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Reading Others, Reading Ourselves: Notes Towards Day 31 (Tues, Apr. 4)

Anne Dalke's picture

I. (2:25-2:30) course-keeping
for Wednesday, please read all the postings from this past weekend,
and the first three chapters of Angela Davis's book, Are Prisons Obsolete?
Read esp. for the question she's asking about how to get under the hegemonic question
of prisons as inevitable. How can we read our world beneath our assumptions
of what is real, necessary, unquestionable?

II. (2:30-3:00) Americanah, to end

had asked each of you to select one passage you'd like us to discuss;
jane doe posted one esp. relevant to our prison, so let's start there there:

In our conversations about incarceration, literacy, and the intersection of the two. We should keep in mind those undocumented immigrants who are held in facilities as deplorable as prisons. We should definitely keep this in mind when discussing Americanah, a novel that details an immigrant's experience. 

  • What are deportable defenses?
  • What do detention centers look like?
  • What are crimes of moral terpitude? 
  • How does documentation complicate the ways in which you interact with the criminal justice system? 
  • How does race further impact these questions? 

these are social science questions emerging from the novel;
go back to the passage where Obinze's detention is described,
and really look @ what Adichie is doing here.

Read silently
[Ch. 30, p. 346, beginning 'He was led into a room"
to end of p. 349, "They were all under the spell of his misfortune."]

Jot down your responses: how does this passage
address the kinds of questions jane doe asks?
what else do you see it doing?

Maybe discuss the use-value of novels:
we've described the short shelf-time of blogs;
are we reading novels the same way,
for immediate reports on life today?
Might they be doing something different??

When you read Angela Davis, look esp.
@ her comments in Chapter 3 on the relationship
between the rise of the novel and the
rise of the prison industrial complex.

Turn to a partner and share the passage
you selected from Adichie's novel.

Question about whether to go on w/ this tomorrow?

IV. (3:00-3:45) Olivia's writing workshop

V. concluding remarks about these projects:
*invite you all to think about a “web event”
as a different “genre” than your usual paper
--find a title that will call others in [“First Essay” or “Paper #1”
or even “Politics of Education Paper” really won’t do it!]
--think about an image that will grab your reader/viewer
--might want to use bullet points or pull-out quotes (the way blogs do)
--there are a lot of options to make the reading more accessible….
we do care about formal bibliographies—see them as an important archive of who you are thinking with,
and an invitation your readers to expand their own reading, exploring; it’s easy to follow the standard format
for doing this (which will enable others to trace your sources): use to generate your citations