Week of 3/13: (NIGHT class) Bodega Dreams conclusion and Dutchman

Announcement: The first paper’s due tomorrow (Friday 3/9) via email. Details on the assignments page. Double check my email address before you send it.

For Tuesday March 13th: Read pages 157-213 (end of book) in Bodega Dreams.

Presentation by Christina, Erica, Christine, and Chris

To guide your reading, think about the following things:

  • What are the key themes of the book? Mark specific examples of them in the text.
  • How do characters develop. What changes do you see? Are there any surprising changes? Again, note specific examples in the text.
  • What seem to be key turns of the plot?
  • How does Quiñonez present urban space and the urban experience? How do different characters see the neighborhood that they live in?
  • What is the role of culture?dutchman-dvd-1967-shirley-knight-al-freeman-leroi-jones-e0aa.png
    Photo: Still from the 1967 film version of Dutchman

    For Thursday March 15th:, we take a sharp turn and read the classic play Dutchman from Amiri Baraka (then named LeRoi Jones). For Tuesday, read only the first half of the book: the play Dutchman. Even though it’s short, you need to read it slowly and carefully.

    Pay attention to the following to guide your reading:

  • What are the key themes or topics that you think the play talks about?
  • How does the setting of the play affect the action? What role does the subway train play?
  • What does it say about life in the city or urban environments?
  • There are crucial points in the play where the plot (action) turns that decide the outcome. What do you think they are?

Read the final few pages of the play more than once. What’s the significance of Clay’s final speech?

Watch the following short YouTube video with Baraka discussing the context of the play and some of what influenced him to write it.

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Week of 3/13: (DAY class) Bodega Dreams conclusion and Dutchman

Announcement: The first paper’s due tomorrow (Friday 3/9) via email. Details on the assignments page. Double check my email address before you send it.

For Tuesday March 13th: Read pages 157-213 (end of book) in Bodega Dreams.

Presentation by Solo, Keishla, Eric, and Anthony Bucaj

To guide your reading, think about the following things:

  • What are the key themes of the book? Mark specific examples of them in the text.
  • How do characters develop. What changes do you see? Are there any surprising changes? Again, note specific examples in the text.
  • What seem to be key turns of the plot?
  • How does Quiñonez present urban space and the urban experience? How do different characters see the neighborhood that they live in?
  • What is the role of culture?

    dutchman-dvd-1967-shirley-knight-al-freeman-leroi-jones-e0aa.png
    Photo: Still from the 1967 film version of Dutchman

    For Thursday March 15th:, we take a sharp turn and read the classic play Dutchman from Amiri Baraka (then named LeRoi Jones). For Tuesday, read only the first half of the book: the play Dutchman. Even though it’s short, you need to read it slowly and carefully.

    Pay attention to the following to guide your reading:

  • What are the key themes or topics that you think the play talks about?
  • How does the setting of the play affect the action? What role does the subway train play?
  • What does it say about life in the city or urban environments?
  • There are crucial points in the play where the plot (action) turns that decide the outcome. What do you think they are?

Read the final few pages of the play more than once. What’s the significance of Clay’s final speech?

Watch the following short YouTube video with Baraka discussing the context of the play and some of what influenced him to write it.

Week of February 27 (NIGHT class): Short Eyes and Bodega Dreams

short_eyes

Announcements:

  • Keep (start?) working on the first written assignment that’s due Friday 3/9. (Note that this is a change from the date listed on the syllabus!) See the Assignments page for it if you’ve misplaced your copy. (Re)Read the assignment sheet thoroughly and make sure you understand what I’m asking. There are no trick questions here: I’m looking for exactly what’s on there. Now is also the time to schedule time with Lehman’s ACE Center if you’re not totally confident about your writing ability.

Recap from this week’s class:

  • See my lecture notes on Piñero on the Lecture Notes page
  • Intro to Short Eyes and historical contexts
  • See the short background clip on the 1971 Attica prison rebellion

Tuesday February 27: Finish reading Piñero’s play Short Eyes (pages 193-243 in Outlaw) and watch the film version embedded below. Short Eyes is set entirely in a prison (actually a house of detention: think Riker’s Island). Think about what the setting means and how characters react to it. Also consider how Piñero’s own experience and outlook on life shape what and who he writes about.

Questions to think about to guide your reading:

  • What characters does he show in the play?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • What similarities or differences do you see with his poetry?
  • What’s the setting he chooses and what side of the city does that show?
  • What are some of the key themes the play deals with?
  • Identify key points of the play where the storyline (plot) turns or changes. Mark significant points where this happens in your book and write them down in your notes. What causes the plot turns and how might actors on stage make them believable?

Watch the film version of Piñero’s Short Eyes (1978). Piñero has a few scenes in the beginning as the fictional character Go Go. The famous soul vocalist Curtis Mayfield has a part also in addition to creating the soundtrack.

