Notes on Presentations

The presentation should be about fifteen-twenty minutes long, and focused on your analysis of the discussion point. The length is never the main concern for me in grading; the length is more a guideline than a requirement. What is required is a discussion point that opens up the themes of the readings for more exploration — it can and should be equal parts your analysis with reference to the readings as a springboard for your thoughts, but also invitation to the other students to consider other dimensions and questions.

The readings can BOOKEND the presentation. (Do not summarize the readings for your presentation — FOR REAL.) First, it can be incorporated as a sort of a prompt that helped you to think about the discussion point; for instance, a quote or an argument that you can pull out and identify as a springboard for thinking about your point. Second, the readings can reenter at the end of the presentation as questions to pose to your classmates to get discussion going. So, if you use one author to think about a point, you might ask what questions about what the other authors might say. Or if you’re not sure about an analysis in the reading, you can just put that out there as well.

You can ask the other students to participate in your presentation by asking/answering questions, or having them do a quick writing exercise, et cetera. The discussion point is about engagement with the readings and with the class in how these readings and themes have relevance to them in their everyday lives, or to our understanding of the world at large.

In past presentations, I’ve seen everything from a trivia game like Jeopardy!, to a skit demonstrating how a Muslim girl might easily shop at a mall for “modest” clothes to observe hijab, to reenacted clips from makeover reality shows like From G’s To Gents or RuPaul’s Drag Race. Be as creative as you like!

Any questions?

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