Week of 12/2: (Day Class) Final Exam Review

Announcement:

  • Remember that the last paper is due Tuesday December 18 by email. No extensions or exceptions. See the Assignments page if you’ve lost your copy of it.
  • I’ll have special office hours next Wednesday (12/13) from 6-8 PM. You can just stop by Carman 398.

Tuesday 12/12 is our last class meeting. Read my guide to final exams, “Zen and the Art of Finals” (PDF), which will help you begin to prepare for our final (and hopefully others as well). Think about major themes that we’ve been talking about all semester and bring questions to the class. We’ll spend the last class reflecting on the semester and have an open prep/ study session for the final exam. Be sure to show up: I’ll present a more detailed exam overview and some prep strategies that should be helpful.

As a reminder, the final is scheduled for Tuesday, December 19, 3:45-5:45 PM in the regular classroom. You might want to check Lehman’s exam schedule (PDF file) for your other classes as well. Be sure to arrange for childcare/ time off work/ whatever you need to do now, as there will be no make-ups, except for extraordinary circumstances. Unless you can provide a hospital or arrest record (your own, not a family member’s), you get no make-up. “My family bought plane tickets to go on vacation” or similar is not an extraordinary circumstance in my book. Consider college a job and be up front with family, friends, etc. about what that commitment means.

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Weeks of 11/21-28: (Night Class) Assata Shakur’s autobiography

220px-Assatabio

Announcements:

  • Remember that the paper based on Do the Right Thing (posted on the assignments page) is due next week, even though class does not meet!  As a reminder, you can stream the film from the video page.
  • Tuesday 11/21 is a Friday schedule (PDF!) in the wacky world of CUNY, so we don’t meet again until the 28th.

After the break we move on to the our last book of the semester, the autobiography of Assata Shakur

For Tuesday 11/28, read the first 98 pages (chapters 1-5) of Assata: An Autobiography. Be sure to read the foreward by Angela Davis and Lennox Hinds. Also make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 1,17,44, and 62.

Questions to think about:

  • How effective is her style of storytelling? Does the non-linear narrative with flashbacks make the book more engaging?
  • How does Assata go about re-telling history?
  • What role do poems play in an autobiography? What do they tell you about Assata or the other people that the regular story does not?

What physical spaces and places does Assata describe in the story? What is the significance of them?

We are not primarily concerned with figuring out guilt innocence here (and in any case don’t have all the court documents to review): the goal is to read her story as we would any other autobiography and focus on how the story develops and how she develops into the person she is today. Look for clues of these things in the story.

Extra: Listen to “A Song for Assata” by Common, from his 2000 Like Water for Chocolate release, featuring CeeLo Green.

Thursday, November 30th, read pages 99-147 (Chapters 6 to 9) in Assata. Again, make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 130 (“Love”), 140 (“Stranger”). Think also about the themes that you should now be able to identify that we’ve been working on all semester. Note specific places in the book where they appear and mark them in your text.

Presentation by Jarissa, Michael, and Steve.

Weeks of 11/21-28: (Day Class) Assata Shakur’s autobiography

220px-Assatabio

Announcements:

  • Remember that the paper based on Do the Right Thing (posted on the assignments page) is due next week, even though class does not meet!  As a reminder, you can stream the film from the video page.
  • Tuesday 11/21 is a Friday schedule (PDF!) in the wacky world of CUNY, so we don’t meet again until the 28th.

After the break we move on to the our last book of the semester, the autobiography of Assata Shakur

For Tuesday 11/28, read the first 98 pages (chapters 1-5) of Assata: An Autobiography. Be sure to read the foreward by Angela Davis and Lennox Hinds. Also make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 1,17,44, and 62.

Questions to think about:

  • How effective is her style of storytelling? Does the non-linear narrative with flashbacks make the book more engaging?
  • How does Assata go about re-telling history?
  • What role do poems play in an autobiography? What do they tell you about Assata or the other people that the regular story does not?

What physical spaces and places does Assata describe in the story? What is the significance of them?

We are not primarily concerned with figuring out guilt innocence here (and in any case don’t have all the court documents to review): the goal is to read her story as we would any other autobiography and focus on how the story develops and how she develops into the person she is today. Look for clues of these things in the story.

Extra: Listen to “A Song for Assata” by Common, from his 2000 Like Water for Chocolate release, featuring CeeLo Green.

Thursday, November 30th, read pages 99-147 (Chapters 6 to 9) in Assata. Again, make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 130 (“Love”), 140 (“Stranger”). Think also about the themes that you should now be able to identify that we’ve been working on all semester. Note specific places in the book where they appear and mark them in your text.

