English 173: Introduction to Multicultural Literature

Affiliation

Name: Roberta Hill
SCID: College of Letters & Science
Department: English
Course Name: English 173: Introduction to Multicultural LiteratureCourse Objectives:CO1: to engage students in the practice of inquiry as a means for recognizing the humanizing force
of the arts: literature, music and visual art, and how the arts use the power of the imagination to
oppose oppression.
CO2: to increase awareness of self and others, increase ways to recognize and question assumptions
and increase the ability to conceptualize history’s impact on the present, particularly on the lives of
racially marginalized people in the U. S.
CO3: to acquire a vocabulary for interpreting multicultural literature and life experiences through
discussion, writing and multimedia presentations
CO4: to become familiar with the systems properties of chaos theory and the concepts and analytical
tools of cultural theory
CO5: to develop a critical consciousness, such that students can interrogate the master narrative of
colonization and white supremacist ideology
CO6: to increase knowledge of authorial intention, the cultural context, perspective and artistic
practice of Native American, African American, Chicano/a Latino/a and Asian American authors and
poets.
CO7: to increase skill and enjoyment reading and reflecting on difficult texts

Course Units:

CU1: Language, Voice and Soul: Poetry and Virtual Experience
CU2: Storytelling as Butterfly Power: Myth and Genres of Memory
CU3: The Power in the Play: Drama and Dance
CU3: Complexity of recognizing Self in the Other: Fiction

Unit Objectives:

UNIT TITLE: LANGUAGE, VOICE AND SOUL

UO1: to engage in the practice of inquiry in order to recognize the humanizing force of the arts
UO2: to increase awareness, question assumptions, conceptualize history’s impact on racially
marginalized populations in the U. S.
UO3: to introduce a vocabulary for interpreting literature, using chaos theory and cultural theory
UO4: to increase skill and enjoyment reading and reflecting on difficult texts

Activity One

Activity: SET OF NATIVE AMERICAN POETRY
Description:Students observe four images/photos: a fractal image of trees and clouds, the COBE map of dark matter filaments, a multicultural group of people dancing, and an historical photo of a plains Indian camp. They write the answers to four questions, focusing on associations and analogies: what patterns do you observe?; what does the image remind you of?, which one is real?; and what is the image similar to?Modality: CAT
Activity Sequence: Pre-class activity before discussing the poetry reading assignment
Objectives Supported: UO1 – 4
Horton Type: do
Bloom’s Level: Understand/Explain; Apply; Analyze
Evidence: In-class discussion, with self-assessment and discriminating feedback to show how this mental activity is related to interpretation — finding patterns, associations, being open to possibilities and comparisons
Time on Task: Online outside of class – no more than 30 minutes
Required Knowledge: Observation; association; analysis; comparison and writing
Pedagogical Role: This is a pre-class and in-class activity — all students speak up
Social Role: All students speak up and share their answers
Managerial Role: This online activity will be available Friday through Monday, first week
Technical Role: I must get familiar with CANVAS to post materials on line.
Technical Role:

Activity Two

Activity: INTERPRETATION OF NATIVE AMERICAN POETRY
Description:The students read a selection of poems by Native American poets. They have online a list of 12 definitions we will use in our first discussion of poetry. I model with one poem what I’m asking them to do and provide relevant cultural information and references, both orally and in a handout list. I give them a report sheet. Pairs of students take one to three poems and respond to the questions listed, using one or more of the definitions. Our goal is to understand the speaker’s voice and situation, the tension and the emotional truth of the poem. In the set, student pairs identify the most “muddy” line, image or phrase and report their response to the class. Not everyone will agree on the “muddy” line, so I can have them remember “inquiry” is a process and we remain open to potential meaning.Modality: Group discussion
Activity Sequence: In-Class discussion followed by post class posting of results
Objectives Supported: UO 1, 2, 3 and possibly 4 (for some students, poetry is difficult)
Horton Type: Connect activity, because they must reflect on their own experience and feelings to “unpack” the emotional truth of the poem
Bloom’s Level: Apply (definitions); interpret; Analyze (voice, situation, feeling); Evaluate the responses from each pair of students.
Evidence: In the class discussion and presentations by each pair and in their response sheet
Time on Task: Class period
Required Knowledge: Reading of the poems, an understanding of looking for patterns, associations, staying open to interpretation (risk not deciding too soon), and seeking comparisons from their own experiences
Pedagogical Role: In-class activity
Social Role: Students share their results. I encourage them not to agree readily and to ask for textual evidence for interpretations that diverge from what the class agrees with, because sometimes a divergent view is brilliant and sometimes it is based on a misreading.
Managerial Role: In-class activity, but I collect the response sheets and type up their answers and post them online, so they can see what each pair of students’ responses.
Technical Role: I need to know how to post word documents on Canvas for each week.
Technical Role:

