this reprises what I said in class, but adds a few angles or points you might think about, if you want a structure to work with:
Final paper topic:
in five pages (roughly 250-300w/page), use ideas and texts that you have encountered in your readings on Japan, gardens and food history/politics/cultivation to suggest contributions to the USC Master Plan’s approach to feeding students. You may focus on a specific topic–even one that does not appear, per se, in the Master Plan–or you may suggest an overall approach or methodology (shizen nōhō, for instance, or localism, or if you like, pro-industrial food supply…).
The form and format are open-ended, but you may want to consider:
- –genre. Do you want to write a manifesto (with manifestary narrative with problem to solve and open-ended future), a thought experiment (like Tanizaki or Miyazawa), a parody (like Ozeki), etc.?
- –voice and audience. Are you addressing policy-makers, or fellow students? How does this affect your choice of language and tone? Would you like students to be involved in a particular way?
- –examples. You might suggest that the Plan learn concretely from your own research.
- –etc. The goal is to develop broad recommendations, connecting book/film learning to the world through your translation of language and concepts–i.e. the basic goal of a liberal arts education! If there are areas that need further research, either in your document, or in the Plan (many blind spots or blank spots may be found), feel free to say so.
- –do you want to include images, to illustrate the current state of things, or an ideal? Be sure to document your sources, establish that they are credible (i.e. the result of someone’s concrete research, and not just “floating” scholarship plucked from cyberspace), and give captions to your photos or images.