Discussion Preparation Assignment 1 – due 8/25
Background reading: Volume A: Table of Contents; Preface p.xxv-xxvii; "Colonial Period to 1700" p.1-15; "Eighteenth Century" p.565-581; and Volume B: Table of Contents; "Early Nineteenth Century 1800-1865" p.1389-1419
Because I wanted you to have input on the readings for the class, I chose the large anthology instead of longer works. This has its advantages because it gives us a large variety of works to choose from and is more representative of the variation in works written during the time period. The drawback is that many of the selections aren't complete. This assignment is designed to get us thinking about what goes into designing a course reading list and the reasoning behind the decisions a teacher makes. I will use your suggestions along with my own preferences in crafting the reading schedule for the semester. As you make your decisions, keep in mind our time constraints (each unit has about 13 days). I will also leave room for discussion, which will cut down on days even more. I will make sure that we are covering genres.
Assignment: After going through the background reading, write a paragraph on each period. These questions should give you an idea of how to organize your thoughts. What would you like to study from this period (sections, subjects, authors)? What governs your choices? What would you definitely leave out? Why? Justify your choices. 1½ - 2 pages
Discussion Preparation Assignment 2—due 8/27
You are visiting a foreign country, and a citizen of this country asks you: What is literature? This is a literate society, but its members do not categorize texts the same way we do. How would you explain literature to someone who doesn't know what it is? (2-3 pages)
Discussion Preparation Assignment 3 – due 9/3
Choose one of the images from the "Images of America" website below and discuss it rhetorically. What does it reveal about the assumptions, biases, values, of the culture that produced it? What would it mean for its audience? How can we read these images in a way that reveals attitudes towards the New World during the periods represented? (2 ½-3 pages)
Discussion Preparation Assignment 4 – Due 9/5:
Read the article included below in this folder, and choose two quotations from it. Write about how each of these quotations could prepare you to read the maps we will look at in Spencer on Friday rhetorically. (1 ½- 2 pages).
Discussion Preparation Assignment 5 – due 9/10
Read through the "Cultural Encounter" texts and the Pueblo Revolt materials. Then, choose one of the Cultural Encounter texts and come up with an inquiry topic, a question that comes from the CE text that can be explored (not necessarily answered) through a discussion of passages from the Pueblo Revolt texts. Choose 1-2 short, specific passages from each of the Pueblo Revolt texts to discuss using your topic (2 ½ -3 pages).
Discussion Preparation Assignment 6 – due 9/19
Look over William Bradford and Thomas Morton's texts and choose an incident from one of them. Write an account of the incident as if you were the other author. For instance, if you chose to write about the arrival at Cape Cod (described by Bradford), you would imitate Morton's style and voice to do so. The key is to show me how well you know the style of the author you are imitating, and to demonstrate your knowledge of how the description of the event would change if the other author wrote about it (2 pages).
Discussion Preparation Assignment 7 – due 9/26
Read the Jane Tompkins article (to be found in the same folder as this assignment), and respond to the following topic (2 ½-3 pages):
Jane Tompkins' article looks at historical writings rhetorically, focusing on the viewpoint of the author and the reader, their cultural assumptions and positions, in a post-structural way. Use her methods on a passage from Briton Hammon's account and a passage from Mary Rowlandson's narrative. Choose a passage from each that allows you to explore the cultural assumptions you make about Hammon and Rowlandson and their experiences to highlight how much of one's interpretation of a text comes from one's assumptions.
Discussion Preparation Assignment 8 – due 10/3
Research the historical background for the Salem Witch trials and write up a summary what you find (2 pages). Be sure to tell where you got your information and something about why your source is a good one. This background will help you to create sample lesson plans for teaching the texts of the Mathers and Sewall in your discussion groups in class.
Discussion Preparation Assignment 9 – due 10/10
We are at the end of our unit on the Puritans, and I keep finding conceptual metaphors and constructions in current texts that reveal how many Puritan concepts are embedded in 21st century texts. The most recent reminder I have had of this was an article on history pedagogy that set up the teachers who practice new pedagogies as the "Chosen Ones" who have seen the light missed by all of those others (heathens?). For this discussion, I would like for you to find a 21st century text that uses conceptual metaphors that would have been familiar to the Puritans. I have included Lakoff and Johnson's materials on conceptual metaphors so that you are sure you understand the concept before you find the text. When you find it, please turn in a copy, along with a discussion of the conceptual metaphors you found, and what they might mean. (2 ½ -3 pages).
Discussion Preparation Assignment 10 – due 10/29
Look over the information on the Equiano website, for which there is a link in this folder. Then, answer the following questions: Where do you think Equiano was born? Why and how much does it matter? (2 ½ -3 pages)