Introduction to Literature

Reading in the Digital Age

Category: Weekly Overview (page 1 of 2)

The Work for Semester’s End

Unit Theme: The Literary Experience

Revisiting Your Course Experience of/with Literary Texts


Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore your course experience with literature by engaging in some literary experiences. These assignments are listed below. Review each assignment, then get started. Due dates are included in each post.

The Work for Week 13

You’ve got just two things to do this week:

Finish your book review. These should be at least 500 words long. If you have questions on the review format, check out the outline listed under the Writing the Book Review heading on this page.
 

Design a book poster to accompany your book review. This can look however you would like it to and can contain as little or as much information about the book as you would like it to, but it needs to include either a quotation from the book that you feel encapsulates the book’s theme or an image that encapsulates the book’s theme. For cool examples of the latter, see this Little House on the Prairie poster and these Postertext images. If you need some inspiration, Google images has many other examples you can scan through.

By midnight 11/22: Upload your book review to or compose your book review in Google Docs and submit the file and your book poster via the Book Reviews page on G+.

The Work for Weeks 11 &12

Unit Theme: Innocence and Experience

Weeks 11-12 Focus: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

PrepareParticipateReflect


Prepare

ReadingOther

(Terms to Know: point of view and allusion)

This Week’s Reading

RequiredSupplemental

  • Required:
  • Thus far in the semester, I’ve allowed you to choose a portion of the unit reading, but for this section of the course, I’m allowing you to create your own reading list, per the following guidelines:

    • (Fiction): Pick three (3) stories from the fiction section in “Innocence and Experience” (LHE 80-128). This could include Hua’s “Appendix” (LHE 299-304) and Xue’s “Hut on the Mountain” (LHE 304-7).
    • (Nonfiction): Pick two (2) essays from the essays section in “Innocence and Experience” (LHE 280-97).
    • (Poetry): Pick eight (8) poems from the poetry section in “Innocence and Experience” (LHE 129-59). This could include Lim’s “Father from Asia” (LHE 308).
  • Supplemental
    • Review the items added to the class’s supplemental texts spreadsheet.


Other Preparation Activities

  • Record two entries in your Reading Notebook.
  • Search the internet for an online resource that supplements one of the texts from this week’s reading (see my list of supplemental texts for examples of what you might find). Once you’ve found your resource, paste a link in this shared Google spreadsheet. Be sure to fill in all the information asked for in the sheet.

Participate


Reflect


Note:
*Unless otherwise noted, assignments are due by midnight of the date posted.

 

The Work for Halloween: Considering the Rhetoric of Terror

You’ve been working hard this semester, and I thought it would be a good break to have a little Halloween fun. Here’s how:

Read the following quotations about how terror works:


There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it.

–Alfred Hitchcock


All terror is “rhetorical,” for terror tries to be persuasive. It tries to convince a public to think and feel one thing rather than another. But surrounding the rhetoric of terror comes another rhetoric: a rhetoric of response, of process, elaboration and reaction.

–Robert Appelbaum


I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.

–Stephen King


The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it’s when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it’s when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It’s when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there’s nothing there…

–Stephen King


According to Aristotle, pity and fear are the natural human response to spectacles of pain and suffering—-especially to the sort of suffering that can strike anybody at any time. Aristotle goes on to say that tragedy effects “the catharsis of these emotions”—-in effect arrousing pity and fear only to purge them, as when we exit a scary movie feeling relieved or exhilarated.

–David L. Simpson


Now, find a video clip from a horror movie and use the ideas quoted above to discuss how terror works in your chosen clip—i.e., what makes it scary. Your exploration should be at least 200 words long. Alternatively, you could find a video clip from a horror movie parody and explain how the parody undermines the terror of the work parodied; again, your exploration should be at least 200 words long.

By midnight Sunday, post a link to the video clip and your ~200 word exploration to the Rhetoric of Terror G+ page.

No weekly reflection this week.