 

 

For Thursday, March 1, we’ll move to the first novel of the semester. Read pages 1-54 in Ernesto Quiñonez’s Bodega Dreams.

A few things to pay attention to in the book are:

  • The characters Quiñonez creates and what slice of city life they show
  • How urban space is shown in the book and what different characters think about their surroundings
  • The role of culture and what it means
  • Quiñonez’s relationship as a writer to Pietri and Piñero (there are numerous references to both and their poetry throughout the book)
  • The “American Dream” and what it means to the characters in the book
  • How different generations of immigrants/migrants relate to the city and city life
  • Race and gender relations

This isn’t a complete list, but these are a few key things that jump out at me. Begin to look for connections/ similarities / differences in things we’ve read (and other things you’ve read/ watched /studied in other classes, etc).

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Week of February 27 (DAY class): Short Eyes and Bodega Dreams

short_eyes

Announcements:

  • Keep (start?) working on the first written assignment due Friday March 9. See the Assignments page for it if you’ve misplaced your copy. (Re)Read the assignment sheet thoroughly and make sure you understand what I’m asking. There are no trick questions here: I’m looking for exactly what’s on there. Now is also the time to schedule time with Lehman’s ACE Center if you’re not totally confident about your writing ability.

Recap from this week’s class:

  • See my lecture notes on Piñero on the Lecture Notes page
  • Intro to Short Eyes and historical contexts
  • See the short background clip on the 1971 Attica prison rebellion

Tuesday February 27: Finish reading Piñero’s play Short Eyes (pages 193-243 in Outlaw) and watch the film version embedded below. Short Eyes is set entirely in a prison (actually a house of detention: think Riker’s Island). Think about what the setting means and how characters react to it. Also consider how Piñero’s own experience and outlook on life shape what and who he writes about.

Questions to think about to guide your reading:

  • What characters does he show in the play?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • What similarities or differences do you see with his poetry?
  • What’s the setting he chooses and what side of the city does that show?
  • What are some of the key themes the play deals with?
  • Identify key points of the play where the storyline (plot) turns or changes. Mark significant points where this happens in your book and write them down in your notes. What causes the plot turns and how might actors on stage make them believable?

Watch the film version of Piñero’s Short Eyes (1978). Piñero has a few scenes in the beginning as the fictional character Go Go. The famous soul vocalist Curtis Mayfield has a part also in addition to creating the soundtrack.

 

 

For Thursday, March 1, we’ll move to the first novel of the semester. Read pages 1-54 in Ernesto Quiñonez’s Bodega Dreams.

A few things to pay attention to in the book are:

  • The characters Quiñonez creates and what slice of city life they show
  • How urban space is shown in the book and what different characters think about their surroundings
  • The role of culture and what it means
  • Quiñonez’s relationship as a writer to Pietri and Piñero (there are numerous references to both and their poetry throughout the book)
  • The “American Dream” and what it means to the characters in the book
  • How different generations of immigrants/migrants relate to the city and city life
  • Race and gender relations

This isn’t a complete list, but these are a few key things that jump out at me. Begin to look for connections/ similarities / differences in things we’ve read (and other things you’ve read/ watched /studied in other classes, etc).

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Week of October 10: (NIGHT Class) Bodega Dreams conclusion and Midterm

4253359676_431c046328

For Tuesday, October 10th, Read pages 157-213 (end of book) in Bodega Dreams. Highlight/underline passages of the book that you think show good examples of key themes or changes in key characters. Take brief notes in your notebook of specifically good points.

We’ll start the class with a presentation by Maya, Adnan, and Carmen

To guide your reading, think about the following things:

bodegaDs

  • What are the key themes of the book? Mark specific examples of them in the text.
  • How have characters developed or changed over the course of the book? Are there any surprising changes? Again, note specific examples in the text.
  • What seem to be key turns of the plot?
  • How does Quiñonez present urban space and the urban experience? What’s the status of Bodega’s dream at the end of the book and what effect has the story had on the neighborhood and people?
  • What is the role of culture?

For Thursday, October 13th is the Midterm exam. It will be given in class and no notes or books will be allowed. Do not miss it! Makeups will not be offered. Format will be short answer questions plus one essay on themes of the Juan Flores essay, books, play, and poems we’ve covered so far. Know: basic plot points and characters of the book and play, be able to identify key themes, and the main points of 2-3 poems from both Pietri and Piñero. Also know basic biographical info about Pietri and Piñero.

Scholarship opportunity:

The mission of the New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NYCHCC) is to represent and advocate for Hispanic businesses in New York City.  They assist new entrepreneurs, strengthen existing businesses and assure the growth and success of Hispanic businesses.  The NYCHCC is also committed to helping Hispanic students succeed academically and to effectively achieve their professional goals.  To this end, the $2,000 NYCHCC Scholarship Award is designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage to obtain a college degree.  Scholarships are available on a competitive/need basis.

