Project #3: Juxtapositions

Project #3: Juxtapositions

Colson Whitehead, in “The Way We Live Now: 11-11-01” writes about the overlap of different New Yorks, with relics from different eras and different communities co-existing or edging each other out. Lex Berko writes about how close beautiful or peaceful routes are to unattractive or chaotic ones. Janny Scott writes about the proximity of privilege and poverty. Jennifer Egan examines historical documents, imagining an overlap from the 1940s and present day Brooklyn. Other readings from our course will also address the overlapping or neighboring of difference. For this project, walk for approximately 15 minutes away from City Tech in any direction you choose. On your walk, look for sites of juxtaposition such as old and new, residential and commercial, historic and replaceable, natural and man-made, constructed and under-construction, well maintained and in disrepair, celebrated and forgotten, ungentrified and gentrified, aesthetically pleasing vs unattractive, etc (but not including retail establishments). In a well-organized essay of approximately 900-1200 words, make a claim about one instance of juxtaposition, and compare the two elements based on what you can observe using your senses. Incorporate two properly cited quotations from our readings as support or as counterpoint to your claim (also called your argument).

On your walk, record your path, and photograph what you see to include photographs in your assignment. Choose one location where you find your chosen overlap to compare in this project.

To prepare and complete Project #3, write the following blog posts:

  • Due 10/10: Choose a location. Pinpoint your location on a map, and include a photograph of the location. In a post on our OpenLab Ways of Seeing site, write your process for walking there so someone else can get there, too. This should be more detailed than Google Maps directions would be. Include descriptions of landmarks to help someone travel the same path you did, noticing the same things you did. If you chose to do any research prior to your walk, write about it here. This is one example of what is called process writing. Another important type of writing for students in your major is descriptive writing. Describe your location, including all sensory experiences you had at the location. Identify the juxtaposition, and explain the elements of the overlap. Explain how your photograph frames the location. How does it capture your juxtaposition—or how can’t it capture it?
  • Due 10/15 : write a post in which you explain why have you chosen this subject in particular—what about it is striking to you? What story does it tell you? What would you want to know more about (although conducting this research is not part of this project!)
  • Due 10/17 : Find 3-4 passages from the relevant readings that address the idea of different New Yorks (or other locations) and explain how each supports or contradicts you’re your observed overlap. You will incorporate two of these quotations into your project to either to support what you write or to engage their ideas in contrast with your subject and your interpretation of it.
  • Due 10/24: Post a draft and bring a copy to class
  • Due 10/29: Update draft and bring a copy to class
  • Due 10/31: Complete Project #3 with a Works Cited list

In writing this essay, you will

  • learn to use the words juxtaposition and juxtapose;
  • learn to note similarities and differences between and among class readings and personal experiences;
  • learn to detail your process in writing
  • learn to write descriptively about your observations and opinions;
  • learn to write comparatively about things you see and about differing viewpoints;
  • further develop your ability to quote from and respond to our assigned readings;
  • continue to gain expertise in citing quotations parenthetically according to MLA format and compiling a Works Cited list;
  • express your ideas and style with clear, grammatical prose.