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Notes Towards Day 15 (Tuesday, 10/29): Reading Economically

Anne Dalke's picture

all gather in Mark's classroom for full period

I. 11:25-11:35-->
upcoming plans
Eco-360 handouts

* your availability re: a final city "gathering"?

* re: Nicole Canuso Dance Company's production of The Garden
(to be seen no more/no less than six in a group), @ 233 N Bread St;
possibilities include

6, 7:30 & 9 on Thurs, Nov. 7, 14
6, 7:30 & 9 p.m. on Fris, Nov. 8, Nov. 15,
6 & 7:30 & 9 p.m. on Sats, Nov. 9, Nov. 16
4:30 & 6 & 7:30 on Suns, Nov. 10, Nov. 17
6 & 7:30 on Mon, Nov. 11

* traveling to Eastern State Penitentiary this weekend:
R100 tokens, transfer to Market Street El and disembark @
30th Street or 15th Street (City Hall) and walk north approx. 8 blocks:

Eastern State is @ 2027 Fairmount Avenue, and is open every day 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The main audio tour path is approximately 45 minutes long, although
there are several hours of additional "random access" audio stops.

* In addition, we are asking you to spend @ least 1/2 an hour alone in a cell--
w/out using your phone, camera, computer--or doing any writing.

You have visited a number of effusive cultural sites (and will visit some more),
but we really haven’t yet directly broached the class divide/history of poverty and crime.
Eastern State "has a voice," the capacity to speak to you, from its body to yours…

* to prepare for that trip, please read Jennifer Janofsky's essay about Eastern State
(in our password protected file); whether or not we get to discuss it in class on Thursday,
it offers an important framing for your experience @ the prison

II. In further preparation for that trip, and also to complexify our analyses of NW,
we also asked you to read a series of 3 short texts for today:
Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl";
Definition of Marxist Criticism, and
Margaret Waid. Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl": A Marxist Reading.

III. Let's walk through what's going on here, in this sequence of texts:
* go 'round, reading "Girl" aloud (one clause per student)
* go 'round again, saying one thing that you notice about the story/poem
* what does Wald notice?
no plot! no cause-and-effect!
instead: moral precepts--> social role -->
market value/reproduction of labor/no deviation
(= self perpetuation of ideology that keeps working class in place)
absence of plot=condition of working class:
no progress, advancement, just perpetuation of labor
* what else might a Marxist critic notice?
what sorts of things does this lens bring into view?

IV. Let's try this w/ NW-->if we used an economic lens, what would we see?
write about this, and go 'round a third time??

V. your writing assignment this week will not be directly about your trip to the city,
but rather one of re-thinking/growing your NW paper (3-5pp) w/ another,
or more sharply focused lens than the one you used over the weekend--

which will either complexify or re-orient the focus of last weekend's paper
(we are suggesting this economic/Marxist lens, though you may find/choose another...)

* homework for Wed night--post your plan for doing this: describe
the lens you used this weekend;
how you might shift/alter/re-focus it this week, & then
speculate about what dimensions of the text might come in view when you do so

* 3-part homework for Thursday's class:
--post your plan
--read the essays written by the other members of your writing group,

we will get into writing groups to work on these together--
and also have our 'final' larger-group discussion of NW