mechanisms of docile bodies and panopticism
By the time you begin the first major paper, you will have read, discussed, and even presented on Michel
Foucault’s “Docile Bodies,” “Panopticism,” Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and the movie
Equilibrium. You will have also performed a close observation of a specific space or artifact in the space
for S.P 1 and 3. Now you are going to apply all these texts and observations to your Major Paper.
Foucault’s text will serve as a default text for a comparative reading. For this 5-6 page formal, academic
paper, you should first choose ONE of either “Docile Bodies” or “Panopticism” as a default text and
discuss TWO objects of inquiry. Possibilities of objects you can use include the following:
A film, such as Blindness, Equilibrium, V for Vendetta, The Truman Show, Old Boy, A Minority Report
A work of literature, such as “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Dispossessed
Reality television, such as Big Brother
Google Earth or global position systems
Nanny cameras or other hidden cameras
Sousveillance such as students’ evaluation of a class, a customer service report, a wearable camera
An online social network, such as Facebook and Twitter
Then read, you will be expected to critically analyze your selected objects of inquiry and persuasively
articulate how it reveals something significant about Foucault’s text.
The critical questions for your first major paper are: How does panopticism or docile bodies function,
what are their mechanisms, and how do people respond?
However, please note that this major paper is NOT only about Foucault’s arguments themselves. It is
YOUR argument utilizing his ideas.
Your audience is academia, which includes me, your classmates, and scholars including Michel Foucault.
As such, be sure to consider what information each reader requires to understand your paper. What
terms need defining? And what does your audience probably already know prior to reading your paper?
Using your chosen sources in the service of writing, generate your own persuasive, complex argument
about your selected object. Ultimately, your major paper should:
Identify clearly two examples of object of inquiry.
Make a complex claim about your selected objects of inquiry and how they connect with “Panopticism”
or “Docile Bodies.”
Be supported by valid evidence from “Panopticism” or “Docile Bodies” and your additional sources,
using quotes and paraphrasing
Use rhetorical strategies that are proper to academic writing to argue why your object of inquiry
Sustain that complex claim throughout the paper with effective, related textual evidence and
Properly cite quotations and provide a proper MLA bibliography
Outcomes # 1, 2, 3 are targeted in your major paper. Do your best to adequately address them. To
prepare, re-review the “Outcomes for English 131”.
5 pages excluding a works cited page: do NOT exceed 7 pages.
double-spaced with 1 inch margin, 12 point Times New Roman font
your name, course, paper number, and submission date in the top left corner on the first page, and your
last name and page number on the top right corner of other pages
a works cited page in the correct MLA cited format