Fourth Module: Postmodern and Contemporary Literature

Fourth Module: Postmodern and Contemporary Literature

Please refer to the writing hints and the rubric before starting the assignment.
Grading Rubric
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A = students have demonstrated an ability to draw a critical conclusion about a text, have used textual evidence to support conclusions, have identified the era, genre, and literary devices used in the text.
B = students have demonstrated an ability to draw a conclusion about a text, have used little textual evidence to support conclusions, have identified either the era or the literary devices used in the text.
C = students have used little textual evidence, fail to identity literary devices and era, and draw no conclusions.
D = students have used NO textual evidence, misidentify literary devices, era, or genre, and fail to make an argument or draw a conclusion.
F = students fail to identify anything.
The best way to demonstrate what you have learned is to use two or three specific examples from the text, making sure that you identify the era, say something about the writer’s life and times, make sure that you match the correct writer with the correct work and the correct genre. Even if the question is an opinion question, students should make sure that that s/he has matched the correct writer with the correct work.
Here are a few hints about writing journal entries:
1.) Developing an idea counts. Please use examples from the text and/or something else you have read to make your arguments.
2.) Grammar counts. While this is not a writing course, grammar does count in all courses. Please be aware of pronoun usage, please double-check your subjects and verbs.
3.) Identify the time period in which the work was written, identify the genre (is the work a poem or a story or an essay, fiction or nonfiction?) and, when possible, use details from the author’s life to give a broader perspective on the work. Please do not refer to a work of fiction as a fictional story as that is it redundant.
4.) Even with opinion questions students need to develop an idea and correctly identify the author and the genre of the work.
5.) Language that is insensitive to Title IX issues will not be tolerated.
6.) The format should be a question and answer form. Cut and paste the questions, including numbers. The question should be in bold type. Each question needs to be answered separately.
7.) Proofread!
Please contact me with questions if any part of the assignment does not make sense to you.
The correct format for journal assignments is: copy and paste the questions, highlight the questions in bold, answer the questions underneath. There is no need to change the ink color. Journal assignments that are not turned in the correct format will not be graded.
Essays are not the same as a journal format.
8.) The minimum word count, per answer, is 150 words.

The final journal assignment must be submitted via Canvas and on time. No credit will be given to students who attach the assignment to an email and send it to me in an attempt to receive credit.
1.) Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif” was the only published short story in her lifetime. She wanted it to be an experiment in blurring the lines between the races. Did she succeed? Why or why not? In what ways is the story also about socio-economic class? Please use and cite specific details from the short story.

2.) Joan Didion is primarily known as stylist. In what ways does “Why I Write” use a clearer writing style than some authors you have read in the course?

3.) In what ways is Joan Didion offering a classical argument in “Why I Write”? Please use and cite specific details from the essay.

4.) Taken together, “Why I Write” by Joan Didion and the audio clips from Al Young and Natasha Trethewey offer insights into why writers write. In what ways does knowing the “why” help you better understand the broader implications of what it means to be a writer? All three writers must be cited.

5.) What are the central cultural conflicts in Leslie Marmon Silko’s short story “Lullaby”? I

6.) In what ways does Leslie Marmon Silko ask the reader to question her/his assumptions about indigenous culture? Please cite specific details from the short story.

7.) In what ways are horses the central metaphor in Joy Harjo’s “She Had Some Horses”? What other word could be inserted for horses? In what ways does the repetition (a traditional element of indigenous writing) build tension in the poem? (Please do not embed, anywhere in this answer, that horses are symbols of Native American culture. Various tribes have assorted animals as symbols.)

8) Sherman Alexie blends humor and grief conversationally in his poetry. In what ways can literature help us better understand stressful situations in our lives?

9.) What are the themes and subjects of Natasha Trethewey’s poetry? In what ways does Natasha Trethewey’s family life offer insights to the broader Civil Rights Movement during her childhood?

10.) Both Anne Lamott and Roxane Gay are considered to be popular writers as well as literary writers. In what ways do they connect writing and living a thoughtful life?

11.) In what ways is Ursula Villarreal-Moura’s essay about more than the loss of a grandparent? What does it mean to lose one’s language, one’s culture?

12.)What have you learned about yourself through the readings from the course?
Reminder: The final journal assignment must be submitted via Canvas and on time. No credit will be given to students who attach the assignment to an email and send it to me in an attempt to receive credit.

Toni Morrison
Introductory Videos:
https://www.biography.com/people/toni-morrison-9415590Links to an external site.
Toni Morrison, “Recitatif”, (short story pdf)
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=bm9ydGhhbmRvdmVycHVibGljc2Nob29scy5jb218aW50ZXJuYXRpb25hbC10aG91Z2h0fGd4OjE2OGQ5ODg4MTFkMWY4MzY

Joan Didion-2
Notes:
Joan Didion.docxDownload Joan Didion.docx
Video:

Joan Didion | The Most Powerful Author in American HistoryLinks to an external site.
“Why I Write” (essay, pdf)
https://vdocuments.site/documents/why-i-write-joan-didion.html

Al Young-2
Audio Clip of Al Young.
https://www.npr.org/books/authors/138239451/al-youngLinks to an external site.
Poems by Al Young.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/al-youngLinks to an external site.
Al Young is also a novelist and memoirist.

Leslie Marmon Silko-3
Notes:
Leslie Marmon Silko.docDownload Leslie Marmon Silko.doc
Leslie Marmon Silko, How to Connect to Nature, Even in the CityLinks to an external site.

Leslie Marmon Silko, “Lullaby” (short story, pdf)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1W56VSKp7-7y8po_qGp0T6Fd6mdfHh7LYdrwYt0xgTZM/edit

Joy Harjo-2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojXYP-pqKK8Links to an external site.

https://www.best-poems.net/joy-harjo/she-had-some-horses.html

Sherman Alexie-2
Sherman Alexie on Living Outside BordersLinks to an external site.

Notes:
Sherman Alexie.docxDownload Sherman Alexie.docx
Sherman Alexie, “Good Hair” (poem pdf)
https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/good-hair/

Natasha Trethewey
Notes on Natasha Trethewey:
Natasha Trethewey.docxDownload Natasha Trethewey.docx
Audio clip of Natasha Trethewey:
https://www.npr.org/2018/11/03/663448203/natasha-trethewey-poetry-speaks-across-the-lines-that-would-divide-usLinks to an external site.
Poetry by Natasha Trethewey:
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/natasha-tretheweyLinks to an external site.
Essay by Natasha Trethewey (nonfiction)
https://www.southernliving.com/culture/natasha-trethewey-essay

Anne Lamott and Roxane Gay-2
Roxane Gay: Confessions of a bad feministLinks to an external site.
https://www.google.com/search?q=anne+lamott+ted+talk&rlz=1C1GCEU_enUS822US822&oq=anne+lamott%2C+ted+&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l4.5908j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Ursula Villarreal-Moura-2
https://catapult.co/stories/of-spanish-and-my-grandmother