Surveying the Literature of Power

Pretend scenario (10-15 minutes):

You are an instructor for English 102 responsible for preparing a course survey reading list that extends from the mid 17th century to today, May 2019.  You must pick ONE of the three authors (listed below) who best fits the English 102 course description and learning objectives.  In other words, you, the instructor, must choose ONE representative reading that tests De Quincey’s idea of the literature of power according to three key questions:

“What is literature?”

“What makes literature English?”

“How did some of this literature become good?”

Please explain your choice in terms of the learning outcomes listed in the 102 syllabus.  The author with the most votes will win an English 102 prize certificate for mastering the literature of power!

Three authors to choose from:

1. Joseph Rojas: https://english102literaturesurvey.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/garcias-travel/

2. Christopher Ingle: https://english102literaturesurvey.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/for-thomas-and-emmalee/

3. Hongxi Su: https://english102literaturesurvey.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/narrative-of-the-captivity-of-yazmin-juarez/

 

Creative Writing Project

Creative Writing Project: students will exercise their creative impulses alongside their analytic skills.  Students will compose a condensed 500-word imitation or parody of a literary work (covered in this course) geared toward a contemporary modern audience, followed by a short 300-word “review.” It will be posted on the course blog by 9:30am on Wednesday 5/8/19, under the category “Creative Writing Project.”

Specific instructions on this assignment can be found in the handout distributed in class, available via the course blog tab above.  Creative writing pieces submitted after the deadline will be subject to a late penalty, as stipulated in the syllabus.

The Irish Harp: History, Politics, and Art

Image result for guinness beer harp logo

Since the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the harp became synonymous with Irishness, an association most notable today in the Guinness Beer Company’s trademark logo (est. 1759).  For next Wednesday (5/1), students will write a blog post on the symbolic significance of the Irish harp in ONE of the three assigned poems for that week: Thomas Moore, Sydney Owenson, or Henry Derozio.  How do these poets use the cultural history of the harp to convey their nationalist message?  Explain how their poems extend, rewrite, or complicate this history. To help you answer this question, click on this link to a scholarly website that traces the long and complex history of the Irish harp in Britain:

http://www.harpspectrum.org/historical/Irelands%20Harp%20A%20Story%20of%20Survival%20and%20the%20Shaping%20of%20Irish%20Identity.shtml

Please explain your answer through a CLOSE READING of the poem, paying careful attention to rhyme, tone, diction, imagery, and form.

Please categorize your post under “The French Revolution” and don’t forget to create specific and relevant tags.  The post is due by 9:30am this Wednesday (5/1).  And please sign your posts so that your TA and I know who wrote what.

Warning: students who don’t submit their post on time or edit their blog post after the submission deadline, will not receive a grade (a “0”).

Reality TV Show Competition

In-class group work: Reality TV show competition (20 minutes)

In groups, students will evaluate the three creative writing blog posts (listed below) as a judge in a Reality TV show competition.  Each group represents a panel of judges that will decide the winner based on the following criteria:

  1. Artistry of writing
  2. Experimentation with the form, voice, style, and content of the original poem.
  3. Engagement with an implied modern reader
  4. Use of medium

Each panel of judges that will chose ONE poem that best meets these four criteria.  After the group deliberates for 20 minutes, each student will vote for the winner on the Top Hat survey.  The groups will afterwards explain the rationale for their decision.

The winner will be awarded a prize certificate for English 102 signed by its illustrious instructor!!!

Three creative writing blog posts:

1. Brianna Barajas: https://english102literaturesurvey.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/america-in-2019/

2. Oliver Briggs: https://english102literaturesurvey.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/merced-2/

3. Samantha Shapiro: https://english102literaturesurvey.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/merced-2019-turmoil-within-a-divided-nation/

 

 

The City in Political Peril, 2019

For the blog post next Wednesday (4/24), students will rewrite ONE of the following poems for a contemporary audience: William Blake’s “London,” William Wordsworth’s “London, 1802,” or Percy Shelley’s “England in 1819.”  The goal of this mini creative writing assignment is to mirror or recreate the poem’s formal elements as much as the content, but written for the modern world and its modern readers (your peers as well as the wider online audience).  However, you should also remember that all parodies and imitations pay homage (in a negative or positive way) to an earlier historical and literary moment, and your work should convey the sense of its engagement with another time and place.

