In addition to participating in blog discussion forums with your classmates, in English 102, you will have four major writing assignments in which you will create your own pieces of literature/art/analysis:
- An analysis of a spoken word piece;
- An research essay analyzing Intersections;
- An analysis of Ms. Marvel; and
- An in-class essay.
You will have to create a 600-word analytically reflective artist’s statement regarding what you learned, what you didn’t learn, how you can use what you learned, etc., with assignments one and three.
For assignments one and three, you will choose the format of your piece from the following list of choices (for assignment one, you will choose from one category; for assignment three, you will choose from a different category) —
Conceptual set design
Role play performance
Create a game
Before each assignment is due, you will get a hard copy and two online copies (on the course blog and Google Docs) of the specific expectations. Before each assignment is set, we will always have the opportunity to review these assignments in class together. Further, you will be encouraged to edit/comment on the assignment parameters on Google Docs to make sure everything is crystal clear and that you get to shape expectations.
Through this process of shaping our expectations, I’d like to share something that is important to me. Education is often designed for people who already have access to education: academic writing is designed by and for people who have experience with… academic writing! Perhaps you’ve experienced this in your previous courses/school work. This racialized power that accompanies language — allowing white professors, like me, access to a world that many students, especially students of color, are often denied access to — is important to discuss, and we will be doing this a lot in our class. In the same way that I want you to feel empowered to correct me if course materials aren’t accessible in terms of learning styles and dis/ability, please do so also if there are culturally relevant methods that would help you learn better that I am not thinking of or currently valuing.
In addition to this, there are a few things each of the assignments will have in common:
Each assignment will require you to submit pieces of your thoughts — drafts — in advance of the due date, and these are extremely important. They do not have to be perfect — far from it! — but these drafts will be a very important part of our work together. Importantly, you have to annotate each of your drafts with specific questions for me and for your peers!
For each draft, you will review and comment on the work of one or more of your peers. These reviews are crucial, not only to help you and your peers experience each other’s writing processes and make each other’s projects stronger, but to build the kind of collaborative writing environment that will make our classroom a generative space.
Each assignment portfolio (including your peer reviews, your revisions, and your due date copy) must be submitted with a short artist’s statement that you create after completing the assignment, in which you will reflect critically on your own process of creation.