Note: All work on this page is shared with student permission.
In this end-of-term “critical-creative” project, students assemble the analytical, creative, and research skills we scaffold together over the semester. They begin by formulating a research question and working with secondary sources to develop their own arguments. They then reflect on our discussions about form as they choose the best genre for conveying their discoveries. Students accompany the project with a critical reflection on their own creative process that explains their formal choices in relation to theoretical frameworks discussed in class.
Video Essay | “Gloria Anzaldúa’s Mestiza Consciousness and the Current Movement for Racial Equality”
Website | “Resistance, Material, and Movement: Investigating the Creative Opposition to Political Repression,” on Antonio José Ponte and Maria Irene Fornés
Prezi Presentation | Theories of Movement and Space in Works by M. NourbeSe Philip and María Irene Fornés
COLLABORATIVE MAPPING PROJECT
At the end of my Fall 2019 Comparative Caribbeans course, we shifted our focus from texts set in the Caribbean to literary works and media dealing with migration and diaspora. We decided to investigate Caribbean influences in our local city of Atlanta by using ArcGIS software to build a map of Caribbean restaurants in the area.
The students were able to make visual observations about the spatial organization of local diasporic communities and practice using visual mapping to generate new research questions related to our course themes of place and identity. We closed with a brainstorm session about what kinds of scholarly sources and additional data sets we could layer into our map in the future (like cultural organizations or public resources) to help us effectively respond to the questions they came up with.
Digital Map | Finding the Caribbean Diaspora in Atlanta
For the first major writing assignment, I often assign a close reading paper on a single text. I evaluate the students’ abilities to engage with the text’s complexities and build a debatable thesis that they ground in evidence-based textual analysis, showing their thinking on the page. Over the course of semester, students improve their writing through peer reviews, revisions, and instructor feedback. By end of term, they can conduct a comparative analysis of multiple texts and make a nuanced argument that engages with secondary scholarship and historical context.
Student X’s First Paper | Close Reading — “Ruben Darío’s ‘To Roosevelt'”
Student X’s Final Paper | Comparative Analysis — “Narrating The Journey from The New Land”