Qualifications include:

  • United States citizens/residents of Hispanic descent
  • DACA students are encouraged to apply
  • Must live in NYC
  • Undergraduate students attending accredited University
  • Proof of 3.0 GPA or higher
  • One letter of recommendation from a Professor
  • Submit a 500 word essay
  • Resume

The deadline to apply is November 1, 2017.  Candidates must apply via their website, http://hispanicchamber.nyc/nychcc-scholarship-awards/.  If you have any questions, please feel free to stop by the Office of Academic Testing, Scholarships & Awards, located in the Apex Building room 240.  You may also contact one of our Scholarship Advisors via email at: scholarship [dot] office [at] lehman [dot] cuny [dot] edu or at 718-960-8156.

Announcement: The Black Panther Party film festival is at Maysles Cinema in Harlem until 10/7.

Week of October 10: (DAY Class) Bodega Dreams conclusion and Midterm

4253359676_431c046328

For Tuesday, October 10th, Read pages 157-213 (end of book) in Bodega Dreams. Highlight/underline passages of the book that you think show good examples of key themes or changes in key characters. Take brief notes in your notebook of specifically good points.

We’ll start the class with a presentation by Brandon, Deondre, William, and Nami

To guide your reading, think about the following things:

bodegaDs

  • What are the key themes of the book? Mark specific examples of them in the text.
  • How have characters developed or changed over the course of the book? Are there any surprising changes? Again, note specific examples in the text.
  • What seem to be key turns of the plot?
  • How does Quiñonez present urban space and the urban experience? What’s the status of Bodega’s dream at the end of the book and what effect has the story had on the neighborhood and people?
  • What is the role of culture?

[EDIT: The first presentation on Bodega Dreams is now online here. Usual password.]

Thursday, October 13th is the Midterm exam. It will be given in class and no notes or books will be allowed. Do not miss it! Makeups will not be offered. Format will be short answer questions plus one essay on themes of the Juan Flores essay, books, play, and poems we’ve covered so far. Know: basic plot points and characters of the book and play, be able to identify key themes, and the main points of 2-3 poems from both Pietri and Piñero. Also know basic biographical info about Pietri and Piñero.

Scholarship opportunity:

The mission of the New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NYCHCC) is to represent and advocate for Hispanic businesses in New York City.  They assist new entrepreneurs, strengthen existing businesses and assure the growth and success of Hispanic businesses.  The NYCHCC is also committed to helping Hispanic students succeed academically and to effectively achieve their professional goals.  To this end, the $2,000 NYCHCC Scholarship Award is designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage to obtain a college degree.  Scholarships are available on a competitive/need basis.

Qualifications include:

  • United States citizens/residents of Hispanic descent
  • DACA students are encouraged to apply
  • Must live in NYC
  • Undergraduate students attending accredited University
  • Proof of 3.0 GPA or higher
  • One letter of recommendation from a Professor
  • Submit a 500 word essay
  • Resume

The deadline to apply is November 1, 2017.  Candidates must apply via their website, http://hispanicchamber.nyc/nychcc-scholarship-awards/.  If you have any questions, please feel free to stop by the Office of Academic Testing, Scholarships & Awards, located in the Apex Building room 240.  You may also contact one of our Scholarship Advisors via email at: scholarship [dot] office [at] lehman [dot] cuny [dot] edu or at 718-960-8156.

Announcement: The Black Panther Party film festival is at Maysles Cinema in Harlem until 10/7.

Week of October 3: (NIGHT class) Bodega Dreams, continued

Announcement: don’t forget that the first paper is due next Tuesday 10/3 by Midnight EST. See the assignments page if you need another copy. Note that the ACE Center in Lehman’s Old Gym is open from 10-2 on Saturday if you need last minute help with your paper. For help formatting sources, Purdue U’s online writing lab (OWL) is one of the best, most trustworthy sources. For the visually inclined, see their YouTube playlist.

For Tuesday, October 3, Read pages 55-107 in Ernesto Quiñonez’s Bodega Dreams.

Continue following the major themes of the book and refer to the questions from last week for guidance. Also begin to look at how characters evolve and change over the course of the book. Finally, mark what you think might be key turns in the plot (storyline) and significant developments.

Student presentation by Stanley, Angela, and Veronica

Below: Highlights from today’s class. Major themes and character sketches. (If you’re curious, you can see the lists developed by the day section here.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Thursday, October 5, Read pages 108-157 in Bodega Dreams. Continue following the key themes and characters outlined. Highlight/underling passages of the book that you think show good examples of these themes or changes in key characters.