Nella Larsen Timeline

Think of the timeline that we’re creating as a handy reader’s guide to Nella Larsen’s Quicksand.  The complete timeline – – with all six sub-timelines – – will allow readers to locate Larsen’s novel within broader contexts (like cultural and social history) and even to think about events within the novel in relation to these contexts.

The final version of the timeline is due: Thursday, November 19.

Each group is responsible for 12 -18 timeline entries.

We’ll work on the timeline in three stages:

  1. Collecting, selecting, and organizing entries for the timeline
  2. Creating timeline entries
  3. Publishing and fine-tuning our timeline.


Stage 1

Each of your groups (see below) should create one collective google doc to start collecting and organizing information for your timeline.  (I’ve created one basic worksheet to help keep track of this phase of work.  You can find it here.  To use it, copy it to your google docs.  E.g. under the “File” menu, click on “Copy.”  Rename the document with your group name and share it – – via the “Share” button – –  with your group members.)

In this phase, you and your group will have to: decide what events will most help a reader to contextualize the novel:

  • find information to explain these events (Scour the web and any other sources that prove helpful – – including journal articles, books, etc.)
  • draft the text for a timeline entry  (This should be more than a couple of sentences and should provide a rich context for the reader (e.g. each text entry should be at least 150 words).  You’ll also need to keep track of your sources as you will link to them from within the entry.);
  • find visual or sound elements that will illustrate your entry;

Stage 2

Once you’ve collected, organized, written and designed your entries, you’ll have to start formatting all of this information for presentation via TimelineJS.  This means you’ll have to fill in spreadsheet data for each of your entries.  If you’ve been using the draft I’ve offered – – or even a spreadsheet, this should be pretty simple. After getting the green light from me, go to our collective timeline spreadsheet and start entering the data for your entries.  Nota Bene: be sure to enter your group name (local, culture, etc.) in the group box on the spreadsheet (Column Q).

As you start filling in the spreadsheet, you can always check on how your timeline entries look by clicking on the “File” menu and then on “Publish to the web . . . .”  This will generate a link that you can paste into the Timeline creator.   The KnightLab website will generate a preview of your timeline.  (If you want to get an alternative view, you can past the embed code from Timeline JS (Box 4) into the “HTML Input” box on Code Beautify and click on “Run.”)

Stage 3

Once we’ve completed our master timeline spreadsheet, we’ll publish the whole thing to the web.  We’ll want to review the timeline to make sure its accurate, rich, complete, and good-looking.  Your group may want to edit your individual timelines based on feedback from the class or myself.



Audrey, Melissa, Michaela, Magdalena, Frankie, Andrew


Elina, Caitlin, Sierra, Connor, Izzy, Julian


Franziska, Will, Jessie, Henry, Ariana, Anastasia, Hannah


Annika, Valery, Sherry, Izzy L., Temi, Sean

New Negro Movement

Blanca, Vanessa, Elle, Kristy, Jillyann, Hector


Nicole, Maxton, Caroline, Elizabeth, Tarra, Nick,