Textual Analysis 1

For textual analysis 1 I’d like you to explore cultural dissonance more closely through a close analysis of two “texts.” These texts should engage questions of community identity from different perspectives, creating between them a dialog about shared identity or experience.


1. Select two texts that reflect on community identity here in the city of Richmond. You may choose from a large range of texts. These include:

  • city-sanctioned art like monuments or murals
  • archival materials, like historical documents, oral history projects, etc.
  • public writing like letters to the editor of our city news paper
  • Unsanctioned objects, like leaflets stapled to a light post or graffiti

2. Write a close analysis of these two texts, using details from each to show how they form a dialog about cultural identity or experience in the city of Richmond.


  • Use class on Friday, Sept 16th to select texts and, if applicable, make a site visit (needed for city art or monument sites, some archival materials, or graffiti hunts).
  • Make good use of resources if you’re struggling. Cabell library is an incredible archive of Richmond memorabilia. Choose a general topic ahead of time (i.e. “I’m interested in conversations about racial history in Richmond” or “I’m interested in music and Richmond history”), and seek out help liberally. You can find a lot of resources at VCU library’s digital archives, you can ask for help on site, or you can go to the library home page and simply chat a librarian! Note: I’ll be out of internet contact Friday, so be ready to tackle this with other resources in tow.
  • Remember our directions for quality textual analysis! Look at your texts many times from many angles. Consider details (no detail is too small!). Carefully consider word choice, structure, shape, color, size, patterns, etc. as appropriate to your medium. Consider how these details fit in to authorial intent and greater cultural context.

Submission Details: Submit your final write ups to Blackboard under “Assignments” by midnight, September 23rd. Please use MLA formatting for the final paper and bibliography. Your bibliography will include your two texts and any additional resources you’ve relied on for your analysis. Pro tip: use the links here, not EasyBib. EasyBib is not your friend.