Write Now!

2021-2022

Outstanding writing and research from the University Writing Seminars

Students work, study, and socialize in the Shapiro Campus Center. 

Why are Black men diagnosed with schizophrenia more often than white? What have Disney and Brokeback Mountain done to the American Cowboy? Why do men prefer women without body hair? Is there “aura” on Instagram? These are some of the questions that inspired the most interesting and well-written UWS papers in 2021-2022, which we are delighted to present here. All papers are published in HTML and in PDF versions that exemplify MLA, APA, and Chicago styles. Read these fascinating student papers and be inspired to write your own!

Note: This page is under construction: more papers are posted as they clear editing.

Lens Essays

James Landeryou
“Taylor’s Aura: Ingrid Goes West and Its Challenge to Walter Benjamin’s Views on Art”

Is there aura on Instagram? To find out, James Landeryou applies Walter Benjamin’s 1935 essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” to an enterprising influencer in the 2017 film Ingrid Goes West. 

Research Proposals

Mandy Feuerman
“Podcasts and Parasociability”

How do podcast hosts facilitate parasociability, and do they take advantage of it in any way once it has been established? These questions motivate Mandy’s plan to research and write about parasociability in social media, focusing on Pod Save America as her case study.  

Jeremy Schneider
“Escaping Online: Why World of Warcraft is the Most Addictive Game Ever Made”

Are players of Massively Multiplayer Online videogrames socially inept losers who can't relate to people in the offline world? Or is it time to rethink these sterotypes? Jeremy plunges into the research and outlines his investigation of causes and effects in online gaming.

 Research Essays

Ligia Azevedo
“Male Stigmatization of Female Body Hair” 

Evolutionary theory suggests that heterosexual men should be attracted to women with body hair as a secondary sexual characteristic — an indicator of reproductive maturity — yet there is ample evidence that men prefer hairlessness. Why?

Izzy Dupré
“Disney’s Frontierland Fantasy: How the Free Market Fabricates the Wild West”

In Disneyland’s idealized fantasy of the Old West, Walt Disney deployed misleading and racist tropes to pioneer new vistas of commercialism and profiteering. 

Hana Klempnauer Miller
“Out West: The Queer Sexuality of the American Cowboy and His Cultural Significance”

Far from a betrayal of the American Cowboy as a cultural icon, Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain is a welcome corrective, restoring nineteenth-century concepts of masculinity that have been obcured by Hollywood and the dictates of heteronormativity. 

Bridget Kennedy
“Pathologizing Bias: Racial Disparities in The Diagnosis of Schizophrenia”

Black male mental patients are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia than others.  While environmental factors may contribute, biased perceptions of Black men as violent, dishonest, or mistrustful generate overdiagnosis, leading to incorrect treatment and avoidable side effects.