Eighteenth Century Accounts of Encounters with the "Other"
Thursday, October 14
Cultural Readings Colonization and Print in the Americas;
King Philip's War in New England;
King Philip's War- Title Page;
The Indian Attack on Medfield;
Native Americans: King Phillip's War, The Colonial Gazette;
What are some of the conventions of captivity narratives? Why were they written, and why were they read? What can the captivity narratives tell us about the culture of the people who wrote or read these stories? Look at several narratives and see if you can discern any difference in the interests of the authors and their audiences. You may want to note the dates of the publications as a way of helping you make sense of what you're reading. You'll find information about capitivity narratives at the following sites:
Cultural Readings - Colonial Fictions... - Captivities--
This online exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania library allows you to take a close look at the title pages of several captivity narratives. Think about what information you can glean from the titles themselves and the overall presentation of the information.
Indian Captivity Narratives Old Books Online.--
At this site you can read two captivity narratives. See if the language and concerns of either of these texts is different from what you encountered in Rowlandson's tale.
Early American Captivity Narratives.
This site offers a brief overview of the captivity narrative as a genre.
You can get a sense of the kinds of Indian captivity narratives that have been written and read in America by searching the holdings of the American Antiquarian Society that are listed in the on-line catalogue under the subject heading: "Indian Captivities." You can also choose to "f" (find) all works with the "kw" keyword "captiv*" (all words beginning with those five letters, for example, "captive" and "captivity"). Your seach line would look like this: "f kw captiv*" If this is the first time you are using the catalogue, you may wish to read the "Introduction to Using the On-line Catalogue." Once you have received the list of holdings, try sorting it chronologically to see if you can develop any hypotheses about how the nature of captivity narratives change over time--and why.
Here are the listings: through 1800, 1800-1830, 1830's, 1840-1900, 20th century.
And here is an essay that argues that Mary Rowlandson's story should be seen as more than just a captivity narrative.
MOVING TARGETS THE TRAVEL TEXT IN ...MARY ROWLANDSON;
Tuesday, October 19
"Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America," 219;
William Apess's "An Indian's Looking-Glass for the White
Man," 478; Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, "Impressions of
an Indian Girlhood," 1776.
In class you will have the opportunity to use some of the resources listed below to do a brief bit of independent research into one writer. Then we'll visit the Speakeasy Cafe for a discussion of what we've learned and figured out about these writers.
Resources on Apess--
Browse the Modern English Collection -- Electronic Text Center: Native American Collection
Cultural Readings - Print and Native Cultures
PALWilliam Apes or William Apess (Pequot) (1798-)
Resources on Bonnin/Zikala Sa--
Indians of North America--Biography
The School Days of an Indian Girl
An Indian Teacher Among Indians
Voices From the Gaps Gertrude Simmons Bonnin
Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin)
The American Experience America 1900 People & Events
Zitkala-Sa (short author bio)
WestWeb Western Women's History--includes links to Bonnin's texts
Resource on Franklin--
A particularly interesting resource is this chapter on "Philosopher as Savage" from a book entitled FORGOTTEN FOUNDERS, Benjamin Franklin, the Iroquois and the Rationale for the American Revolution, By Bruce E. Johansen.
Thursday, October 21
Douglass, excerpts from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 970.
Web Workshop: Slave Narratives. Resources include:
Documenting the American South: North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920
An Online Anthology American Slave Narratives (WPA Oral History Project) at the University of Virginia
Excerpts from Slave Narratives Courtesy of the University of Houston
Historical Text Archive: AFRICAN AMERICAN SLAVERY
Narrative of Sojurner Truth.
You may also find it useful to read the following selection I've compiled of Arguments Used in Favor of Slavery. If you have any interest in the involvement of women in the abolitionist movement, you may want to read Catharine Beechers' "An essay on slavery and abolitionism, with reference to the duy of American females."
Tuesday, October 26:
Event: Tour of American Antiquarian Society
Thursday, October 28:
Booker T. Washington's "Up From Slavery," 1631, Frederick Douglass's, "A Plea for Free Speech in Boston," 1860, and Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
Twentieth Century Writers on Negotiating Differences
Negotiating Racial Differences
Tuesday, November 2
The poems of Jean Toomer, 2118 ff.; Claude McKay, 2069 ff.; Langston Hughes, 2224 ff.; Micahel S. Harper, 2771 ff.; and Gwendolyn Brooks, 2660 ff.
Harlem Mecca of the New Negro--a Hypermedia edition of the special 1925 edition of the Survey Graphic on the "Renaissance" underway in Harlem.