The Work for Weeks 8 & 9

Unit Theme: Innocence and Experience

Weeks 8-9 Focus: Drama

PrepareParticipateReflect

My Week 8-9 Rundown


Prepare

ReadingOther

(Terms to Know: Plot and setting)

This Week’s Reading

RequiredSupplemental

The following texts will serve as the basis for this week’s discussion:


  • Supplemental
    • Review the items added to the class’s supplemental texts spreadsheet.


Other Preparation Activities

  • Record two entries in your Reading Notebook.
  • Search the internet for an online resource that supplements one of the texts from this week’s reading (see my list of supplemental texts for examples of what you might find). Once you’ve found your resource, paste a link in this shared Google spreadsheet. Be sure to fill in all the information asked for in the sheet.

Participate

  • By Tuesday (10/21): Using #amreading, write a brief “thus-far” summary of the book you’re reading for your book review (i.e., give us the quick lowdown on what’s happening). Be sure to include the book name in the tweet. Also post two comments about this week’s reading/watching. By Sunday (10/26): Reply to three of your peers’ tweets, responding to the quotation or the reading comments. You can find your classmates on Twitter via the list on the flipside of this link.
  • Initial post by noon Thursday (10/23), three peer responses by Sunday (10/26): Participate in the Experiencing Death of a Salesman G+ Discussion.
  • By Sunday (10/26): Complete the Analyzing Death of a Salesman activity.

Reflect


Note:
*Unless otherwise noted, assignments are due by midnight of the date posted.

 

The Work for Week 7

Unit Theme: Love and Hate

Week 7 Focus: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

PrepareParticipateReflect

My Week 7 Rundown


Prepare

ReadingOther

(Terms to Know: Metaphor and simile)

This Week’s Reading

RequiredSupplemental

Before you begin this week’s reading, review the discussion prompts for this week’s G+ Conversations. The following texts will serve as the basis for this week’s discussion:

  • Required:
    • (Fiction) “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, LHE 729-40.
    • (Fiction) “Jealous Husband Returns in the Form of Parrot” by Robert Olen Butler, LHE 766-70.
    • (Fiction) Individual choice: Read at least one of the remaining stories in the “Fiction” section of “Love and Hate” in LHE. This could include Chinua Achebe’s “Marriage is a Private Affair” (LHE 946-51) and Nahid Rachlin’s “Departures” (LHE 951-57).
    • (Nonfiction) “Is Love an Art?” by Eric Fromm, LHE 932-34.
    • (Nonfiction) Individual choice: Read at least one of the remaining essays in the “Essays” section of “Love and Hate” in LHE.
    • (Poetry) “With His Venom” by Sappho, LHE 772.
    • (Poetry) Sonnet 130 “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” William Shakespeare, LHE 787.
    • (Poetry) “The Flea” by John Donne, LHE 788.
    • (Poetry) “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden, LHE 802-3.
    • (Poetry) “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath, LHE 808-10.
    • (Poetry) “Infidelities” by Moyra Donaldson, LHE 823.
    • (Poetry) Individual choice: Read at least two of the remaining poems in the “Poetry” section of “Love and Hate” in LHE. This could include Abbas Saffari’s “Our Story” (LHE 957-61).


Other Preparation Activities

  • Record two entries in your Reading Notebook.
  • Search the internet for an online resource that supplements one of the texts from this week’s reading (see my list of supplemental texts for examples of what you might find). Once you’ve found your resource, paste a link in this shared Google spreadsheet. Be sure to fill in all the information asked for in the sheet.

Participate


Reflect


Note:
*Unless otherwise noted, assignments are due by midnight of the date posted.

