For Thursday (10/27)

We’re going to adjust the syllabus a bit.  For Thursday, read Sterling Brown’s poem, “Ma Rainey,” and Langston Hughes’ poem, “The Weary Blues.”  Don’t worry about annotating the poems.

Also, be sure to invite me to your “Waste Land” motif/annotation groups.  At this point, you’ve collected at least 10 – 12 instances of your motif and annotated their significance in the context of their appearance in the poem.  Now, you should be connecting the constellation of instances to show me how the poem develops meanings around these motifs.  E.g. what is the pattern of meaning mapped out by these motifs?

For Tues. (10/25)


You’ve joined a “motif” group (wet/dry; blind/deaf/mute;  nature/”Unreal City”; exile/sailors; zombies; voices (i.e. quotations with or without quotes, different languages, dialects, etc.); “isolate flecks”/fragments).  And, you’ve organized your annotations of Eliot’s poem into groups based on your motif.

Here’s the next step:  each group member should annotate at least two instances of your motif.  These annotations should focus on explaining how the motif works in the particular instance, i.e. how does this instance of the motif illustrate and add to the motif?  Once you’ve finished this step – – building up a nice collection of examples of the motif, we’ll move on to the next step (which is to connect the instances of the motif together to show patterns of meaning and the development of themes).  We’ll talk about this step in class on Tuesday.

For Thursday (10/18)


We went over the first “book” of “The Waste Land” pretty thoroughly – – although there’s still a lot more there.

For Thursday, first, re-visit your annotations.  Let’s re-tag them with some of the motifs we developed in our discussion of “The Burial of the Dead.”  In other words, go back over your annotations and tag them as examples of any one of the following topics: wet/dry; blind/deaf/mute; “Unreal City”; nature; exile/sailors; zombies; voices (i.e. quotations with or without quotes, different languages, dialects, etc.); “isolate flecks”/fragments (i.e. fragments a la Eliot’s version of Williams’ phrase – – “broken heap of images”).

Second, for the rest of the “books” in the poem, add at least two multimedia annotations.  These can be images, videos, or sound files.  (Not sure how to link to images, videos, etc.?  here’s a quick and easy tutorial.)

For Thursday (10/13)

Remember: no class on Thursday.  I’ll be at a conference in San Diego.

So, for Tuesday, finish reading Eliot’s “The Waste Land.”  Annotate as you read – – make at least one annotation in each of the five “books” of the poem.   As you annotate, look for patterns of images or motifs.  “Tag” these in your annotation.  E.g. note the “Add tags” box below the text box in  After annotating, simply add a one or two-word tag like – – “water,” “death,” “seasons.”  These tags should reflect the patterns that you see in the poem.  You may find others using the same tags throughout the poem – – that’s fine.


For Tuesday (10/4)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: No class on Tuesday, October 3, 2016.  Instead, I want you to return to 1913 to visit the “Armory Show.”

At the Armory Show, first take a tour of the 18 galleries assembled for your pleasure and edification.  After you’ve toured the Show, select the three most “modernist” paintings you encountered.  Write up 2 pages (no need to type them, but that might help) that explain: what makes these paintings modernist?  (Think about our discussion of Stein and Pound in our last class.)  Bring these pages with you when we meet up again in 2016 on Thursday, October 6.