Month: December 2016

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History, Sharecropping, and the Shack Up Inn

Last week, Time named Ruddy Roye (@ruddyroye) its Instagram photographer of 2016. The same week, they unveiled Donald Trump as their 2016 Person of the Year. Today, I want to briefly discuss how we can bring one of Ruddy Roye’s photographs into the classroom, specifically into the literature classroom. In an upcoming post, I will write about how we can bring ¬†Nadav Kander’s portrait … Read More History, Sharecropping, and the Shack Up Inn

Tumblr Projects in the Literature Classroom

Last month, I published “Tumblr, Blogger, and Wikis in the Literature Classroom.” Today, I want to briefly discuss that post then share with you some of the products that students created in my literature survey courses. For the assignment, I gave each group (two students each) a term or historical event.¬†Each group had to have three aspects to their presentation/Tumblr post.

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George S. Schuyler’s “Black No More” and Identity

In the light of the recent election, we need to read George S. Schuyler’s biting satire Black no More (1931), especially amidst the type of rhetoric that appeared during and after the November 8, 2016. Schuyler’s novel focuses on Max Disher, a black man who, through the technology of Dr. Junius Crookman, becomes white and rises to power in a white nationalist organization (Knights of … Read More George S. Schuyler’s “Black No More” and Identity

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Iceberg Slim’s “Lonely Suite” and the Gothic

Throughout Iceberg Slim’s literary career, he wrote to dissuade his readers away from the Life. As such, his stories of the urban ghettos of Chicago and the Midwest served as not just political critiques on an oppressive system but also as didactic narratives. Of course, some individuals misread these cues, as Slim himself writes about in “Rappin About the Pimp Game.” Today, I want … Read More Iceberg Slim’s “Lonely Suite” and the Gothic

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Herman Melville’s Bartleby and Civil Disobedience?

When I asked students what they thought of Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener, most expressed frustration with Bartleby because they did not know his motivations. Truthfully, we never really know for sure what drives Bartleby to continue to tell his employer, “I would prefer not to.” However, I would argue, as some have done, that we should read Melville’s story, as we do Rebecca … Read More Herman Melville’s Bartleby and Civil Disobedience?