PAL Harlem Renaissance A Brief Introduction --includes characteristics and typical themes of H.R. writers, a timeline, an assessment of the movement, and a list of links to HR writers.)
Harlem Renaissance Bibliography courtesy of the Black Studies Library of Ohio State University
THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE--a from the University of Southern California. Includes references to books, journal and newspaper articles, and online resources.
Selected List The Harlem Renaissance--a bibliography produced by the staff of the Chicago Public Library.
The report below on Langston Hughes sources was contributed by Kristine Bergevin and Rachel Hummrich as part of their group project:
- Gives a general biography
- Slight overview of Harlem Renaissance
- List of some works by Langston Hughes
- Shows WRONG birth date
- Has picture of Hughes
Longman English Literature: Langston Hughes Page
- Decent biography
- List of works
- Other links (for pictures and info. on Hughes)
The Academy of American Poets - Poetry Exhibits - Langston Hughes
- Quick biography
- Extensive list of works
- Links to other poets during the Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance
- General overview of Harlem Renaissance
- Selected works by artists of that time
The Langston Hughes Tribute
- Extensive list of works
- Pictures of Hughes
- Selected poetry
- Links to other sites
Langston Hughes (1902-1967) Teacher Resource File
- Reviews and criticism of his work
- Sites on how to write poetry
- Links to his poems
- Detailed biography of life
- Selected poems
Thursday, November 4
Cather's "Neighbor Rossicky,"1830; Kingston's "No Name Woman," 2513; Walker's "Everyday Use," 2522.
Group Project by Leeane Griffin, Jessica Anderson and Christy Crandall providing powerpoint presentation and brochure on Cather's life and the themes of her writing.
The Good Life: Kingston and Other Authors on the Books that Shaped Their Lives
Maxine Hong Kingston Research (links, quotes, and criticism on a web site for teachers)
Voices From the Gaps Writers by Racial-Ethnic Background (texts by women writers of color)--A great resource for your upcoming projects.
AmericanWritingGateway: A site provided by Masterpiece Theatre that rates web resources on American authors for the use of students and teachers. Included in the collection are materials on Langston Hughes, Willa Cather, Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, and others.
Willa Cather Page
PAL Willa Cather (1873-1947): Perspectives in American Literature Research and Reference Guide to Willa Cather
Willa Cather--on-line texts courtesy of Itasca Community College
The Affair at Grover Station (1900) by Willa Cather
AITLC Guide to Willa Cather--The Access Indiana Teaching and Learning Center offers resources, on-line texts, and lesson plans.
Photos of Cather
Browse the Modern English Collection -- Electronic Text Center--at the University of Virginia's collection of on-line texts you can find a broad selection of works written by women, including a good assortment of Cather's works.
Tuesday, November 9
Read Richard Rodriguez's "Aria" (in packet).
In-class writing workshop. Come to class with a draft of your essay on disk.
In the centuries after the first Europeans began to settle in America, the idea that civilization must always triumph was frequently used to excuse the treatment of the Indians, slaves, and sometimes other minority groups as well. In a short essay approximately three to five pages in length, discuss the way in which one writer or a group of writers we have read this semester deals with that concept. Does that idea help explain the tone, imagery, or themes of the writing?
Richard Rodriguez claims that it was only possible for him to become an American by acquiring an American identity by acquiring an American way of speaking. Presumably, it is Rodriguez's "American" voice that he uses in his essay. On the other hand, in his essay Rodriguez also attempts to convey a sense of the hispanic voice and identity he lost in the course of his education. It could be argued that Rodriguez employs both of these voices in a strategic fashion in his essay to show both the value of acquiring a public voice as a critical step in becoming accepted as a "real" American, and to show the loss involved in giving up the "other" voice that represents one's connection to family and their culture of origin.
Do any of the other writers we have read this semester seem to share Rodriguez's belief in the existence and importance of a distinctively American voice? Do any other writers seem to employ a formally "American" voice as a strategy for insisting on their inclusion in the culture? Do any other writers seem to introduce some "other" voice to make a different kind of point?
Write an essay in which you use the work of one writer we have studied this semester to explore some of these questions. Discuss the way in which that writer employs a recognizably American voice to convey his or her ideas, and whether the use of such a voice seems to be an effective strategy for reinforcing the authority or appeal of the ideas. If at any point the writer employs a voice that seems to be distinctively "other" in some way, discuss the characteristics of that voice and what strategy you believe might explain the introduction of such a voice.
