Sherban – Final Proposal (T3 Option B)

TOPIC FOCUS (Central Objective)

  1. I want to explore the theme of blackness and erotic sexuality, and the power dynamics of sexual performance in Black literature.
  2. This idea interests me because I like the psychoanalytic lens and I’ve recently enjoyed reading The Agony of Eros by Byung-Chul Han. I’d like to think about the erotic within the words of the Black writers from our course. I may also make a short Fanon reading list; I’ve read a segment of Black Skin, White Masks, but nothing more.
  3. I see all of these texts coming together to support answering the question: what is the tension between the drive for freedom and the drive for sexual fulfillment? How do both categories relate to ideas of power, control, and property?


  1. The project would center around Leaving Atlanta, and Sassafrass, Cypress, & Indigo.
  2. In particular, I want to think about physical and other kinds of touch in Leaving Atlanta, between Rodney and his father. I’d like to look at the intimate relationships (platonic and erotic) in Sassafrass, Cypress, & Indigo.
  3. By looking at these different moments of touch (physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, economic), I might notice something about how these authors portray a joys and difficulties particular to the black experience.


  1. Close Reading / Formal Analysis.
  2. I want more practice with electing a textual object, reading closely, and making a claim.
  3. Form would be a typed scholarly essay.
  4. This form aids my goal of wanting to further hone the skill of close reading.
  5. Taking relationships of Rodney + his Father, Indigo + the GC Crew, Sassafrass + Mitch, maybe Van + Earn, maybe Earn + Darius into view, I would closely read both verbal and non-verbal communication in order to make a claim about how the lineage of slavery effects the way bodies are described, effects the way bodies interact intimately.


  1. Poetry Form / Creative Engagement with Text
  2. I have enjoyed writing song lyrics: it would be interesting to think about the intellectual limits of poetry written for musical accompaniment. Poetry is different from song lyric because unlike lyrics, poetry stands alone without melody, harmony, and rhythmic variation. Poetry leaves the language raw for the reader or viewer. I am proposing to write 5-10 poems written to be sung with musical accompaniment because I like to write song lyrics.
  3. Form would be a handwritten document, scanned into a PDF.
  4. This doesn’t aid my scholarly goals, but it would aid personal goals as a musician, or as an artist who also enjoys writing for song. I’m struggling with how to make this “creative take” into something that would aid my career goals.
  5. Possible prompts: Write 20 lines of rhyming dialog between Van and Earn that quotes them. Write a from their girl’s perspective in free verse. Write a poem that places the Rodney/Father beating into three different settings.


  1. Historical Context Essay
  2. I want to practice working with this form. I’m most practiced in formal analysis and intertextual literary analysis, but not as much in looking at different historical documents as texts that would function to provide a lens with which to read Leaving Atlanta, Sassafrass, Cypress, & Indigo, or Atlanta Season 1. I’ll also need the most time to do the extra Fanon readings, so I’d like for this take to be last to hand in.
  3. Form would be another typed essay.
  4. This form aids my goals because it makes a good excuse for me to read some Fanon that I’ve been putting off.
  5. Each take will look at a different relationship. The ways that Fanon’s theory on psychological effects of colonialism and enslavement on the black psyche would possibly inform the body language of Earn + Van, or Earn + Darius in their respective erotic and platonic relationships.


Six Key steps: Create manageable reading list to get reacquainted with Fanon. Re-read and annotate above mentioned Leaving Atlanta scenes. Re-Read and annotate above mentioned Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo scenes. Schedule an office-hours meeting or two with you to discuss progress. Make a deadline for the first 5 poems (Nov. 20th). Write 1st take first draft for Nov. 25th.

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