- Continue working on the paper based on Do the Right Thing (posted on the assignments page) and remember that you can stream the film from the video page. Remember that it is due before the break, even though class doesn’t meet on Tuesday 11/21.
- We start Assata over the upcoming break, so make plans to get your copy now if you haven’t already.
On Tuesday 11/14, [UPDATE: we’ll do this on Thursday because of the cancelled class.] we finish Angie Cruz’s novel Soledad. Read chapters 8-11 (end–page 230) in the new paperback edition. In addition to the points and themes we’ve been tracking all along, consider the following:
- What changes do we see in Soledad’s attitudes toward her mother, Richie, and Flaca?
- How do her feelings towards the Dominican Republic and Washington Heights evolve?
- What is the role of the supernatural or spirituality in the book’s conclusion?
- How do memory and trauma affect the characters?
- What do you think of the conclusion? Is it realistic? What happens to Soledad at the end?
Presentation by Veronica and Angela
For Thursday 11/16 [UPDATE: Follow Tuesday’s assignment instead. No Def Poetry Jam! You can still watch the videos on your own though.] the assignment is to watch the Youtube videos of various poets from Russell Simmons’s Def Poetry Jam, which ran for several seasons on HBO. Also read Ben Brantley’s New York Times review of Def Poetry on Broadway.
Questions to think about:
- How does being in front of a live audience change the perception of the poetry?
- In the Pedro Pietri interview I posted, Pietri was critical of slam poetry and thought it relied too much on people’s personalities and being performers–do you agree?
- What do their stories say about the urban experience?
- Lastly, choose 2 poems you like, watch them a few times and be prepared to discuss in class.Here are the poems. There are several, but they’re mostly short. It’s less than a half hour, total.