In order to complete this assignment, you will need to think about how the writer presents his/her material, so you can consider such such things as his/her vocabulary, level of diction (formal or informal), tone of voice (for example, calm or angry, etc.), style of self-presentation, allusions, references to literary or cultural conventions, and shared assumptions or concepts. You will also need to think about the connections between style and content.
It would probably be useful for you to include in your discussion analyses of texts not already discussed in class. For example, if you are interested in Frederick Douglass, you may want to read What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? If you're interested in the differences between the voices used by Douglass and Washington, consider reading the essay written by W.E. Du Bois on "The Evolution of Negro Leadership."
If you're interested in slave narratives, you might wish to compare/contrast two different examples of that genre. For example, you may find striking differences between the autobiographies of Douglass or Washington and the Narrative of Sojurner Truth. What do you think accounts for those differences? Gender? Literacy?(Sojourner Truth could not write.) A difference in purpose or philosophy?
You are welcome to consider writers we have not had the opportunity to discuss in class. If you are looking for interesting texts, consider the work of Zora Neale Hurston (2012 ff.), or Charles Chestnut (1639 ff.). You could also visit the collection of texts available at the very useful Voices From the Gaps site. What you'll find there is a remarkable collection of writing by women from a variety of racial and ethnic groups in America
Thursday, November 11
Planning for Final Exam: Bring Commonplace Books to Class
Group Project presentation by Denise D'Angelo, Julia Simons, Meredith King and Michelle Lennox on the relationship between 19th century American art and literature and the search for an American identity.
On-Line Resources: Norman Rockwell at the Lyceum.
can also consult All
that is Glorious Around Us Paintings from the Hudson River School--a
report on the Worcester Art Museum's exhibition of Hudson River
Tuesday, November 16
Whitman's "Song of Myself," 1057-1068 (Stanzas 1-16)1073-4 (24) 1099-1100 (verses 51-52).
Ginsberg's "Howl," 2698, and "A Supermarket in California," 2704.
Group Project by Dan Esposito and Dan Wajnoski: Selection of "Beat" Texts and Preparation of Resources.
Walt Whitman - Camden's Poet
The Whitman Project Main Index (University of Virginia Whitman Hypertext Archive)
Allen Ginsberg: Ashes and Blues: Includes bibliographies, lists of resources, and even a link to Ginsberg's FBI file.
Allen Ginsberg - Shadow Changes into Bone: offers articles, interviews, poems, photos, and reviews.
Thru the Vortex: Allen Ginsberg and His Poetry-You can find a large assortment of Ginsberg's poetry here.
About.com Poetry - Allen Ginsberg on the Net--A list of recommended Ginsberg sites and resources.
What would you write if asked to compose a review of Whitman's poems? Sample several of the reviews that appeared when the first edition of Leaves of Grass was published and prepare to report on your observations. What were the main reactions of Whitman's contemporaries when they first encountered his verses? Were they any differences among the readers, and do you have any way of explaining those differences?
If you were asked to write a review of Ginsberg's poetry, would it be similar or different from your review of Whitman's work? Would any of the reactions expressed by Whitman's reviewers be appropriate responses to Ginsberg's poems?
Do you think of Ginsberg and/or Whitman as distinctively American poets?
Thursday, November 1
Group Project: Tour of Worcester Art Museum conducted by Shana Dalton, Laura Bohondoney, Becky Hunter, and Alison Mason.
can take your own on-line tour of 48 of the pictures that are
part of the museum's American collection by visiting About.com
Tuesday, November 23
Chopin's "At the 'Cadian Ball," 1605, "The Storm," 1612, and "Desiree's Baby," 1616.
Group Project by Nicole Morin and Carrie DeBlois: Selection of Texts and Preparation of Resources.
Online Resources prepared by Nicole and Carrie:
Nicole and Carrie have set up tables at the Speakeasy Cafe in the hopes of helping us to have a productive discussion of some of the themes in Chopin's work.
November 25 Thanksgiving
Tuesday, November 30
20th Century American Advice on Living and a Look Back at Earlier Advice
Fitzgerald, "Winter Dreams," 2125; Updike, "Separating," 2433; Cheever, "The Swimmer," 2350.
Group Project: Preparation of Resources on Contemporary
Advice Books presented by Katie Stawarz and Michele Krajewski.
Thursday, December 2
Discussion of Final Examination
James Baldwin's "What It Means to be an American," and "Sonny's Blues."
Cafe to compare ideas on Baldwin.
Tuesday, December 7
Preparation for Final: Discussion of essay by Irving Howe and selected essay from "Big Guns in the Canon Wars."