LITR 5831 World Multicultural: American Immigrant UHCL midterm assignment 2016

LITR 5831 Seminar in World / Multicultural Literature:

American Immigrant

midterm assignment 2016
(previous midterm assignment)

official date: Tuesday, 21 June 2016 
email submission window: 21-22 June midnight

(This webpage is the assignment for our course's midterm, to be reviewed, updated, and refined up to 20 June.)

Attendance not required on Tuesday 21 June. Classroom available for student use. Instructor keeps office hours during class period. Welcome to visit, phone, email re midterm or otherwise.

Value: app. 25-35% of final grade (grades not computed numerically).

Submission expectations: By midnight Wednesday 22 June, but we have class the next afternoon and I won't start reading midterms till Friday. Therefore, if you want or need more time to complete in good form, communicate and update plans.

Instructor intends to read and return midterm submissions by end of coming weekend (25-26 June), so sometime Friday for submission remains possible.

Contents: 2 essays

Essay 1: Web Highlights reviewing & evaluating at least 3 submissions from seminar's Model Assignments. (5-8 paragraphs)

Essay 2: Immigrant Narrative as American Multiculture. Describe and analyze the American Immigrant narrative (including "the American Dream"), its prominent patterns, motives, stages, values, and relations to other multicultural identities, including minorities, dominant culture, and the model minority. (6-9 paragraphs)

Special Requirements:

Title your essays.

Refer to course objectives, terminology, and instructional webpages; develop or vary relative to your readings and analysis.

Content Details

Essay 1: Web Highlights reviewing at least 3 submissions (previous midterms, research posts, and final exams) in seminar's Model Assignments (5-8 paragraphs)

Assignment: Review at least 3 submissions on the course webpage’s “Model Assignments” page and write 5-8 paragraphs (total) on what you observed and learned.

Purpose: To enhance peer-instruction and potential for seminar to build on earlier seminars' learning.

Requirements & guidelines: At least one Model Assignment must be a midterm from the seminar's previous semesters. You may limit your review to midterms, but research posts and final exams are also available from several summers. You may also review Model Assignments at this seminar's corresponding undergraduate course, LITR 4333 American Immigrant Literature.

“Review”: Describe what interested or impressed you, where, why, and what you learned or admired, what the critical text achieved. You may criticize what you found, but not required.

To identify assignments or passages to which you respond, copy and paste brief selections into your web review, or simply refer to them (author, title, semester?) with paraphrases, summaries, and brief quotations. (You'll see both options in models.)

Either way, highlight and discuss passages' language as part of your review. Critique what you’re reviewing in terms of what you learn or where the model disappoints.

Option: What did you learn from reviewing model assignments that you didn't learn from in-class discussion or instruction?

Web highlights from LITR 5431 American Literature: Romanticism 2015 (scroll down); Web highlights from LITR 5439 Utopias 2015 (first of 2 essays by each name); Web highlights from LITR 5439 Utopias 2013; Web highlights from LITR 5431 American Literature: Romanticism 2013; Web highlights from LITR 5431 American Literature: Romanticism 2010 ; Web highlights from LITR 5731 American Immigrant Literature; Web highlights models from LITR 5731 Minority Literature

Note on organization and grading: Some students fulfill assignment by going through 3 assignments individually, one at a time until finished, with few or no connections or relations observed between the separate models.

Better submissions unify the three reviews into a whole, purposeful essay in which the learning experience of one review connects to the learning experience of another, and your entire learning experience is previewed and summarized in the essay's introduction and conclusion.

Successful submissions sometimes start by identifying a subject or assignment of interest, then choosing Model Assignments that meet those interests.

You might also review Model Assignments as sources or models for your research posts or final exam assignments.

In Essay 2 below you are not required to cite previous midterms or other assignments, but if you find something helpful to your analysis, welcome to use.

Essay 2: Immigrant Narrative as American Multiculture. Describe and analyze the prominent terms, patterns, motives, stages, and values of the American Immigrant narrative (including "the American Dream") and that narrative's relations to other multicultural identities, including minorities, the USA's dominant culture, and "model minorities." (6-9 paragraphs)

Refer to at least 5-6 course texts, including at least one early American source (9 June), at least two short fictions from Imagining America, two nonfiction selections from Immigrant Voices, Vol. 2, ± other online texts, poems, web reviews, and critical sources. (Welcome also to refer to outside reading, but concentrate on class readings.)

You may emphasize and develop some texts more than others, but coverage is essential of texts and meanings relevant to immigrant narrative, minorities, dominant culture, and model minorities.

Refer to essential themes and terms from objectives 1, 2, 3, and 4 and use information from linked instructional pages. Your analysis may differ or vary from course instruction, but you are expected to acknowledge course's definitions.

Illustrate, refresh, extend, and complicate course themes with examples and analysis of course texts plus reading, knowledge, and experience beyond seminar.

Celebrate and criticize: Acknowledge aesthetic, historic, and ideological resonance of the immigrant narrative while uncovering its limits or consequences.

Consider the power of narrative or story as a cultural and literary construct. (cultural narrative)

Following items are possible prompts, not a checklist.

How do the minority and immigrant narratives inform and expose each other?

Aside from minorities outside the immigrant narrative, what are the varieties within the immigrant narrative? (Dominant culture; Model Minority; 4 Waves of Immigration). How do these variations interface with or inform the immigrant narrative, each other, or the minority narrative?

How are the minority and immigrant narratives in dialogue with each other, and how are they opposed or polarized? How is the American Dream narrative challenged or reinforced? (Many exchanges, overlaps, or inversions possible.)

Evaluate assimilation and acculturation both positively and negatively. How does the appropriateness of assimilation vary for immigrants and minorities? What variations on assimilation are possible? (obj. 3c)

other possible terms or dialogues

assimilation and resistance (obj. 3c)

the ethnic group’s original relation with USA & resulting Social Contract

the “color code” (obj. 3f)

"model minorities" and true minorities

Evaluation criteria for essays: Readability & surface competence, content quality, and unity / organization.

Readability & surface competence: Your reader must be able to process what you're reporting. Given the pressures of a timed writing exercise, some rough edges are acceptable, but chronic errors or elementary style can hurt.

Content quality: Comprehension of subject, demonstration of learning, + interest & significance: Make your reader *want* to process your report. Make the information meaningful; make it matter to our study of literature and culture. Reproduce course materials, especially through reference to terms, instructional pages, and objectives, but also refresh with your own insights and experiences. Avoid: "You could have written this without taking the course."

Thematic Unity and Organization: Unify materials along a line of thought that a reader can follow from start to finish. (Consider "path of learning": what you started with, what you encountered, where you arrived.)

general guidelines for exam grades

Evidence & extension of learning: All exams must competently use central terms and themes from objectives with text-examples from lecture-discussion or your own reading. Knowledge beyond the course and on-the-spot inventiveness are impressive, but establish mastery of our course’s essential materials. Beware being told, "You could have written this essay without taking the course." As for extension of learning, the best exams comprehend but also refresh the course’s terms, objectives, and texts with the student's voice, insights, and examples from and beyond our course.