Final Assignment

For your final assignment, curate a playlist of six songs, albums, or movies that relate to the texts, themes, problems, narratives that we’ve studied over the course of the semester.

To complete this assignment, you will need to:

  1. Select six songs or albums or six movies that seem to relate to the texts that we’ve read, viewed, and listened to during the semester.  (Let’s keep music and movies separate, e.g. either six albums/songs or six movies.)  Your goal here is to connect your chosen items to the themes, characters, plots, problems that we’ve talked about in our syllabus texts.   Another way of thinking about this: your goal is to show me how the texts we’ve studied help you to see new and significant things in texts that we haven’t studied.
  2. Create a google doc for your playlist.  This will make it easier to share with me.  In your google doc, list the titles of your chosen texts and link those titles to the songs, albums or movies that you’ve chosen.  This will allow me to enjoy your DJ’ed collection.  Be sure to include your name and a title for your playlist.
  3. For each of the six items that you’ve selected, write a fairly brief explanation (a minimum of 150 words) of the connection between the item and some particular text on our syllabus.  For instance, if I picked The Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man” as one of my texts, my entry for this item might look something like this:

The Rolling Stones “Street Fighting Man” (1968)

          “Street Fighting Man” is a song about working-class anger, frustration, and ambition.  Centered around “a poor boy” who thinks “. . .  the time is right for a palace revolution/’Cause where I live the game to play is compromise solution,” the song celebrates both the urge to fight and the ambition to create.  We’ve seen a few examples of working-class anger turning to violence in the class, especially Attaway’s Blood on the Forge and, perhaps, even “Smooth,” the “street talking man” of Gilb’s story, “Churchgoers.” London’s Martin Eden clearly channels his “street fighting” rage into the desire to succeed, to escape the working-class.  In Gilb and Attaway, frustration on the job and, more generally, within the class system creates anger.  In Attaway, for instance, Big Mat is driven by contradictions between status, race, and dignity to . . .  [etc.]

4.  Once you’ve created your playlist and commented on each item, click on the “Share” button in the upper right-hand corner of the google doc window.  Enter my email ( in the box and click on the “can comment” option to the right of the box.  This will allow me to read, enjoy, and evaluate your playlist.

5.  A few final things: make sure your commentary is clear, well-written, and error-free; remember, your goal is to show me how much you’ve learned about the texts we’ve read – – so, think carefully about the specific connections you want to explain between your playlist items and our syllabus texts; and, finally, have some fun and try to surprise me with your serendipitous connections!

Questions?  Let me know.

Due: noon, Friday, May 19.