First drafts of your cultural artifact paper are due Thursday–main bloggers will present their drafts tomorrow

Posted in prompts at 1:47 pm by Dominique

Hi all,

I hope you feel full and rested after Thanksgiving break. Enes Mrkulic and Victoriane Liz will be our main bloggers for this week. During tomorrow’s session, our aim will be to use the main bloggers’ papers to collectively devise a rubric for the cultural artifact paper (paper 2).  We will treat their papers as our “texts” for the week, discussing how we see the writers applying a particular critical lens and considering what aspects of their approach we might replicate ourselves. If anyone else would like to have their drafts workshopped by the class, please contact me asap and make sure your first draft is in the Dropbox folder by midnight tonight.  

Once the main bloggers have posted their drafts in the Dropbox folder, I will post them here as well. I will then ask all commentators to respond to the drafts by Wednesday at midnight while you compose your own first drafts (to be submitted to Dropbox before Thursday’s class).  I will respond to all drafts posted in Dropbox individually between Thursday night and Saturday.

As you compose, remain aware of your reflections on your process. If you’re not someone who usually steps away from a paper to “incubate” while writing, try to leave a little time to do that–this means starting the paper today (if you have not already) and coming back to it for a couple of hours a day over the next two days. If you find that you settle too quickly on a starting point, try to start writing and then narrow down your starting point (your “perception of the problem”) later on. I’ll ask our main bloggers to say something about their own process when we begin class tomorrow.

Lastly, we’re meeting in I-Building 213 tomorrow afternoon. Please go straight there! (See my email for a reminder about this.)

See you on Tuesday,


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  1.    beezy said,

    November 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Enes Mrkulic
    Eng 170W- Paper 2.
    Shutter Island: The Synopsis

    Boston Harbor Islands: 1954.

