Welcome to Spring 2015! Assignment for September 5


Photo: Where the spring ’15 class lives, visualized

Hi everyone,

First a few housekeeping things before we get to the assignment itself.

  • Remember to sign up for the class text message service from Remind. see instructions on the syllabus
  • You’ll also find it helpful to subscribe to new posts for this site: use the e-mail sign-up form on the main page.
  • Review the presentation I made in the first class on analyzing texts. It’s on the Lecture Notes page.

    For Thursday 9/5, read Juan Flores’s “The Structuring of Puerto Rican Identity in the US”, from his book Divided Borders. The PDF is on the Readings page. (Password hint: what year is it?)

    Also watch this Youtube video of poet Tato Laviera reading his classic poem AmeRican, which Flores references on the last page. (The audio quality isn’t great, so you’ll have to listen carefully.)

    Also listen to Felipe Luciano read his poem “Jibaro, My Pretty Nigger”.

    Things to think about while reading/ watching:

  • What are the points of contact that Flores identifies in his essay?
  • How do these points of contact explain how we interact with the urban space?
  • How do these begin to define Nuyorican identity and carve out a specific space in the city landscape?
  • What’s the language used in the poems and who might it appeal to?
  • After that, read the interview with Pedro Pietri (PDF on the Readings page). Pietri is one of the key figures in the Nuyorican movement. Think about the following:

  • How does Pietri’s life intersect with the points Juan Flores makes in his essay?
  • How does the influence of the city affect Pietri’s writing and life?