Week of 12/5: (Day class) Assata, continued

220px-AssatabioAnnouncements: The assignment sheet for our final paper of the semester due 12/18 is on the assignments page. Go download it if you don’t have a copy.

Also take a look at a general guide I’ve written up for exams, “Zen and the Art of Finals” (PDF).

This week we continue with our last book of the semester, the autobiography of Assata Shakur. For Tuesday 12/5, read chapters 10-13, (pages 148-208) in Assata.

Pay close attention to the following:

  • Poems: “Culture” (159), and “To My Mama” (193). Again, what do they add to the narrative? What insight do they give you about Assata’s inner thoughts?
  • Also think about her Fourth of July address on pages 167-170.
  • What spaces/ neighborhoods does she move through? Note them and how each of them either shapes the story and what it means to Assata.
  • Keep track of major themes that emerge in the story as you read. It’s a good idea to mark examples of them in the text and make a small note in your notebook.
  • Finally, go back through your notes and start making a list of all the themes that we’ve seen this semester. It will be a good start to preparing for the final.

For Thursday 12/7 finish Assata: chapters 14-Postscript (pages 208-274). Be sure to read the Postscript with her reflections on Havana! (Skip ahead if you must.) Again, make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 240 (“Current Events”), 259 (“To My Daughter Kakuya”), and 263 (“The Tradition”). Think also about the themes that we’ve been talking about so far and how Assata’s work fits into the context of urban narratives and themes of identity, survival, freedom, immigration/migration, return home, urban space, etc. What’s the significance of the story ending in Cuba and how does Assata adjust to her new home?

Presentation by Nayeli, Arlene, William, and Simaya

Consider this prep for the final exam. If you read this carefully, it’s one less thing you’ll need to study!

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