Office Hours: TTh 12:30-1:30 p.m., and by appointment, Gregory 154

Class Meeting Time: TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m., Henkel 107

Monday, January 18, 2016

Welcome to English 102!

Welcome to English 102 and to the Spring 2016 semester!

This course blog is an online extension of our classroom space. It's a paperless way for me to make important course information accessible to you from any Internet-accesible computer. I hope you will explore the current course information supplied here as well as archival materials that can give you an idea of how the course has run in the past. Be sure to check this blog often for new information useful to your success in this course. I will also use this space to post queries for your response, course announcements, and other news or events of interest to beginning literary scholars. Please feel free to post any initial questions or comments about the course here.

I look forward to working with you this semester.

Dr. Brown

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Online Class Assignment 11/3/15

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an analysis [click here] of recent studies showing hiring managers' disappointment with the unsatisfactory skill sets of recent college graduates. Given that you are in college now, what lessons can you learn from this article? What can you do now, in college, to position yourself to impress rather than depress your future employers? Assignment: On a paper copy of the article mentioned above, underline three specific complaints that hiring managers are reported as making about recent college graduates. In the margins near each complaint underlined, write a sentence of what, specifically, you will do to prevent yourself from becoming a similarly poorly-prepared job applicant after your own graduation. This assignment is designed to help you identify key elements of an argument and respond to them. Due: Thursday, 11/5, at the beginning of class.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

[Archive] Learning Activity Online Presentation Assignment

Assignment: If you chose to complete the Reading a Region Learning Activity, then please post a comment to this post that presents your work to the class. Your post should include the following:

Image courtesy of photoraidz
1. Your name
2. The global region on which you focused your project
3. The specific group you surveyed: how do you know this group, what is its size, how did you survey the members?
4. A brief statement of what the survey results showed
5. A short paragraph summarizing what you learned from completing this learning activity

This post counts as the presentation part of your Learning Activity grade and is due by midnight on Friday, October 15, 2014.

[Archive] WRETCHED OF THE EARTH Assignment for Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

Image courtesy of Simon Howden
Assignment: Answer the following questions in a very short 100- to 200-word essay that is a comment to this post: Explain what Frantz Fanon means in The Wretched of the Earth when he advocates for a “poetry of revolt.” Why is literature important to a liberation struggle? And how does Wole Soyinka's play Death and the King's Horseman exemplify Fanon’s idea? Cite specific examples and text from Soyinka's play and Fanon’s essay that support your claim. You may use your reading notes, the readings, and any helpful links on this course blog. You may either work individually or with one partner from class. Your comment may respond to previous comments as long as it otherwise fulfills these assignment criteria. Citation includes in-text citation and a list of Works Cited. See the citation link on this blog for instructions. Each comment must include your name (and your partner's if you have one) and use standard English. This assignment counts as two participation grades. All work is due by midnight on Friday, 10/17/14.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

[Archive] Chenjerai Hove's Bones: Assignment, 3/20/14

Image: A section from page 1
We have discussed the historical background of Hove's novel. This assignment is designed to get you thinking about the novel's literary elements. This assignment is open book, open blog, and open class notes. You may not use any other online sources for this assignment.

Assignment: Each group of three to four as assigned in class will answer the following questions in a comment to this post. Provide properly cited textual evidence for each answer.

1. What is the setting of this novel?
2. Who are the principle characters and what are their relationships to each other?
3. What is the principle conflict of this novel?
4. Describe is the author's style.
5. Describe the author's tone, overall, throughout the novel.
6. What is the symbolic significance of bones in the novel?
7. What is the thematic significance of the novel's narration and point of view?
8. What does disease symbolize in the novel?

Each comment must include all group members' names and use standard English. Numbers 1-4 of this assignment count as one participation grade; numbers 5-8 count as one participation grade. All work is due by midnight on 3/25/14.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

[Archive] The Wretched of the Earth Assignment for Tuesday, 3/4/14

We have discussed the ways that translators and foreign invaders can distort descriptions of other cultures that they view through their own cultural lenses. We also know that, as readers, we must be careful not to distort our perceptions of other cultures through our own cultural lenses. In today's selection from The Wretched of the Earth, most of the chapter entitled "On National Culture," Frantz Fanon pushes this learning one step further by advocating for a national literature and, more, "a poetry of revolt" (226).

Cover of Fanon's
Groundbreaking Study
Image credit:
Assignment: In a two- to three-paragraph comment to this post, answer this prompt: Explain what Fanon means when he advocates for a “poetry of revolt.” Why is literature important to a liberation struggle? How does Keita Fodeba's play, "African Dawn," exemplify Fanon’s idea? Cite both the play and the selection from Fanon's book in support of your claim.

Use standard English. Include your name. Your comment may respond to previous comments as long as it otherwise fulfills these assignment criteria. Citation includes in-text citation and a list of Works Cited. See the citation link on this blog for instructions. This assignment counts as one participation grade and is due by midnight on 3/5/14.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

[Archive] Death and the King's Horseman Assignment for 2/27/14

The class will divide into three groups, each of which will address all of the following questions. For each question, provide textual evidence (quotation and page number). Each group will submit its answers as a comment to this post by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, 2/28/14. This is a graded assignment. Questions #1-4 will count as one participation grade; #5-9 will count as a second participation grade. Each correct extra credit answer counts as one point, such that it is possible to earn one grade of 5 and one of 6 on a 4-point scale.

1. Why does Olunde refuse to look at his father?
2. Why does Iyaloja assent to Elesin’s marriage to her son’s fiancĂ©?
3. Elesin does/not die at the appointed time (which is it?)
4. Whose visit to the colony is Pilkings afraid that Elesin's ritual will mar?
5. What religion are Joseph and Amusa?
6. Why and how does Olunde end up dead?
7. Name an animal killed to accompany the king into the next life.
8. Who or what impedes (or tries to impede) Elesin's ritual?
9. Bibliographic citation of the edition of the play your group used, as it would appear in a list of Works Cited.

Extra Credit:
1. What does Elesin's new bride do as part of his burial ceremony?
2. To whom does Jane Pilkings speak to outside the ball?

A note on submission: Each group will submit one set of answers. Each set of answers must include all group members' names. The submitting group member will require an online profile in order to submit the group's answers. You are welcome to disable that profile or delete your post after the conclusion of the semester if you wish. If any group member has concerns regarding posting online, please speak to me individually for alternate submission arrangements.