We have approximately two weeks left in our semester. Please email me your paper topics this week. You can focus on any writer (and writings) we have covered, or the few who are to come.



The essay will be due Wed. Dec. 20. Please email me about any questions you may have or for a topic suggestion (mnoonan@citytech.cuny.edu).

I am happy to review early drafts. Please upload your essay in our shared googledrive: HERE.

To upload a file from your computer press “new” (on upper left corner) and then “upload file”.


On April 12 1861, at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, Americans from the North (the Union) and the South (the Confederacy) would start a brutal bloodbath in a Civil War that would last four years and cost almost one million lives. On the surface, the war was about “maintaining the union” but in reality it was over slavery; with the North hoping to end this immoral practice forever. This will be our last lesson (for next week).

Before we begin on this topic, I wish to introduce two ardent supporters of true Democracy and equality: the famous poet Walt Whitman and equally famous abolitionist (and former slave) Frederick Douglass.

Please first view this brief biography of Whitman: HERE

Song of Myself - Wikipedia

Read excerpts from his poetry collection “Leaves of Grass” (1855): HERE

Listen to Harvard historian David Blight talk about his new book on Frederick Douglass: HERE

Frederick Douglass

Also view this video of James Earl Jones reading Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” (1852)

I am not requiring any more posts this semester. However, if you are missing one (or more) consider posting on one of these authors. Also consider writing a final essay that focuses either on Whitman or Douglass, whose works are breath-taking.