    Two federal marshals, Teddy Daniels and his new partner Chuck Walt are en route to the mental institution, Shutter-Island. Daniels briefly tells Walt that his wife died in a fire, and this holds a deep significance later on in the movie. They are told the dock is the only way on or off the island. The vessel’s captain tells the two that there is a storm approaching, early foreshadowing to an impending darkness. They are greeted by armed correctional officers, who are highly on edge, led by deputy warden, McPherson. The island contains three different wards. Ward-A: for the males, B: for the females, and C: for the most dangerous patients on the island. Upon entry, the marshals are forced to surrender their fire-arms.
    The two are there to investigate the disappearance of escaped patient Rachel Solando, who murdered all three of her children by drowning them in water. After the fact she doesn’t have any recollection of killing them, believing them to be alive. Daniels then meets the head doctor at the facility, Doctor Collie. While in Collie’s office, Daniels has troubling, disturbing visions of WWII Nazi prison camp, seeing several frozen corpses of those imprisoned by the Nazi regime, suggesting a certain post-traumatic stress disorder following his return from the war. “Sanity is not a choice” Doctor Collie, he then gives Daniels “medicine” so his headache will subside. Doctors and staff fail to comply with the marshals questioning, suggesting they are hiding something from Daniels and his partner. Doctor Sheenin, Rachel’s primary, has gone on vacation in the midst of her disappearance. They proceed to the Doctor Collie’s home; beautifully furnished, with music playing. This music induces yet another vision of the prison camp in the dead of winter, yet again depicting Daniels’ deep trauma inflicted by the war. “Men of violence are my specialty”- doctor. “Ever seen a death camp doctor?”- Daniels. This external force at work is a result of Daniels’ superego. Invading a Nazi death camp and having found the commanding officer botching his attempt at suicide, this very song is playing at the time of the US liberation of said-camp. Daniels’ hatred for the officer is accentuated by leaving him there to suffer immensely rather than putting him out of his misery. The atrocity seen by these men is too monstrous for any normal person to bear, and will continue to haunt Daniels’.
    “We haven’t heard the truth yet”- Daniels, suggesting all is not as it seems. Little does he realize just how correct he is; Teddy Daniels then dreams of an encounter with his dead wife. The manifest of his dreams holds an immense deal of latent content which will only serve to bring him closer and closer to a repressed truth. She tells him Rachel is still there and she never left. She recalls the cabin-home they shared in the summer, how happy they were, telling him he cannot leave the island until he solves the mystery. Ash is scattered everywhere as she begins to bleed in his embrace, she pleads for him to let her go, he cannot and she dissolves into ash in his hands as the apartment is ablaze. These dreams are a part of the Freudian-Id; his unconscious, irrational self. It is through this psychoanalytic concept that he will be able to piece together everything; his dreams, the disappearance of Rachel Solando, as well as his ultimate confrontation with a man responsible for murdering his wife. This obsession with the wife he longer has, and the refusal to accept the fact she is no longer with him physically, looms over Daniels in a most unhealthy fashion. He then awakes to a maelstrom of a morning.
    “Treat a patient with respect, you just might reach him”- Collie.
    Upon investigation, Daniels stumbles across Mrs. Kearns, a woman there for having killed her husband with axe, despite that, she appears normal however. She writes in Daniels note-pad, telling him to run. Daniels inquires about Andrew Laeddis, the man whom Daniels believes lit the building in which he and his wife resided on fire, and killed his wife. He was then apparently transferred to the island, never to be heard from again. Mrs. Kearns gets frightened by this inquiry and walks away. The storm worsens as the two marshals continue their search for the missing prisoner outdoors. Daniels is also desperately searching for Laeddis. He says “Crazy people talk, but nobody listens”- Daniels.
    Paranoia, visions of passed atrocities haunt Daniels throughout the movie. This Government funded facility which he is now on is secured tight, and there is no way off the island other than the ferry which the institution controls. Daniels believes experiments are being performed on the prisoners. After a desperate search, Rachel Solando is found; along with her note which begs the question who is prisoner 67? He is the final, most dangerous prisoner on the island. Her psychosis is a mystery to Daniels. He begins to suspect all is not what it seems on this island, and that he is being drugged by Doctor Collie. His nightmares get progressively worse, he sees Rachel and a little girl frozen in the cold, and the little girl springs to life claiming he should have saved them. Within the same dream, he then sees Laeddis, the disfigured pyromaniac responsible for his wife’s death. Suddenly Laeddis vanishes, and Daniels sees Rachel with her 3 dead children on the floor. She asks him for help covering up the bodies. Suddenly he is at a house by a lake, where he disposes of the children in the lake for Rachel. A dream within a dream, he is then confronted by his wife, who tells him Laeddis isn’t dead, he is still on the island. Daniels’ knows despite everything that deep down it is true, and he must find him. Daniels primary task now is to kill him; the man responsible for his wife’s murder, avenging her death and putting an end to the madness that haunts him throughout. This bizarre dream startles him awake.
    The next morning he gets up only to discover that the main generator has failed and all the prisoners are loose on the island. This is their chance to enter ward C, home of the most dangerous “patients” and a chance to confront Laeddis. In ward C, Daniels confronts a paranoid schizophrenic prisoner, George Nousse, who blames Daniels for his predicament as well as his imprisonment. He calls Daniels a “rat in a maze” and that the whole “game” was orchestrated for Daniels to play out. He could either discover the truth, or kill Laeddis and be lost forever. George tells Daniels that he has to let go of the memories of his dead wife, or he will never know the truth, or leave the island. For a paranoid schizophrenic, George is telling Daniels everything he needs to know. After this encounter with the prisoner, he begins to doubt the validity of his new “partner” because nothing is at all what it seems at face-value. He then proceeds to the edge of the island, begins to descend dangerous cliffs, and stumbles upon a cave, and finds who he believes is the real Rachel Solando.
    She tells him that she never had children, or killed her husband. She was a former doctor on the island, and attempted to escape. She had asked one too many questions about the bizarre experiments and testing of new hallucinogenic drugs on the island. She is thus declared insane, so that nobody would believe the secret she has stumbled upon. Rachel tells Daniels that this island has been conducting experiments on patients, trial and error on human life, in attempts to create a mindless soldier, lacking will or emotion, to carry out deeds for the government. This raises doubts in Daniels. She knows all about his “walking nightmares” and tells him he has been being drugged for quite some time; since the moment he arrived on the island to be exact. She tells him he will never leave this island.
    Upon later confrontation with Doctor Collie, the plot only thickens and becomes more and more shrouded in a veil of mystery. Collie tells Daniels he has no partner; that he came to the island alone. Although he believes to the utmost degree that he is being lied to and set-up, in a sense he did come to this island all alone and his encounter with George Nousse helps to tie up loose ends slowly but surely. In the mean-time Daniels paranoia is getting progressively worse. The trauma faced during the war, as well as the untimely death of his wife leaves Daniels deeply wounded. He is beginning to wonder what is real and what isn’t. Visions of his wife serve as latent content only pushing him closer to the truth, which despite his mental anguish, he is still trying to uncover, but it will be this same truth that destroys him unless he could let go of his foggy past. The experiments he was told about are taking place in a lighthouse, which he swims to in a desperate search for the truth. He does find all the answers he was looking for. Doctor Collie is there waiting for him, and reveals to Daniels that his delusions are getting worse, his imagination having run completely wild.
    He tells Daniels he has been on the island for two years, a patient of this institution. At first he refuses to accept this, but he begins to remember everything piece by piece in grueling detail. A former US marshal, he discovers that he is really Andrew Laeddis, the name Edward Daniels nothing more than an anagram he made up in his delusion. Rachel Solando, another deluded anagram for his dead wife, Dolores Chanal. This other self he creates is a result of his refusal to accept the crime he had committed. Laeddis, or Daniels, is the most dangerous prisoner on the island, number 67. The man he had been searching so desperately for throughout the movie was none other than himself. Daniels “partner” is none other than his doctor, Lester Sheenin. They allowed Andrew to play this whole story out, so that he would find himself and no longer be a threat to everyone on the island. His deep depression and lack of sanity is a result of his wife drowning their children at their lake house. He proceeds to shoot her dead, and thus his whole family is no more. He finally sees that he is on the island because he killed his wife as a result of her murder of their children. The truth is out in the open, he now knows everything, his ego finally having kicked in. “This place makes me wonder, which would be worse, to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?”- Daniels. After a brief day of clarity, he acts as though he relapsed into delusion, so that he will be taken care of permanently once and for all, preventing further harm being inflicted onto himself, as well as others. At last, he is going to kill Andrew and finally be at peace with himself. Once a moral, ethical, decorated Marshall, Daniels is no longer the man he used to be, having lost touch with reality through his own repressed thought brought on by a crime his mind refused to accept. It is only in the end that he sees the Real world, and what he has done. It is no longer an illusion or a mystery to him, and would rather die knowing who he really is, as opposed to living in an unconscious realm influenced by his deeply scarred thoughts.

