Assignments & Responsibilities

You’ll be responsible for writing and bringing to every class two open-ended discussion questions (unanswerable with just Yes or No) for each reading. I’ll often ask you to share them; it’s also a great way to get a point you’ve already thought through into discussion on your own.

If you receive a B or lower on any paper, you may revise it and I will take the higher grade into account (up to one full letter grade); you have one week from the day you receive my feedback to revise and return it. Any previous late penalties will still apply. All revisions must include a three to four paragraph cover letter describing your major revision choices and what you learned; I will not accept revised essays without this.

One time per semester, you will each participate in leading discussion in a group format. This work will count as part of your individual participation grade. You will write a short (2 paragraph) summary of your collaborative process in your group after you have presented. We will also design a collaborative rubric, with which you will grade each other.

  1. Analytical Paper (5 pages and at least 1,250 words, due Friday, February 24): In this paper, I would like you to identify an element from Beloved that you find uncanny and discuss how and why. Figure out how you define the uncanny—feel free to build on Freud’s definition, but you should put your own spin on it, and at least refine the definition to fit your specific element. Using other element(s) from Beloved, test this definition, and counter it where necessary. Your arguable, interesting thesis should develop as a result of this test: what did you discover by testing your definition? What can we learn about the uncanny or the element through looking at the two together?

Mid-Semester Self-Evaluation (due Tuesday, March 21)

The form you’ll fill out and return in Dropittome is here.

  1. Comparison Paper (6 pages and at least 1,500 words, due Thursday, April 6): In this paper, you will analyze LEMONADE and Black Panther: World of Wakanda and how they each approach a shared idea or concept. You will consider them as a pair, showing how they relate to and/or differ from each other; and you’ll use at least two scholarly analyses (in two separate articles that you’ll find) to gloss the relation you see them creating. You must also consider how they complement or disrupt each other’s projects (or both), considering both substance and rhetorical choices. This paper will be public writing: you will post it on,, or some other space for internet writing (run other ideas by me first, please).

End-of-Semester Self-Evaluation (due Friday, May 19) The form you’ll download, fill out, and return in Dropittome is here.

  1. Final Reflective Analysis Project (6-8 pages and at least 1,500 words, due Thursday, May 25): For this project, you will assess and incorporate what you have learned this semester in a comparative analysis. Use your class notes and readings (and your brain!) to write an analysis of The Turner House and one other text by a Black woman You’ll reflect on what you learned in discussion and present aspects of that learning as part of your argument. This is a pretty self-directed project that you’ll discuss with me before the semester ends. I encourage you to incorporate elements of visual analysis and other creative approaches along with your critical work.

Note that, though it is listed on CUNYFirst, you do not have a final exam for this class.