Presentation by Terrell and Giselle

 

Week of 12/6: Assata conclusion and Final Exam Review

sam_anderson_fall_16
Thanks to Sam Anderson for his enlightening guest lecture on Assata Shakur and the Black Panther Party in New York! See more about him at his website.
 
Announcement: See the Assignments page for the extra credit assignment announced last week. It is due Thursday December 15 by email. No extensions or exceptions.
 
220px-AssatabioThis week we finish the autobiography of Assata Shakur. For Tuesday 12/6, finish Assata. 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? Consider this prep for the final exam. If you read this carefully, it’s one less thing you’ll need to study.
 
Presentation by Jessy, Claudia, Sky, and Kofi.
 
For Thursday 12/8 Read my guide to final exams, “Zen and the Art of Finals” (PDF), which will help you begin to prepare for our final (and hopefully others as well). Think about major themes that we’ve been talking about all semester and bring questions to the class. We’ll spend the last class reflecting on the semester and have an open prep/ study session for the final exam. Be sure to show up: I’ll present a more detailed exam overview and some prep strategies that should be helpful.
 
As a reminder, the final is scheduled for Tuesday, December 20, 3:45-5:45 PM in the regular classroom. in the regular classroom and you might want to check Lehman’s exam schedule (PDF file) for your other classes as well. Be sure to arrange for childcare/ time off work/ whatever you need to do now, as there will be no make-ups, except for extraordinary circumstances. Unless you can provide a hospital or arrest record (your own, not a family member’s), you get no make-up. “My family bought plane tickets to go on vacation” or similar is not an extraordinary circumstance in my book. Consider college a job and be up front with family, friends, etc. about what that commitment means.

Week of November 22: Assata Shakur’s autobiography

220px-AssatabioThis week we move on to the our last book of the semester, the autobiography of Assata Shakur
 
Reminder: Papers are due before the break on Tuesday 11/22 by midnight EST by email (no hard copies). You can download another assignment sheet if you’ve lost yours
 
For Tuesday 11/22, read the first 70 pages (chapters 1-3) of Assata: An Autobiography. Be sure to read the foreward by Angela Davis and Lennox Hinds. Also make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 1,17,44, and 62.
 
Questions to think about:

  • How effective is her style of storytelling? Does the non-linear narrative with flashbacks make the book more engaging?
  • How does Assata go about re-telling history?
  • What role do poems play in an autobiography? What do they tell you about Assata or the other people that the regular story does not?
  • What physical spaces and places does Assata describe in the story? What is the significance of them?
  •  
    Presentation by Reggie, Phe-be, and Monique
     
    Extra: Listen to “A Song for Assata” by Common, from his 2000 Like Water for Chocolate release, featuring CeeLo Green.


     
    Thursday, November 24th we do not meet because of the holiday. Enjoy your break.
     
    Announcement: Former Black Panther Sam Anderson is scheduled to join us on Tuesday, November 29th to talk about Assata. Feel free to bring friends/family/classmates for the discussion.

    Week of 11/25: Assata Shakur’s autobiograpy

    220px-AssatabioThis week we move on to the our last book of the semester, the autobiography of Assata Shakur

    Announcement: Remember that papers are due Tuesday, 11/25 by email. Again, the assignment sheet lives on the Assignments page. I’ll also be adding another option for extra credit. Extra credit assignment options are now posted on the assignments page..

    For Tuesday 11/25, read the first 70 pages (chapters 1-3) of Assata: An Autobiography. Be sure to read the foreward by Angela Davis and Lennox Hinds. Also make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 1,17,44, and 62.

    Questions to think about:

  • How effective is her style of storytelling? Does the non-linear narrative with flashbacks make the book more engaging?
  • How does Assata go about re-telling history?
  • What role do poems play in an autobiography? What do they tell you about Assata or the other people that the regular story does not?

    Extra: Listen to “A Song for Assata” by Common, from his 2000 Like Water for Chocolate release, featuring CeeLo Green.



    Thursday, November 27th we do not meet because of the holiday. Enjoy your break.

  • Week of 12/3: Autobiography of Assata Shakur, continued

    220px-AssatabioThis week we continue with our last book of the semester, the autobiography of Assata Shakur. For Tuesday 12/3, read chapters 4-8 (70-140). Again, make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 130 (“Love”), 140 (“Stranger”). Think also about the themes that you should now be able to identify that we’ve been working on all semester. Note specific places in the book where they appear and mark them in your text.

    For Thursday 5/8 I will not be able to make it, so we will not meet as a class. Finish reading Assata for Monday, December 9th.

    Important Reminder: Our last formal paper of the semester is due on Friday, December 6th via e-mail. Re-check the assignment sheet if you’ve lost it and be sure to have it in before the deadline.