Sheba

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  Sheba:First, the good news. The close readings are much improved upon and are very strong. I feel you havealso started to contextualize each book by discussing the historical horizon of its writing and reception.Also, there is an overall structure now, as all the chapters sound and read as if they are smallersubsections of a larger argument, which is what a dissertation should do.Second, the easier things to fix. There are still many proof reading errors in the paper, and you MUST usMLA citations and follow the SGS dissertation manualhttp://www.morgan.edu/Documents/ACADEMICS/SGS/DissThesisHand.pdf   It is the student’s responsibility to make sure all editing/proofreading errors are corrected, and to be inline with the SGS manual. Your committee does not edit or make these changes.Third: Theory. Will still have some major issued regarding theory in the paper.The biggest issue is you still do not have a clear, theoretically defined defition of race in the paper. Thishas been something we have been telling you you need since the prospectus. You have two foot notes that say “this paper…” but no theorists names, schools of thought etc etc….Is race a biological, linguistic, or cultural construction? Is it a transhistorical concept, or is it a historic concept that changes over time? Habermas: I’m not sure you have a clear understanding of Structural Transformation, or if you do, you are not using his ideas correctly (or perhaps you are not taking the time to explain them) in your paper.Do you know what the public sphere was/is? Does it have to do with books, newspapers, and writing?What is the definition of public and private in the book, and how do those terms change historically inthe book? There are many guides to Habermas….  Bakhtin: Glad to see you employing MMB, but you keep talking about how the autobiographies have the same narrative elements as the “hero” in MMB, however, you never mention that MMB was analyzing fictional narrative structures and you are analyzing non-fiction. How do we bridge this divide? Are thesebooks more fictional that we think? Are they copying fiction? Is there a way to apply MMB to nonfiction? I hope you can sense that all of these are loaded questions…in other wor ds, these are questions that have/can be answered, but you do not answer them in you dissertation. You just say, ‘the self in these autobiographies encounters many of the same things as the category of the hero in Bakhtin”.  Marxism: Again, there just seems to be a rather vague sentence about a ‘Marxist critique’ of something at the opening of each chapter, which never really develops into a Marxist reading of any of the books.Depending on how you feel about this, maybe we need to jettison much of the theoretical framework,and focus on the close readings you have already done well. However if this is the case, we need tostrengthen and deepen the historical context for the close readings in each chapter.  No matter what, however, you need to define Race in a substantial and sourced manner; this is anunavoidable term in your study. If you wish to keep the other theories, you need to explain them better and apply them to the texts….  Best of luckDr. Casale
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