  2.    GordonWTam said,

    November 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I read through Victoriane’s first draft of her cultural artifact and purposely avoided Enes’ because I still want to watch that movie without the spoiler tags.

    Following the rubric given to us, I feel like I need a more obvious motivating question hammered out to me by Victoriane. Maybe everyone else found out what her questions were for challenging her artifacts and herself, but I found it a little vague. I think out of all the Snickers commercials in that particular ad campaign, Victoriane found the most useful ones. They shed light on both gender issues and how those gender issues can change due to different generations. Commercials don’t exactly have the most subject matter, and n that way, her passages are very good, choosing commercials with the most information able to be ripped out of them. I feel like if there is more of a focus on a specific issue regarding feminism, this paper would be more complete. My only advice would be for Victoriane to choose a couple more questions from the critical lens packet, answer them, then see what ideas she can cook up and stick into that paper to strengthen and focus her argument. On a personal note, Victoriane, I think that when this paper is finished you should send it to Mars Bars.

  3.    awilliams108 said,

    November 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    This cultural artifact by Ernes is more expressed and detailed that Victoriane artifact (the Snickers commercial), where as a movie is going to emphasize me growth than an 1 minute advertisement. The snicker ad. didn’t really troubled me towards the feminist side because thats how female (young/old) act in real life. It doesn’t matter if it was celebrities or not it would of been the same expression in every day to day life of women. For example, the (Columbia: Omni-Heat jacket ad.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDjkleNKlhAin the scene they use a girl in her bra and undies making angels in the snow. She isn’t someone famous but, the way how they sell the product. So i feel the snickers commercial isn’t unreliable to me because of some feast, celebrity divas, who knows they are natural divas in real life, such as any other ordinary diva women that isn’t famous. Looking at it from a gender prospect to me it seems that most of the ads out there uses women in a bad way, and the men in a good way

    The movie shutter island was a dying movie that i wanted to so badly, but didn’t get the chance to look at it because i love terrifying, paranormal and scary movie. i don’t have much to say but some how i feel more poststruralism/Deconstruction about strange happenings that is being occurred in the movie.

  4.    jenn691 said,

    November 30, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Both Victorianne and Enes’ were extremely knowledgable of their cultural artifact and had a clear motive in mind when analyzing their text. In Victorianne’s draft, I think the commercials she choose clearly portray women as inferior to men and even as a punishment to be a woman. I also think that choosing popular commercials with celebrities was a clever move on her part as well. Celebrity commercials are what the viewers are most persuaded by and what captures the viewer’s eye. Finding commercials with unknown actors versus actresses we are all familiar with would not have the same strong affect since viewers would not be so concentrated on the commercial or the product. Aretha Franklin and the young actress in the biking commercial (sorry I dont know the same or how to spell it) was a great generational gap and solidifies the validity of your argument; women of any age or generation are looked down upon in some way by man and are consistantly inferior. By choosing these very two very different celebrities within two very different circumstances but having the same objective, I found that to be very affective in proving your argument.

