Use this guide to get started with your research for ENGL 237: Afrofuturism!
For your research assignment in this class, you'll need to identify, read, analyze, and respond to 3-4 scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles or book chapters that demonstrate a critical approach to your primary text.
Not sure where to start? Here are three broad strategies that you can try:
These journals contain articles related to many areas of science fiction and fantasy studies, including theory, history, and criticism.
Like most other disciplines, English has several subject-specific databases. The MLA International Bibliography and Literature Criticism Online are two examples. Subject databases index scholarly materials (books, chapters in books, scholarly articles, dissertations) that will be of interest to researchers within that discipline. MLAIB is the key database for literature, linguistics, and related areas.
This brief video explains the differences between keyword and subject searches.
Depending on your primary text and your angle, you may wish to search these additional databases.
When you find an item that seems relevant, look at its subject terms to find similar items. To do this, check the "Item Details" and simply click on one of the subject headings listed in the record for the book; the next screen will list all the books that share this subject term.
To find the library location of a book's call number, check the location chart.
Try these subject search terms in Primo:
Afrocentrism -- History -- 21st century
American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism
American fiction -- 21st century -- History and criticism
American fiction -- African American authors -- History and criticism
Science fiction -- History and criticism
Science fiction -- Social aspects
Fantasy fiction, American -- History and criticism
African American women authors
Butler, Octavia E -- Criticism and interpretation
Texts that interpret literary works are usually persuasive texts. Literary critics may conduct a close reading of a work, critique a literary work from the stance of a particular literary theory, or debate the soundness of other critics' interpretations.
During the preview phase, you'll want to concentrate on these key elements:
Once you've selected the article, you can actively read for content, argument, analysis and evaluation.
Tip: Read the article more than once! It may help to print out a copy so that you can make notes.
Tipasa is linked to your library account so you'll need to log in to use it.
Once you are logged in, either go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form, like this:
Allow at least a week for the article to come. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived.