Work Due Tue 9/1

  1. Draft your Essay 1 in a Google Doc saved to your ENG1101 folder (see assignment prompt in “Student Work à Essays” menu) and share a link to it in a post ( < instructions for posting). Remember to select the category “Essay 1 Feedback” before posting.
  2. Read Andrea Chu’s “The Pink” (#3 in “Readings” à link in menubar above).
  3. When you’re done reading Chu’s text, post your second “Media Share” (your first was your “Self-Intro Media” this past week) containing a piece of online media (a post, a tweet, a video, a photo, etc.) that Chu’s text made you think of. In addition to your media and/or link, please also include a few sentences describing it and your view of how it connects to Chu’s text.

1. For Friday 8/28


  1. Read the Essay 1 assignment (see link above under “Student Work” à “Essays”).
  2. Finish reading the first two reading assignments (#1 and #2, by Gloria Naylor and Ta Nehisi Coates, in “Readings”).
  3. Respond by Friday evening to the following two prompts. Share your response as a comment below (see “OpenLab Bible” under “Course Info” for instructions on how to comment).I. On reading Naylor. This is a narrative-based essay, like the one you’ll be producing for Essay 1.  Let it be an inspiration to you all.  Write a response to it, considering some (if not all) of the following questions.  Please write your response in paragraph form; please do NOT simply answer the questions in order.  It’s better for you to follow your own train of thought than to try to answer my questions as though they were a test (they are NOT a test).

    II. On definition in Coates. Whenever one declares what something IS, one is making a definition. In essay 1, you will (somewhere but not everywhere in the essay) formulate and argue for your own definition of what “education” is.

We’re looking at Ta Nehisi-Coates text for inspiration regarding how definition can be used. In Ta Nehisi-Coates’ Between the World and Me he forms a powerful definition to frame the story he tells his son about living as a black man in America in the 2010s.  He writes: “race is the child of racism, not the father.”  As you may have gleaned, this is no ordinary dictionary definition of race; this is one of the ways Coates wants to define race.  I want you to do two things with this:

A) Unpack the implications of Coates’ definition of race. Why does he think this?  What impact does it have on how you think about race?  How is it related to current events that you are aware of?  Again, begin with 1 or more of these questions and see where it takes you.  Don’t feel obligated to answer all of them in a row.

B) Write your own definition of “race” or “education”—up to you. Explain why you’ve defined the term as you have.

Monroe Street // Media Share 1

As my intro, I’m sharing a piece of video art by Arthur Jafa titled “Love is the Message, the Message is Death.”

Whenever I watch Jafa’s short piece, it makes me laugh.  It makes me cry (every time).  Alternations of white and black and black and white, violence and hope.  The Kanye soundtrack, replete with Mahalia Jackson wailing via sample, the shots of small children pleading with their drugged-out parents, learning to fear police—this makes you wonder: when in need, who will save you?  There Jafa plants a rather cruel reply: the indifference of the sun, far away, glowing, flaring.  I am trying to think of what brings tears for me whenever I watch.  There is something of the essence of what it means to be a human—living and dying in America in the 20th-become-21st century—here.  There is something of me here, I don’t know quite where, when I watch this.

Assignment 0: Syllabus Notes & Question

By the time we Zoom on Wed morning at 11a, I want you to carefully read our  course syllabus.  Be especially careful in reading the “Core Course Assignments & Grading Section” (from the bottom of p. 1 to the top of page 3).

After reading, write a response below (shared as a COMMENT), in which you

A) list at least 10 core course assignments and the % of the final grade for each, and…

B) pose 1 question you have about the syllabus, to be discussed in our Zoom call.