Overview of Assignments

Unit 1: Lens Essay (5-6 pp.)

Addressing the dynamic between mobility and immobility in either Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie’s Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error or Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, make an argument that critiques and refines or extends Tim Cresswell’s discussion of the concepts of “sedentary metaphysics” and “nomadic metaphysics.”


Unit 2: Supernova Essay (6-8 pp.)

Make an original argument that contributes to the scholarly conversation concerning the expansion of the railway in nineteenth-century America. As you develop your argument you can either work within the boundaries of one of the disciplinary fields or take a more interdisciplinary approach. Regardless, you should engage substantially with one (or a set of) primary sources and construct a scholarly debate using three secondary sources, one of which should be a key text (Schivelbusch, Fogel, Orsi, and Kern). 


Unit 3: Research Essay (10-12 pp.)

Make an original argument about a contemporary or historical economic, social, or political issue that can be understood in a new light if interpreted from a mobility perspective. Be sure to draw on a variety of primary and secondary sources and to situate your argument within the existing scholarly literature. 


Unit 4: Personal Mobility Narrative (3-5 pp.)

Drawing on the theoretical toolbox and historical knowledge you have acquired throughout this course, produce a personal narrative about how mobility has shaped your experience in the world. The narrative can be written like a typical personal narrative, or take other forms (like a comic strip, annotated collage, or narrated video) Focus on specific experience that illuminates your insight (like a family trip, your move to another country, or your commute to school).