Pathing Project

Pathing Project

Think of this as an opportunity to read deeply and richly into an area that interests you. The purpose of the pathing project is to help you hone your skills as scholars. This project is a means to support your crystalized intellignece-the ability to make connections, pathways, networks across your coursework, experiences, research, etc. While you may feel uncertain becaues of the recursive nature of the project (questioning, reading, writing, dismissing/revising, questioning, reading, writing, etc.) trust that you will learn throughout the process and you will develop connections between ideas that are original to you. The ultimate goal is for you to chart a pathway into a conversation that has relevance for you.

This project is less about developing a particular argument and more about your reading in-depth on a particular subject and then working to develop and write a plan for future research. You should think of this as an opportunity to gain a broad overview of a topic or question related to African American rhetoric , research the current conversation(s) around this topic, gain an understanding of the methods and methodologies you might use, consider possible venues for publishing and presenting this project, and charting a path, or course for how you might do this work in the future.


A Place to Begin

You should start with a question or area from class that you’d like to know more about (this could also be an inquiry that you have brought into our class based on other coursework). Your starting point can also be a place from which you’ve already begun research. I encourage you to choose a project that has social significance to you in terms of the place, community, or questions you seek to answer.


You should construct a proposal that outlines the subject/theory/question/issue you wish to read and research. Your proposal should also include why you’ve chosen this project and what knowledge you already have. (1-2 pages, single spaced, hardcopy) Due: Feb. 12 + informal presentation to the class on your proposal.


Once you’ve identified your starting point, you will need to design a reading list. This bibliography in-progress may change and shift, that’s normal and encouraged.  Depending on where you start and what knowledge you are bringing to the project, you may want to begin with tracing the conversation around your topic or questions. For example, you may ask: Who has written about this in the past? Which journals cover the conversation? Where are contemporary conversations happening? What’s at stake? What methods are important for answering this question, or investigating?

I’m not requiring you to keep annotated bibliographies, but I do suggest you use some type of notetaking system (a word doc, notecards, Zotero, etc.).

Your reading list should include your bibliography + some recap/reflection statement on what you’ve read thus far (think 1-2 pages single spaced for the recap/reflection and between 15-20 sources for the bibliography). This need not be a formal review of literature, but it should provide an overview of what you’ve read, how you’ve adjusted your readings, and why. Due: March 19


You will share your work-in-progress through a 12-15-minute conference style presentation. You should prepare a handout for the class, and a multimodal presentation that provides us with an overview of the research you’ve conducted. Due: April 23


A Path to Continue

The final written product (15-20 pages) should draw from the writing and reading you’ve done throughout the course towards this project. You will provide a review of literature, discuss where you see yourself entering the conversation, and present your own plan for future research. I’m less interested in seeing that you have *the* answer to your inquiry, but more interested in seeing how you *plan* to enter the scholarly conversation you’ve traced, and what additional research, methods, methodologies, languages, archives, etc. you might need to do the work. Due: May 1