 

The Work for Week 6

Unit Theme: Love and Hate

Week 6 Focus: Drama

PrepareParticipateReflect

My Week 6 Rundown


Prepare

ReadingOther

(Terms to Know: Dramatic irony and figurative language)

This Week’s Reading

RequiredSupplemental

Before you begin this week’s reading, review the discussion prompts for this week’s G+ Conversations. The following texts will serve as the basis for this week’s discussion:

  • Required:
    • Intro to the Love and Hate section, LHE 721-23.
    • (Drama) Othello by William Shakespeare, LHE 824-915.
    • (Fiction) A story from Hecatommithi by Giraldi Cinthio, full text available online (online text) (PDF). Shakespeare adapted this story into Othello.


Other Preparation Activities

  • Record two entries in your Reading Notebook.
  • Search the internet for an online resource that supplements one of the texts from this week’s reading (see my list of supplemental texts for examples of what you might find). Once you’ve found your resource, paste a link in this shared Google spreadsheet. Be sure to fill in all the information asked for in the sheet.
  • Review the Midterm Composition guidelines.

Participate


Reflect


Note:
*Unless otherwise noted, assignments are due by midnight of the date posted.

 

The Work for Week 5

Unit Theme: Conformity and Rebellion

Week 5 Focus: Poetry

PrepareParticipateReflect

My Week 5 Rundown


Prepare

ReadingOther

(Terms to Know: End-stopped line and enjambment/enjambed line)

This Week’s Reading

RequiredSupplemental

Before you begin this week’s reading, review the discussion prompts for this week’s G+ Conversations. The following texts will serve as the basis for this week’s discussion:

  • Required:
    • (Poetry) “On Being Brought from Africa to America” by Phillis Wheatley, LHE 392.
    • (Poetry) “She rose to His Requirement” by Emily Dickinson, LHE 396.
    • (Poetry) “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats, LHE 399-400.
    • (Poetry) “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, LHE 456.
    • (Poetry) “Myth” by Muriel Rukeyser, LHE 408.
    • (Poetry) “Warning” by Jenny Joseph, LHE 411.
    • (Poetry) “Dreams” by Nikki Giovanni, LHE 416.
    • (Poetry) “The Colonel” by Carolyn Forché, LHE 420.
    • (Poetry) “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg, full-text online.
    • (Poetry) Individual choice: Read at least one of the remaining poems in the “Poetry” section of “Conformity and Rebellion” in LHE.


Other Preparation Activities

  • Record two entries in your Reading Notebook.
  • Search the internet for an online resource that supplements one of the texts from this week’s reading (see my list of supplemental texts for examples of what you might find). Once you’ve found your resource, paste a link in this shared Google spreadsheet. Be sure to fill in all the information asked for in the sheet.
  • Review the Book Review assignment.

Participate


Reflect


Note:
*Unless otherwise noted, assignments are due by midnight of the date posted.

 

The Work for Week 4

Unit Theme: Conformity and Rebellion

Week 4 Focus: Fiction and Nonfiction

PrepareParticipateReflect

My Week 4 Rundown


Prepare

ReadingOther

(Terms to Know: Irony and satire.)

This Week’s Reading

RequiredSupplemental

Before you begin this week’s reading, review the discussion prompts for this week’s G+ Conversations. The following texts will serve as the basis for this week’s discussion:

  • Required:
    • Introduction to the “Conformity and Rebellion” section, LHE 312-13.
    • (Fiction) “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville, LHE 314-40.
    • (Fiction) “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin, LHE 357-61.
    • (Fiction) Individual choice: Read at least one of the remaining stories in the “Fiction” section of “Culture and Identity” in LHE.
    • (Nonfiction) “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, LHE 482-88.
    • (Nonfiction) “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr, LHE 490-502.
    • (Nonfiction) Individual choice. Read at least one of the remaining essays in the “Essays” section of “Conformity and Rebellion” in LHE (this could include the texts in the “Looking Deeper” section).

  • Supplemental

 

Other Preparation Activities

  • Record two entries in your Reading Notebook.
  • Search the internet for an online resource that supplements one of the texts from this week’s reading (see my list of supplemental texts for examples of what you might find). Once you’ve found your resource, paste a link in this shared Google spreadsheet. Be sure to fill in all the information asked for in the sheet.

