HW for next class (Th 2/27)

Just a reminder that we do not have class this Th 2/20, because it is a CUNY Monday. Therefore, the next time we will meet in person is Th 2/27.

Since a number of you missed class last Th (2/13) due to the snowstorm, that means that many of us will not have seen each other in 3 weeks by then! While we will still move forward with the new reading (we are moving from short stories to novels, and you should have already started to read Brave New World … I hope that you’re enjoying it so far!), in the meantime we will continue our conversations online about the three short stories, because they are an important foundation for our future conversations about utopias/dystopias (and also because they will be on the Midterm exam!).

As a result, we have a number of things due for next week (please pay particular attention to due dates, as they vary), which will count for your OpenLab composing and Participation course grades. For our next class, on Th 2/27, you should do all of the following:

1. Read chapters 1-5 of Brave New World and post a reading response.

Don’t forget, as you read, to annotate the text, to take note of the Elements of Fiction (characters, setting, plot, point of view, conflict, theme, imagery, etc.), and to consult the Utopian/Dystopian Framework and answer its questions in the context of the novel. Come to class prepared to discuss all of the items on the framework in relation to the first part of this novel, as we work together to get a handle on what type of world the World State is (and what it values).

As always, your response post should incorporate specific details/scenes/quotes (with correct citations, in MLA format) from the text. Categorize appropriately. And, as always, this reading response is due the night before class (W 2/26).

2. Create a “My Utopia” post.

Perhaps it would be best if you imagined as your own fancy bids, assuming it will rise to the occasion, for certainly I can not suit you all (2).

What else, what else belongs in the joyous city? (3).

In the above excerpts from Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” the narrator speaks directly to the readers, asking us to participate in creating this “perfect” city (and perhaps therefore to be complicit in the child’s suffering as well). Now, it is your turn to imagine your own “utopia,” to describe what your ideal world would be like.

  • Make a post in which you describe your own “utopia” (your ideal world), in as much detail as possible. Your post may take any form you find conducive to conveying your utopian vision (e.g. it could be a description of a place, a story that shows us the values in action, dialogue between characters, etc.). I encourage you to make a multimedia post (add images, videos, music, links, etc.), if you need more than just words to communicate your ideal society.
  • Minimum of 500 words (though it will likely be longer!), categorize appropriately, and post by Su night (2/23).
  • Before class, o back and read/comment on your classmates’ utopian visions. What is your reaction to your classmates’ ideal worlds? Are there elements there that, to you, are not utopian? Perhaps even dystopian? Why? Look at the Utopian/Dystopian Framework, and try to apply it to their utopian visions. What values can identify lurking beneath the surface of the vision?
  • Come to class prepared to discuss these visions (yours and your classmates), and to provide a rationale for your own utopian vision.

3. For those of you who missed class on Th 2/13, contact a classmate who was there to get their notes/find out what we covered.

We spent all of class last Thursday (2/13) writing about and discussing “The Machine Stops” according to its central “conflicts” and the Utopian/Dystopian framework. Therefore, if you missed class, make sure to contact a classmate who was there to get notes/find out what we covered (as stated on the syllabus, you are responsible for that material, even when you are absent).

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