Sunday, August 31, 2014
Post your questions/thoughts as comments to this post. Again: a paragraph is fine, or a couple if you feel so moved. You are posting on a question, problem or topic of your choice. Citing a particular passage is recommended but not required.
- Early in the 1929 section of Vertigo we receive a kind of pocket history of the United States. After thinking over this section and its relationship with the whole book in great detail, make an argument in something like this form: “the meaning of the history of America presented in ‘1929’ is x.” X, of course, is up to you. You should analyze details of images both in that pocket history of America and in other parts of the book in order to come to your conclusion. In other words, do not rely on easy generalizations - work with the details.
- Analyze the relationship between words and images in Storyteller as follows. Use one of the photographs to make an argument about one of the texts around it (the one before or the one behind), or vice-versa: use a text to interpret a photograph that borders it. For example, what does the photograph on page 31 teach us about the poem in which it is embedded? Note that you must have a single argument, for instance, “photograph x teaches us y about poem z.” If it is useful you might use multiple images or multiple texts, as long as you can make a single coherent argument from them, and focus on details - but you want to be as focused as possible.
- Using no more than two of Silko’s stories or poems (and optionally using one or more photographs), analyze the relationship between form/patterns and meaning in her work. For instance, what does it mean or why does it matter than the poem “Storytelling” is sometimes very narrow and sometimes somewhat broader and more varied? Or, what is the meaning of numbers in “Yellow Woman?” Or, why are certain poems centered? Note that I am giving examples of questions you might ask, but not of the arguments which are the answer to your questions. So an argument might end up looking something like this: “Silko centers some poems and not others because of x, which means y.”
Monday, August 25, 2014
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Welcome to the class! For our next class, in two weeks, you have a few simple tasks (this is simply a reminder - the relevant material is also on the syllabus).
- You should receive an emailed invitation to the class blog. If you do, click on it and follow the instructions, then post a short hello as a test. If you have trouble or don't receive an invitation, email me sooner rather than later.
- The night before our next class, you will post a short response (1-2 paragraphs) to the assigned reading, focusing on a passage or passages of your choice. This is meant to focus your thinking and generate discussion. Do not feel like you should post something long and complicated - I'm hoping for short but interesting posts.
- Right before class, your first essay will be due; you will post it on the class blog. Prompts will be available well before the due date, and will be based on the assigned readings.