So, I happened across this today at Marie Brennen’s Swan Tower:
I think that is funny and delightful, perhaps partly because I did something similar in an Anthropology class. My version was writing a detailed ethological description of a science fiction species. (I got an A, although I think the professor was kind of bemused.)
It was supposed to be a paper looking at the Wolfriders as hunter-gatherers and the Sun Folk as horticulturalists/early agriculturalists. Naturally, when I finally had a paper topic I enjoyed and could have run well past the guideline of 10-12 pages, I had a professor who said anything past twelve pages he would chuck in the trash, and then dock us points for not having a conclusion. The result is that the paper wound up only addressing the Wolfrider half of the equation, because I ran out of space for anything else.
Yeah, that’ll happen.
So, this post, if you click through, is a summary of the original paper, which is linked as a pdf. When I’ve got time, I want to click through and read the whole thing.
You know what would be ultra-fun to analyze for a class? Gender roles in A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear. If I were in college, I would be specifically looking for a chance to write that paper.