Participate


Reflect


Note:
*Unless otherwise noted, assignments are due by midnight of the date posted.

 

The Work for Week 3

Unit Theme: Culture and Identity

Week 3 Focus: Poetry and Drama

PrepareParticipateReflect

My Week 3 Rundown


Prepare

ReadingOther

(Terms to Know: Imagery and stanza.)

This Week’s Reading

RequiredSupplemental

Before you begin this week’s reading, review the discussion prompts for this week’s G+ Conversations. The following texts will serve as the basis for this week’s discussion:

  • Required:
    • (Poetry) “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, LHE 594-95.
    • (Poetry) “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot, LHE 595-99.
    • (Poetry) “Latin Women Pray” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, LHE 605.
    • (Poetry) “Daystar” by Rita Dove, LHE 606.
    • (Poetry) Individual choice: Read at least two of the remaining poems in the “Poetry” section of “Culture and Identity” in LHE (this could include “The Stranglehold of English Lit.” by Feliz Mnthali on page 713-14).
    • (Drama) “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, LHE 916-28.
    • In conjunction with “Trifles,” read Glaspell’s short story version of this play, which is titled “Jury of Her Peers.” You can find the complete text online on the flipside of this link. Once you’ve read both texts, consider how reading the same story in different genres (a play and a short story) influenced the way you received the narrative and what you got out of it.

  • Supplemental
    • (Strongly encouraged) “Reading Poetry,” LHE 11-19. Review the questions listed on pages 17-19 under “Exploring Poetry.” You might want to dog ear these pages and return to them as we discuss poetry throughout the semester. Note: These sections from LHE remind me of a moment in the movie Dead Poets Society (1989) when Mr. Keating instructs his students to rip the introduction from their textbook because he didn’t want it to intrude on their reading of poetry. I won’t go that far, but I will direct you to a clip of that moment in the film and suggest that you take these introductions to reading literature (“Reading Fiction,” “Reading Nonfiction,” “Reading Poetry,” “Reading Drama”) only for what they’re worth as means to enhance your interactions with and response to texts from each genre.
    • (Strongly encouraged) “Reading Drama” LHE 22-30. Review the questions listed on pages 29-30 under “Exploring Drama.” You might want to dog ear these pages and return to them as we discuss drama throughout the semester.
    • (Video) Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask” performed by various people on YouTube. I found the PopPunk version by TeraBite especially interesting.

    • (Video) Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” performed by various people on YouTube. Check out especially these three performances: the poem read by Eliot himself, the poem animated, and the poem read by Sir Anthony Hopkins.
    • (Video) “Rita Dove Reads ‘Daystar'” posted on Vimeo by BillMoyers.com.
    • (Video) “Trifles by Susan Glaspell, a d’moiselles production in NYC” posted by d’moiselles on YouTube.
    • (Audio) Glaspell’s “Jury of Her Peers” read by Cori Samuels for LibriVox (“Jury” is #5 on the list).

 

Other Preparation Activities

  • Record two entries in your Reading Notebook.
  • Search the internet for an online resource that supplements one of the texts from this week’s reading (see my list of supplemental texts for examples of what you might find). Once you’ve found your resource, paste a link in this shared Google spreadsheet. Be sure to fill in all the information asked for in the sheet.
  • Review the Book Review assignment. (Link forthcoming.)

Participate

  • By Thursday: Using #amreading, post three comments on Twitter for the texts you read this week. By Sunday: Reply to three of your peers’ tweets, responding to what they’ve said about the text (e.g., say what you liked or didn’t like about it, another quote that struck you from the text, etc.). You can find your classmates on Twitter via the list on the flipside of this link.
  • Initial post by Thursday, three responses by Sunday: Participate in the We Wear the Mask G+ Conversation.
  • Initial post by Friday, three responses by Monday: Participate in the Introduction to Poetry G+ Conversation.

Reflect


Note:
*Unless otherwise noted, assignments are due by midnight of the date posted.

 

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