Activity Three

Activity:END OF SECTION ON POETRY BY POETS LISTED
Description:After we’ve gone through three sets of poems — African American, Asian American, Chicano/Latino poems. To celebrate the inherent strength that gets a person to resist genocide and artistically respond to oppression, the groups prepare a short power point presentation that focuses on a concept (definitions) and uses images and lines from two to four poems to illustrate the real life dilemma the speaker faced and how the emotional truths challenged oppression.Modality: Begin in-class with discussion of assignment and rubric; students complete the PP presentation out of class – given one week and time to work during one class time (not meeting but meeting together)
Activity Sequence: After three weeks of reading poetry, this is a multimedia project (in groups of three) where they illustrate a concept and use textual evidence from three to four poems, plus what they’ve gained from other two courses, to deepen understanding about the dilemmas and the moral choices of the speakers in the poems.
Objectives Supported: UO 1 – 4
Horton Type: Absorb, do and connect, because they need to be open to other students’ ideas and interpretations and they need to share/connect their own and they need to create together for a presentation.
Bloom’s Level: Remember, evaluate, create
Evidence: A rubric which shows levels of accomplishment
Time on Task: 30 minutes outside of class; 75 minutes, one class period working together outside of class: October 5, 2017. Class will not meet on this day.
Required Knowledge: Self-knowledge of their interpretations; familiarity with the material; ability to work with two other students and listen to their ideas.
Pedagogical Role: 3 class periods; we watch their presentations and reflect on their insights into the virtual experiences expressed in the poetry.
Social Role: They have to show that all group members had input into the final PPP
Managerial Role: We’ll begin this on a Tuesday, they will have Wednesday to raise 4 questions and discuss their project, if they need to; otherwise, they will need to work it through on their own.
Technical Role: Making sure they know they can check Lynda.com or get a private session with a STS trainer; I need to make sure I can have them put their work in a drop box on Canvas.
Technical Role:

Activity Four

Activity: READING N. SCOTT MOMADAY’S THE WAY TO RAINY MOUNTAIN
Description:Pre-Class activity: Students skim through this text and circle or identify in a list words that are evocative. They also write a short paragraph on their identity and what lineage they’d trace back to primordial time, if they could do so. (If you could go back 500 years, what lineage in your identity would you choose to trace back?)Modality: CAT
Activity Sequence: Pre-class activity before discussing the first section of WTRM
Objectives Supported: U0 1 – 4
Horton Type: Do and connect, because they need to reflect on their human connection in their identity and in their lineage.
Bloom’s Level: Apply (choosing evocative words); create (writing on their lineage)
Evidence: We’ll collect through discussion the evocative words, with each student sharing at least three; I’ll ask them to share something in class about their identity, as chosen, and their lineage then I’ll collect their paragraphs and respond to them.
Time on Task: No more than 45 minutes
Required Knowledge: Skimming a text; writing down words or circling them; writing a short paragraph about their identity
Pedagogical Role: This is the first book/text we’ll study and it serves as a bridge to storytelling, myth, history and lyrical voices. Momaday’s authorial intention in writing it was to answer the question: Who is an Indian? How can a modern Kiowa, university educated, a man who grew up away from his tribe, how can such a man imagine himself to be Kiowa? This book shares the imaginative task of identity creation and self-acceptance, particularly the importance of the power of imagination.
Social Role: This book is risky because it challenges in some ways the idea of essentialism in identity; students will work through the process of sharing and gaining support for identity formation.
Managerial Role: Freshmen, unlike seniors, are pro-actively accepting and social. My role will be to make sure that those with identities that are tenuous, that are conflicted or expect to be rejected, find a welcoming and accepting group. One issue that requires vigilance is to make sure that “class” differences (socioeconomic differences) are as accepted as “race” and “gender” and “ethnic” differences. Poverty is no more a choice than race, gender or ethnicity, but students sometimes think it is, socialized into the “bootstrap” American ideology.
Technical Role: No need for technical expertise here, because it’s all in class.
Technical Role:

Activity Five

Activity: THE WAY TO RAINY MOUNTAIN MODELED ESSAY
Description:Out of class essay (short 3 to 4 pages) or IMovie, with explanations of grades and examples of successful papers and IMovies. In this essay or IMovie, they research their lineage and model their essay or script on Momday’s narrative structure — myth, generational history, personal lyrical experience.Modality: Individual writing and gathering of information and sources; photos and family stories
Activity Sequence: Post-class, end of the unit and end of reading WTRM.
Objectives Supported: UO 1 – 4
Horton Type: Do and Connect
Bloom’s Level: Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate and Create
Evidence: The final paper or IMovie
Time on Task: One week after the end of discussion of WTRM
Required Knowledge: Reading the text: WTRM; self-knowledge and willingness to research racial, ethnic, indigenous, and family lineage; writing and creating a story (which isn’t as easy as most of us think)
Pedagogical Role: Students share their work in class, either by showing their IMovies or by reading a selection from their essays. They read/share one after another without comments from the class; this leads to students asking each other questions outside of class about themselves. If I have questions about their papers/IMovies, then they make an appointment to see me. This is done for a letter grade and the criteria are provided with the assignment.
Social Role: This provides students a chance to take risks and reveal some truth about who they are, so it often creates bonds for the whole class, as well as for certain pairs who find a similarity or resonance in their identities.
Managerial Role: Making sure that whoever takes a big risk is respected and celebrated for revealing themselves to others; I let them know that self- knowledge and self-revelation are admirable and that the best authors and poets claim their humanity.
Technical Role: I will need to know how to put these results on CANVAS.
Technical Role:

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