on Top, Burn, Ratatouille

TV:  Chopped, Iron Chef, Cupcake Wars, The Great British Baking Show, Cutthroat Kitchen




More possible pairings:



Excalibur and Kiera Knighley’s King Arthur (2004) –films on the same subject from different eras


Bend It Like Beckham,  A League of Their Ownsports and gender


Thelma and Louise and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid  (gender)


Wall-E and Silent Running (environmental views from 2 dif. eras; culture of technology)


Losing Isaiah (Halle Berry), Black or White (Kevin Costner, 2014)


Hannie Calder (Raquel Welch) and Enough (Jennifer Lopez)


Clueless, Emma


Avatar, Fern Gully, Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves—cultures of harmony and

balance versus those of destruction and chaos—environmental themes.  (FAV)




            Bollywood movies:  Monsoon Wedding and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara


            Outsiders:  Children of a Lesser God, Mr. Holland’s Opus, My Left Foot, The Theory of Flight, The Theory of Everything


Distopias:  Fahrenheit 451, Equilibrium, Fifth Element




 Foreign remakes--


La Cage aux Folles and The Birdcage (Robin Williams)

The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven


The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar


Gender Pairings:  GI Jane, A League of Their Own, Courage Under Fire


Class conflict in The Hunger Games   Cultural layers in Divergent




Witness (Harrison Ford) religious differences


Joy Luck Club


Enemy Mine (1985, Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett, Jr.)


The Last Samurai


            Whiskey Tango Foxtrot   (2016 Tina Fey)

                        Release date—March 4  


             Queen of Katwe (2016)   Slumdog Millionaire, City of God


            Legally Blonde movies (gender, class)




More TV--Feel-good, self-help culture:  Queen Latifah, Ellen DeGeneres—off shoots of Oprah.  Account for the popularity of these kinds of shows.  What sorts of social messages do they send out about American culture, the American dream, about who we are and who we want to be?  Are they part of the lifelong quest:  searching for happiness? 




Animal Topic         


         Analyze/evaluate  Jonathan Safran Foer’s “My Life as a Dog” (online, NYT) with the idea of seeing

things from an animal point of view—yet another cultural perspective.    

       Diversity and multiculturalism includes not just the  “people kingdom,” but the animal one as well. Animals take us out of the human world and give us a different way of viewing our lives.


        You could pair this article with a visual work or works (below), or just do the movies themselves as comparison/contrast. 


Horses:  Black Beauty, Black Stallion, Spirit 


Dogs:  Lassie movies, Benjy movies 


Pair Spirit with “Cloud:  Wild Stallion of the Rockies” (PBS Nature)



Animal quotation: 


We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.

Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Co


Fun movie summaries—(just to show you how short a film summary can be—yours does not have to be quite this brief, but you can strive for something similar)--



Twilight   Teen falls for vampire


New Moon  Vampire dumps teen


Eclipse   Victoria hunts Bella


Breaking Dawn   Teen becomes vampire









English Dept. Information, Writing Project 2—use the below material if you find it helpful.


General task: During their years at UNLV, students are expected to “develop knowledge of global and multicultural societies and an awareness of their place in and effect on them.” In producing Writing Project 2, students will focus on the following outcome of the targeted UULO: “[To] respond to diverse perspectives linked to identity, including age, ability, religion, politics, race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality, both in American and international contexts.”


Students should be encouraged to use a variety of strategies that best fit the rhetorical situation of their essay. In addition to analysis, such strategies may include narration, description, definition, comparison, and/or classification. They may also include a visual element, such as a photograph, to illustrate the culture. Definition may be particularly used for your WP2 essay since you will be thinking about what constitutes a particular culture.


General purpose: In WP1, students focused on analyzing a specific text in isolation. In this project, they must expand their vision to examine the context that informs our understanding of a text.


Students should explore rhetorical situations associated with diverse cultures or nationalities through analysis of one or more texts.


Texts: Students should address one or more texts influenced by a specific culture or group of cultures. Two texts may be used to highlight similar and contrasting rhetorical elements as long as there is a clear parallel between the texts to help students maintain a clear focus.


Hallmarks of Assignment:

 The assignment requires students to explore rhetorical situations within the context of a specific culture or cultures. While the Writing Project 1 assignment emphasizes the ideas and/or techniques of the author or creator of a text, the Writing Project 2 assignment expands on the rhetorical situation to require an in-depth consideration of the role of the audience and context.

 The assignment requires students to “respond to diverse perspectives linked to identity, including age, ability, religion, politics, race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality” as they compare their own perspectives with those suggested by the author and the probable audience of the text.




End of English Department Suggestions.


The bolding is mine to highlight some of the elements of WP2. 






















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Name: Instructor: Subject: Date: Multiculturism. The American culture is very different from other cultures around the globe. The American people’s way of viewing issues is very different from the way other people from other nations view them. The differences occur in different forms including identity, religion, abilities, age, gender, race, ethnicity, economic status, politics, and sexuality. This paper will elaborately discuss the differences between American cultures and other cultures all over the world as seen in different written texts. In the work of Sandra Cisnero, one of the main ideas is the significance of autobiography. For instance, Cisnero’s mother, who is a Latin but was born in Chicago as an American differs much with her father and brothers who were born in Mexico. Her mother always encouraged her to be independent while her father and brothers wanted her to be like any other traditional Mexican mother and wife. Her brothers treated her very roughly while they tried to control her and also due to the patriarchal expectations which they had on her. She often felt like she belonged to “seven fathers” instead of one. (Cisneros 57). Sandra incorporates all these personal feelings to come up with a good fiction in which she gives the heroine of The House on Mango Street, who was known as Esperanza, the isolation sense from her family but names her "Esperanza" which means "hope" in Spanish. This represents the happy determination with which the family always unites, in good and bad times. Although Cisnero's father was very loyal to his wife, who was American, he frequently had homesickness for his native home, Mexico. (Cisneros 62). Cisneros did not like the decrepitude and impermanence of her childhood. When she talks about her youthful days, she describes the life as lonely and introverted; she lived in a culturally displaced society. Although most of the stories from the Cisnero’s vary greatly in styles, they contain metaphors and themes all drawn from the cultural heritage of Cisnero. The stories seem to have similar rhythms which are specific to the Catholic or Latifa life. (Cisneros 67). Most critics have praised the fiction, The House on Mango Street because of using a non-linear form and a beautiful language full of images. Both are clearly demonstrated as the reasons why she departed from her traditional convention fictions which were patriarchal and white European-American to feminist fictions. She also uses both to complete her multi-layered characterizations which are exceptionally economical. Multiculturism is also clearly presented in the books Mother Tongue by Amy Tan, Learning to Read and Write by Fredrick Douglas and Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective by Leslie Silko. According to Jane Mansbridge, opposition...
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