Team | Vietnam

Nov 5

Interdisciplinary Assignment 2

Due midnight on the evening of Friday, Nov 5.

Purpose: Synthesize learning from Humanities, Social Science, and Rhetoric to examine the relationship of popular culture to society by exploring artistic responses to the Vietnam War.

Throughout this semester, we’ve examined how works of art and expressions of popular culture – movies, comic books, music, etc. – have both influenced and been influenced by major events in society. Think of Captain America punching Hitler in the face before the US was actually a combatant in WWII. Consider also the evolution of Casablanca, based on a play written in 1940 to agitate for intervention, but pushed into production after America had entered the war “to capitalize on the liberation of North Africa”).

The Vietnam War is famous for its relation to pop culture, the inspiration of thousands of songs, movies, and other entertainments, both during the conflict itself and in retrospective. In its early years popular sentiment leaned in favor, but as the war progressed, American and world opinion became more negative. Today, most of the Vietnam-related pop culture that has endured are works that criticize or outright condemn the war.

For this assignment, you are to examine how a particular artist or company’s depiction of the war changed over time, and how these changes reflect changes in the progress of the war and in popular perception of the conflict. You have two choices: The works of American musician Bob Seger, or the depiction of fictional superhero Iron Man as presented by Marvel Comics.

For either Seger or Marvel, use the example works we have assigned, which come from different time periods during the Vietnam War. Focus on how their later and more critical work differs from their earlier work. Use CLOSE READING to answer this central question: what is a significant change made in the artist/publisher’s later work as compared to their earlier work that is relevant to real-life events concerning the Vietnam War, and what purpose does this change serve for the Seger/Marvel’s message or goals?

Focus on a specific aspect in the later work that directly reinterprets something from the earlier work in terms of content, perspective, tone or message concerning the Vietnam War or the war’s effects. Look past superficial changes and focus on an alteration that seems to have purpose in terms of making some kind of point or commentary concerning the war. You can talk about one change or a few, but keep your focus narrow.

In addition to the comics or songs, use class materials to contextualize the works: what has happened or changed with the war and within the US in the time period between the earlier and later works, and how do those changes relate to changes in the work? You can also use a secondary source, whether for background information about the war, for insight on a tangentially-related topic or as a rival scholar presented as starting point in the essay’s introduction. You should have a unifying and thoughtful argument for your analysis; the paper should be more than just a series of observations, unrelated points or superficial observations.

Requirements & Expectations:

Thesis: A clear thesis statement is required, preferably within the first paragraph.

Introduction: Your introductory paragraph should include a scholarly or reliable popular source as a jumping off point. Be explicit about how your argument builds on, questions, complicates, or otherwise engages with the source in a thoughtful way.

Required sources:

Length & Format:

  • Six double-spaced pages. 12-point, Times New Roman font, “Normal” margins (1 inch on all sides)
  • Cite all sources with Chicago style footnotes & bibliography (17th edition)


  • Scores will be calculated based on the Team D rubric, with 100 points allotted as follows:
    • Critical Thinking: 25 points
    • Contextualizing: 25 points
    • Use of Sources: 25 points
    • Writing: 25 points

Due midnight on the evening of Friday, Nov 5.
Submit through Turnitin on the course website to which you are assigned below. Note: If you do not receive email confirmation from Turnitin, your paper has not been submitted.

Submit to Rhodes (link)

  • Ethan Biddle
  • Quentin Blaizot
  • Tina Chen
  • Rachel Do
  • Sarah Eckerson
  • Brandon Fan
  • Matteo Fehoko
  • Tracy Han
  • Curtis Herbolich
  • Ryan Hong
  • Alejandra Jimenez
  • Navreet Kaur
  • Jason Kim
  • Zack Klappenbach
  • Tony Knirsch
  • Kirby Kromelow
  • Athena Lam
  • Sabrina Lam
  • Julie Le

Submit to Guendel (link)

  • Alice An
  • Cameron Anderegg
  • Dua Ashfaq
  • Meghan Bohannon
  • Taylor Brown
  • Hannah Burnell
  • Serena Chen
  • Vivian Cheung
  • Daniel Coric-Markovic
  • Olivia Cox
  • Ellery Curran
  • Alexandra Dang
  • Hannah Degraw
  • Isabel Edwards
  • Steve Garcia-Gutierrez
  • Melisa Gecgoren
  • Travis Gelinas
  • Penny Hill
  • Sana Jumani
  • Eliana Jusufi
  • Joseph Ka
  • Mehreen Kamal

Submit to Henebry (link)

  • Erin LeBlanc
  • Eugenia Lim
  • Ericka Liu
  • Abby Lowry
  • Jane Loy
  • Sharon Lu
  • Emily Madish
  • Nayara Martinez
  • Francisco Melendez
  • Isabella Moros
  • Kevin Pi
  • Layla Pilon
  • Ronbir Rob
  • Elio Rodriguez Zeda
  • Max Rosen
  • Gage Schmid
  • Kelsey Sweeney
  • Rudy Ye
  • Jon Jon Yoshihara

Submit to Nash (link)

  • Philo Katzman
  • Amy Kim
  • Krista Krien
  • Lucas Lefeld
  • Xingda Li
  • Ryan Logan
  • Maria Mavrogenes
  • Paige McDonough
  • Sydney Miller
  • Ayse Nalcaci
  • Zacciah Nersessian
  • Shreya Pun
  • Prerna Punjabi
  • Olivia Rockcress
  • Itzel Santana
  • Aruzhan Sarsenova
  • Kailey Teselle
  • Darryl Tjogas
  • Chris Wang
  • Yao Yao
  • Isabel Yin

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