Essay Assignment

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Zemliansky, GWRIT 103
Spring 2008


The following assignment comes from Ways of Reading Words and Images; Edward Said's essay on Palestine is accompanied by photographs taken by Jean Mohr.

"Compose a similar project, a Said-like reading of a set of photos. These can be photos prepared for the occasion (by you or a colleague); they could also be photos already available. Whatever their source, they should represent people and places, a history and/or geography that you know well, that you know to be complex and contradictory, and that you know will not be easily or readily understood by others, both the group for whom you will be writing (most usefully members of your class) and readers more generally. You must begin with a sense that the photos cannot speak for themselves; you must speak for them.

"In preparation, you should reread closely to come to a careful understanding of Said's project. (The first and second "Qeustions for a Second Reading" should be useful for this.) To prepare a document that is Said-like (one that shows your understanding of what Said is doing), you will need to have an expert's sense of how to write from and to photographs, and you will need to consider questions of form--of order, arrangement, and genre."


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