Archive for April, 2011

Read Before You Sign Up!

April 17, 2011

If you’ve found this page, you’re likely looking for information about the HILR Study Group I’m leading this fall on the Southern Diaspora. This blog will be a gathering place for us during the semester: I’ll use it to post readings, music, video, pictures and links as well as the course syllabus and weekly notes. You’ll use it to post your own thoughts on topics that might fit better here than in class discussions, and to add your own comments to posts.

Except for the required text, which you’ll need to buy, all other readings will be posted here for you to download. I won’t be providing hard copy of any readings.

My current plan is that about one third of class time will be taken up watching films or videos, looking at photographs or paintings, listening to music, or hearing speeches and sermons. I’ll probably provide a CD of music for you all to listen to at home and have as a souvenir of the course. The rest of the time we’ll spend discussing what we see and what we read.

The readings (except for the text) will be drawn mostly from contemporary sources. We’ll have first person accounts both fictional and autobiographical, newspaper articles, letters and more. My guess is that you’ll spend about four hours a week reading, and I’ll provide plenty of other sources if you want to go deeper into the material. I’m hoping some of you will do reports, too – by the time we get started I’ll have some ideas for those and encourage you to come up with your own. My report ground rules are simple: I approve the topic, you limit your report to 20 minutes.

The textbook has a website which may help you make up your mind whether to sign up or not – check it out here. You’re also welcome to call or email me using the contact information in the course catalog. Of course you can always leave a comment here if you like.

I’ll try to close every blog post with a video or something you can look or listen to – here’s a trailer from a new film Up From the Bottoms: The Search for the American Dream. I’m thinking we might watch it in class – let me know what you think. See you in September?

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