Wellness of women post child birth
This assignment challenges you to critically reflect on the issues and themes of the course and to
examine them in a context that interests you. Be sure that you take into account intersectionality
in your examination of the power of story/storytelling in women’s rituals as well as the ways in
which women’s rituals provide potential models for rituals/ceremonies in which contemporary
women – and men – might come together to form affinity groups and seek to bring about change.
This component of the assignment is a preliminary stage of the Research Essay and involves
three elements: the Research Topic Proposal, an Annotated Bibliography, and a sharing of ideas
with the rest of the class. I encourage you to consider our brainstorming session and discussions
that you have with your collaborative group before you decide on your topic. You should, by
this stage, have developed a research and work plan and have already started to engage in the
research/work established in that plan. The objective of this component of the Project is to
articulate the focus of your research and the direction that it has taken so that you can share it
with your colleagues as you all consolidate plans for the final Collaborative Research Project
Presentation. This component should be in formal writing style. The Research Topic Report
should be @2-3 pages in length and the hard copy of the Annotated Bibliography should be @5-
6 pages in length (see format for annotations below). An electronic version of the Annotated
Bibliography must also be submitted at the same time as the hard copy so that it can be posted
on the course website and shared with your colleagues in the class. Assignments submitted after
the due date will be penalized one-half letter grade per day. While your group may have as their
focus a similar topic to the one that you are exploring in your Stories & Explorations Project, you
must be sure that the work that you are preparing for this assignment is significantly different.
Please consult with me to discuss how to proceed.
Time will be set aside during the tutorial the week that this assignment is due for students
to share, informally with the rest if the class, the ideas that you wish to pursue in your
research. This is so that students can inspire each other as they more to the next stages of
*** Please note that the Collaborative Research Project Presentation draws upon the work that
you do in your Annotated Bibliography and Research Essay and that the grades of your
colleagues depend, in part, upon the timely completion of your own work and your participation
in preparing the Collaborative Project and its presentation. Your failure to meet deadlines or do
your share of the work will have an adverse impact on the colleagues in your group and will be
taken into consideration in the assessment of your final grade on Component Three of this
Research Topic Proposal (@ 2-3 pp)
Your Topic Proposal should state your area of research, your focus – including a working thesis –
a discussion of the issues/questions that you have considered in pursuit of your research as well
as any dead ends that you have encountered, if applicable, and a tentative outline of the
arguments that you intend to make to support your thesis. Be sure to include some specific details
about your work: it is not sufficient to state only that you will examine women’s ritual in utopian
literature or depicted in art. Provide some examples of those you intend to examine, and how you
will examine them. Describe how the rituals from seemingly disparate individuals/groups
might/have worked together to resist dominant discourse; discuss how particular stories
imagine/forge liminal spaces that address women’s experience and inspire change. If you choose
to involve human subjects in your research – and it has been cleared via the Ethics Review
Process (see above) – your Research Topic Proposal must also include an outline of any
interview questions that you plan to use, as well as a detailed description of the individuals or
groups that you intend to study.
Annotated Bibliography Format (@ 5-6 pp)
Prepare an Annotated Bibliography, in your own words, of the texts that you are considering for
use in your Research Essay. It should include at least 5 texts/materials of which at least two
should be scholarly in nature. Each entry should be based on your original research and
consultation with the primary source text, and provide the following information:
– complete bibliographic information in MLA format accompanying each entry.
– a brief summary of the central theme(s) and issues in the material as well as any other
elements that will be pertinent to your study
– a brief description of the authority or background of the author ***
– a brief description of the context in which the material is being presented, and of the intended
– a brief explanation of why you are considering this material and how it engages with the focus
and approach that you intend to take in the essay
Individual entries should be @1 page in length. The electronic version should be in PDF, Word
Perfect or Word format and sent via email to me on the same day that the hard copy is due.
Please do not embed your names or student numbers on the material. This will be posted on the
*** NOTE: The purpose of including something about the author’s background is not to provide
a brief bio, but simply to make clear issues about “authority” to potential readers and to establish
the nature of their “situated knowledges.” Depending upon the material, it might be important
for some readers to know whether the author is an academic or an activist, a male or a female, an
“observer” from a culture/community that is different from the subject of the text or a “native” of
that culture/community. For example, one potential reader might be looking at a text that
explores women’s ritual seeking confirmation of women’s inferior position in the culture,
another might be looking at the same text from the perspective of a fashion designer seeking new
ideas for the latest line of “hip” clothing, while yet another might be a spiritual leader/practitioner
from within that worldview looking for guidance. Or, one reader might wish to explore women’s use of makeup in order to understand beauty rituals and the focus and type of information on the
topic of women’s makeup will be quite different in an article in a psychology journal than it will
be in a women’s studies or marketing journal. While this type of background information is
often easy to locate when the text is a book (the info is often on book jackets) it might not be
readily apparent from an article or other material. Play it by ear here. If you think that some of
these details might be important for a potential reader to set the text in an appropriate context, it
might be worth doing a quick web check to see if you can locate the information. Avoid
Wikipedia and other similar sites or, if you must use them for some reason, be sure that you find
corroboration for the information from several other more reliable sources. Avoid sites that post
undergraduate essays even if the source is a university. Remember, all of these sources must also be properly referenced
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