    For Enes’ draft, though I have never seen the movie, I was able to grasp the concept and feel your passion of the cultural artifact as well as your understanding of a psychoanalytic critic. Your main strength in this paper was directly relating psychoanalytic criticism to your cultural artifact and clearly identifying specific examples in where this takes place in the movie. Especially for people like me who have not seen the movie, it was very effective and informative, accomplishing the task fully.

  5.    seng101 said,

    November 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I believe that Enes’ first draft is motivated by a specific question. That question would be that the character’s ability to move beyond their past or do they carry it into the new situation. The paper seems to be pushing this question. Through the many example of the main character Teddy Daniels while at Shutter Island. I could also see this movie being analyzed on another level. I would think that as the movie continued that maybe the paper could move towards answering the question of the relationship between the reader and the text. As a thriller, I would expect this movie to do something to manipulate the minds of the movie goer by getting him to believe one truth and then finally revealing another truth at the climax of the movie. I think that would be a good direction to go in the final draft. Maybe including how the movie was suppose to affect other would be a good way to approach psychoanalysis on another level and not just keep the analysis to the characters of the movie.

  6.    kocampo100 said,

    November 30, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Since we discussed Victoriane’s draft in class I figured it would make sense to talk about Enes’ draft here. I really enjoyed reading it because i have seen the movie and I saw where he was coming from. However since I am familiar with the film I think the quotes used may be a little bit too specific, if the purpose of our writing is to assume that the reader has no idea of what we’re discussing that would be some kind of conflict, this is just my opinion of course. I understood everything but again that’s because I’ve seen it. I think this draft covers a bulk of the rubric given as well, the examples I feel support the psychoanalytic lens very well. I also thought it was well written and the ideas were organized. All in all I think he did a great job especially since this is only a draft so far.

  7.    marissae17 said,

    December 1, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I have always enjoyed the Snickers commercials, but never thought of them before in a feminism point-of-view before Victoriane brought it up in class and wrote her paper on them. As I mentioned in class, I feel that Victoriane did a good job answering question 2 of Feminism about different generations of women. She pointed out that in the two commercials with the older women; they were portrayed as irritable and unreasonable. However, on the other hand, with the commercial with the younger model in it, she acted as childish and annoying. This is the Mars company portraying how they feel different generations of women seem to act.

  8.    brianfinnerty91 said,

    December 1, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I really liked Enes’ first draft paper on “Shutter Island”. I found it amazing how much depth he went into the story. He did a great job connecting the movie to the psychoanalytic theory. “It is through this psychoanalytic concept that he will be able to piece together everything; his dreams, the disappearance of Rachel Solando, as well as his ultimate confrontation with a man responsible for murdering his wife”. I believe Enes does a great job covering all the rubrics and his draft is a good stepping stone for his final revision because of the connections he has between this psychoanalytic theory and the movie “Shutter Island”. Enes also does a great job by not summarizing the whole entire movie. He picks out certain important scenes and uses these scenes as a way to show how irrational Teddy Daniels really was. I believe that Enes draft has more depth when it comes to the cultural artifact and the topic he choose than Victorianes.

    -Brian Finnerty

  9.    khaff88 said,

    December 1, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Kelly Haff

    Victoriane’s essay has developed some questions for the feminist lens and there are still some that need defining. I think Victoraine’s idea of using the Snickers commercial supports the feminist theory because they are mocking the capabilities of women. The only thing I might suggest is to not use the Betty White commercial; in this ad the guy says to the other player (who is Betty White) “…you’re playing like Betty White out there.” This is not so much directed to women in general but to a specific person. The other commercials are all focusing on characteristics of women and make the audience aware that these characteristics are not appealing to men. Since we already discussed this paper in class I will not go into so much detail about it.
    Enes’ paper about ‘Shutter Island’ fits perfectly with the psychoanalytic lens and there is a lot of evidence to back up the questions he might use. I did feel though that there weren’t any specific questions addressed in the paper and the draft seemed like an overview of the movie. Though I have not seen the movie Enes described it very well to get the plot across so the reader is not confused; the fact that I have not seen this movie and I am able to see the connection between the characters and his chosen lens means he’s doing a good job. I see that there are some questions like 1, 3-5, and 7-9 are somewhat being presented whether that was his intention or not but they are not brought out in a more obvious tone. For a first draft though I think this is a good start to his paper.

