Re-Purposing

I had two papers in mind when we were given this assignment– both from my English 140 class that I took this time last year.  I had a lot of fun writing both of these papers in the first place, as they were about very interesting topics.  However, I found myself really stuck with the idea of re-purposing them.  The way the papers were assigned, we were basically given an argument and had to come up with stories to fit the argument.  This means that the arguments are very broad, making it difficult to come up with a way to completely change the audience and the form of the essays.

One of the essays I was considering was one about female heroes in our society.  My argument in this essay was that male and female heroes are defined differently because, until recently, women have not had the same resources as men.  I thought it would be interesting to take this argument and use it in a fictional story about a female superhero.  It could be a creative piece and could follow the story of a woman superhero and how she is treated compared to the male superheroes.  Specifically, it could be that women were just recently allowed to be superheroes, and the main character is being belittled by being praised for small things simply because of her gender.  This would be very fun to try, but it would also take a lot of work and creativity to make sure that the argument is clear and concise.

The other essay I was considering was one from the same class.  It was probably one of my favorite pieces that I have written.  The argument of this essay was that terministic screens (defined on Wikipedia as:  the acknowledgement of a language system that determines an individual’s perception and symbolic action in the world) can be found in our everyday life.  The reason I loved this paper was because I wrote it about something that was very relevant to me and to the pop culture at the time.  I wrote about some kids from my high school that were suspended for making an inappropriate  harlem shake video in a classroom.  It was very easy to write about, seeing as I had first hand access to the kids involved, kids who weren’t involved, teachers, and parents.  I really wanted to use this essay for this re-purposing assignment, however, I didn’t know how to keep what I loved about it.  I was passionate about the specific example I used, however, the argument was simply that there are examples of terministic screens in our everyday life.  It was easy to come up with a way to re-mediate this piece, but not to re-purpose it.  I went into office hours, and Shelley suggested flipping the argument, saying the story itself was an example of a terministic screen.  That was when I came up with the idea to re-purpose the story into a lesson or lecture given to Journalism students or other media-related students, informing them of people’s ability to alter their stories depending on who they are talking to.

Up until today, I was going to use the terministic screens paper to write this re-purposing paper.  However, after much contemplation, I realized I will find it much more rewarding to work with my hero story to improve it rather than to take a piece I’m already happy with and possibly mutilate it.  My intended audience will be young children, and it will be written in the form of a super-hero story with short chapters, which would hopefully encourage girls to pick up the book and look into the idea of a real, independent, female superhero.

One thought to “Re-Purposing”

  1. I really like your superhero idea. I feel like there aren’t many strong, female superheroes in mainstream media, and if they are, they are highly sexualized or just there as an ornament. It could be really cool to have a fun children’s book be underlined with important issues like sexism and gender. Maybe if you incorporated some fictionalized background of how men and women have different resources and how that influences how people view them as superheroes, it would make the argument more present? And I think maybe that’s why doing this is a better idea than to work on, like you said, something that you’re already happy with. Because that way, you would be more okay to completely take something you created, rip it apart, and make something totally new out of it. Although, you never know, you could use the other paper and create something cool too.

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