Paper Topics | Fall 2022 | Paper 2
Due Saturday, October 8, 5:00 p.m. to your conference leader
Target length: 1,500 words
Choose one of the following topics:
- The Theogony articulates how families should be constituted through scenes with the gods reproducing themselves. What proper familial order (succession, hierarchy, relationships) does the poem propose? Support your argument with at least two episodes of reproduction or transitions between generations from the Theogony.
- Through a close reading of several passages from the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, develop an argument about what constitutes justice in the text. Compare the peasant's definition of justice in his various appeals to the steward's resolution at the end. Are the peasant's complaints resolved with the final resolution? Has justice been served according to the definition of justice that the peasant has laid out?
- Compare the rhetoric used in the Obelisk of Hatshepsut and the Tale of Sinuhe to celebrate and justify the elect status of Hatshepsut and Sinuhe. How does each work justify the social status of its subject? When do the subjects express their own agency? When do they suggest that their actions are a result of another's will? Do both works express a similar social hierarchy or are there differences?
- Focusing on two or three panels (“plates”), analyze how words and images interact in the scenes of Hatshepsut’s birth and coronation from her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri. How do the hieroglyphic narrative and the carved images contribute in similar or different ways to making the case that Hatshepsut was the rightful ruler of Egypt?
- Pick a chapter from Genesis that tells a self-contained story and explore what the passage contributes to the larger themes and concerns of Genesis. You might want to consider a passage such as Cain and Abel, Tower of Babel, Tamar, Dinah, Jacob wrestling, or Isaac and Abimelech.
- Through a close reading of two episodes from Exodus, analyze how the text characterizes the relationship between Moses and the Israelite people. How does that relationship change at different points in the migration? In explaining the significance of that relationship, you could consider the development of Israelite identity, the relationship between the Israelites and God, and/or conceptions of political authority within early Judaism.
- Choose one Presocratic philosopher and articulate what questions he is seeking to answer. How does that philosopher propose a different way of knowing the world from that represented in Hesiod’s Theogony?