  10.    amark916 said,

    December 1, 2011 at 2:40 am

    I completely understand the angle that Victoriane is coming from. I feel that she can probably utilize more of the questions in the packet or maybe even tweek her angle a little bit more. I have seen many of those snickers commercials and never took offense or thought of them as degrading to women. I viewed them as funny commercials. The commercials do not only use women, I have also seen male celebrities portrayed in those roles as well. But I do believe if she utilizes more questions from the packet, that her paper will come across a little more clearer than the draft. Overall the draft was insightful and I can tell she felt strongly about what she was writing about.

  11.    emendoza said,

    December 1, 2011 at 11:00 am


    Although Victoriane’s paper, in my opinion, lacked in hosting one clearly focused motive (was she taking a stab at feminism, or feminism with celebrities?) i would say her paper was more analytical than Enes’, which although was very detailed and informative to those who haven’t seen the movie, lacked more analytical context. it seems apparent to me that Enes will be using a psychoanalytic lens, but i was hoping to see more analysis in his draft, especially because there is so much more to analyze here (a full length movie) than just a few thirty second commercials. Having seen Shutter Island myself, i feel as though there are a grand number of prominent scenes that just beg to be delved into with a psychoanalytic lens; Enes had mentioned the scene in which the schizophrenic and the character Daniels have a conversation in the cells– i feel this is a great opportunity to take a metaphorical stab at Lacanian psychoanalysis. As for Victoriane, i think i said enough about her paper in class last tuesday, and i assure you, Victoriane, it was all strictly constructive criticism.

    (sorry for the late, professor, trying to get my life together)

  12.    emina said,

    December 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Both Enes and Victoriane have very strong first drafts. Victoriane’s idea to choose the snicker commercial was very interesting. I do believe that the woman are being treated as inferior compared to the men, but I also do think that there is something dealing with pop culture that also has something to do about it. Because in some of the commercials there are men, not all of them contain only women. But in her essay she makes strong claims and gives examples and analyzations of how woman are being represented. She sticks to the ideas of how these woman are similar in generations and her point comes out loud and clear to the reader. Not having seen the movie before that Enes choose as his cultural artifact made it a little more difficult for me to understand the plot, but he does a very good job in summarizing the movie and then analyzing each scene as he describes it. Enes makes a wise choice to use a psycho analytical lens, due to his movie being about stranded on an island, and the decisions the characters had to make. Since making decisions is something that the mind does, I perfectly see why he would chose to use this lens for his analyzation.

  13.    Terry said,

    December 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I think both drafts take interested approaches. That being said, I think Victoriane needs to shift her focus a bit more onto the specific women that are being represented in her ‘text’. There is a preconceived notion about divas and celebrities which needs to be acknowledged. Victoriane should also keep in mind who these commercials are really directed toward. Are they really directed toward men, or are the men represented as women might imagine them? It can go either way depending on how you look at it, and would make for a good contrast. I think Enes made a good choice by bringing the psychoanalytic approach to Shutter Island. I can only advise that he looks over the movie again just to make sure he’s not missing any subtle details, as Shutter Island is full of psychology,

  14.    terrylghong said,

    December 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    For Victoriane’s paper, I think the snickers commercials are excellent choices because most of people are familiar with them. However, after discussing with some other students in the class, we all agreed that the commercials could be showing either ‘Pop culture” or “feminism”. For example, ‘Logging” has both male and female celebrities in it. In that case, it is hard to tell feminism in the commercial. My suggestion is not include “logging” in the essay. You can just focus on the “diva” and the “skate”. Or maybe add ‘Betty White” as one of the supported texts

    For Enes’s paper, Enes did an excellent job to analyze the whole movie by using psychoanalytic method. I only have one suggestion which is relate this movie to the culture artifact. Perhaps you can relate it to the War Veterans so it can fit the requirement of culture artifact in this paper

  15.    nadiab said,

    December 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Both Victoriane and Enes’ and drafts were informative. In Victoriane’s draft, I thought her choice for the cultural artifact was interesting. I have seen the commercials she had selected but never through a feminist lens. After reading her draft, I now understand how a feminist lens could be applied to it. I liked how she noticed the different generations of women and how they are depicted, such as their behaviors, appearances and clothing. She did point out the gender roles as seen in the commercials. Also, she pointed out the roles of the men in the commercials with the lens. For Enes’ draft, I thought that his choice for the cultural artifact was interesting as well. I have not seen Shutter Island, but the movie was summarized well in his draft. He gave an in-depth view of the movie and applied it to the psychoanalytical lens. After reading his draft, I could see how the elements in the movie that he wrote about could be seen through a psychoanalytical perspective.

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