Title your recreated poem according to a city or town you’re familiar with, followed by “2019.”  Be daring, creative, and, of course, politically provocative!!!

Please categorize your post under “The French Revolution” and don’t forget to create specific and relevant tags.  The post is due by 9:30am Wednesday (4/24).  And please sign your posts so that your TA and I know who wrote what.

Warning: students who don’t submit their post on time or edit their blog post after the submission deadline, will not receive a grade (a “0”).

Lyrical Ballads: a word is worth a thousand pictures

For this Wednesday’s blog post (4/17), students will use ONE of the four paintings below as a lens for interpreting ONE of the poems from the Lyrical Ballads (except “Tintern Abbey” and the “Ancient Mariner”), pages 47-147.  What does the painting’s form, color, perspective, and setting reveal about the Romantic themes, ideas, and feelings conveyed in your chosen poem?  Evidence for your argument will be based on a specific close reading of the painting and poem.  Be bold and daring: use your imagination!!!

Please categorize your post under “The Romantic Turn” and don’t forget to create specific and relevant tags.  The post is due by 9:30am Wednesday (4/17).  And please sign your posts so that your TA and I know who wrote what.

Warning: students who don’t submit their post on time or edit their blog post after the submission deadline, will not receive a grade (a “0”).

Théodore Gericault (French, 1791–1824) Evening: Landscape with an Aqueduct, 1818

Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), The Abby in the Oakwood, 1808-1810

Caspar David Friedrich, The Monk by the Sea, 1809

Joseph William Turner (1775-1851), Buttermere Lake : A Shower, 1798

Iron Maiden and Romantic Poetry

For next Wednesday (4/10), students will write a blog post on the YouTube video below, answering the following question: How is Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” like or unlike Romantic poetry?  Consider how the poem’s use of lyric speaker, imagery, poetic tone, figurative language, and rhythmic beat resonates with the Iron Maiden music video.  Explain your answer through a focused close reading of the poem and the video.

Please categorize your post under “The Romantic Turn” and don’t forget to create specific and relevant tags.  The post is due by Wednesday (4/10) 9:30am.  And please sign your posts so that your TA and I know who wrote what.

Warning: students who don’t submit their post on time or edit their blog post after the submission deadline, will not receive a grade (a “0”).

Olaudah Equiano and the English Language

Helping to spearhead the abolitionist movement in England and America, Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative (1789) abounds in references to the works of John Denham, John Milton, Colley Cibber, Thomas Day, and other English authors, and, of course, direct quotations from the English translation of the Bible.  For next Wednesday (3/13), students will write a post focusing on ONE example of these references for close reading, explaining their specific function in The Interesting Narrative . Why does Equiano obsessively quote English books, from poetry, to drama, to theological works, to political tracts ?  What do these selective quotations suggest about the status of English literature and language during this time? Feel free to run a Google search for unattributed literary references.

Please categorize your post under “Transatlantic Slavery” and don’t forget to create specific and relevant tags. The post is due by Wednesday (3/13) 9:30am. And please sign your posts so that your TA and I know who wrote what.

Warning: students who don’t submit their post on time or edit their blog post after the submission deadline, will not receive a grade (a “0”).

Alexander Pope and His Bullies

For next Wednesday (3/6), students will use ONE of the three images below (also found in Lecture Notes) as an interpretative lens for reading select lines from Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad, Book 4.  How do these images illuminate specific verses in the poem (or even in the footnotes), or, conversely, do these verses provide insight on how one should interpret these suggestive images?  Please keep your blog post focused and concise and be creative and imaginative in your answer.  And, in your blog post, please specify the image number you have referenced.  The caption and descriptions for the images are in Lecture Note #5, which all students should read before completing their posts.

Please remember to categorize your post under “Satirizing the Enlightenment” and to create specific and relevant tags (as many as you want). The post is due by Wednesday (3/6) 9:30am.  And please include your full name, as your TA and I won’t be able to identify you through your blog username alone.

Warning: students who don’t submit their post on time or edit their blog post after the submission deadline, will not receive a grade (a “0”).

Image #1:

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Image #3: