For Monday (5/8)

Continue onward in Chester Himes’ If He Hollers.  You’ll want to get to at least the end of Chapter 14.  On Monday, we’ll also have a brief Omeka session – – in re, creating your exhibit.  By now, you must have a minimum of 10 items and a collection.

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For Wed. (May 3)

Let’s read the first four chapters of Chester Himes’ If He Hollers Let Him Go.  Be prepared: this is a raw, brutal novel.  It also offers a very different view of the “Okies” than the one we’ve seen in Grapes of Wrath.

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For Wed. (April 26)

Steinbeck’s novel begins in drought and ends in flood, prompting us perhaps to read Grapes of Wrath as a founding narrative of “cli-fi” (climate fiction), a literary epic that anticipates current narratives of the Anthropocene/Capitalocene.  On the other hand, as the novel proceeds it seems to become increasingly obsessed with figures and scenes of displacement and disappearance; a spectre haunts America (to paraphrase Herr Marx),  whether that spectre is named Muley Graves or Tom Joad.   Should we read The Grapes of Wrath as a long-winded ghost story?  A story of  the haunting of America that delivers a political and economic jeremiad?  Or, is Grapes of Wrath really just a family saga writ large – – as one version of the nuclear family gives way to another, more startling image of Steinbeck’s fundamental social “unit” ?

In other words, let’s talk about endings when we get together on Wed.

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For Wed. (April 19)

We’ll discuss Grapes of Wrath up to about Chapter 24 – – but you should keep reading forward.

Remember: add five items to our Omeka repository.  These should be as fully documented as possible via the Dublin Core categories.  Since, this is a scholarly project, we need to approach our items as research artifacts.  In the same way you would treat sources in a research paper, for instance.

I’ve responded to your proposed research topics/items on our forum.  The sooner you firm these up, the sooner you can start productive research.  So, take a look at my response(s).

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For Monday (April 17)

For Tuesday, let’s read up to the end of Chapter 24 in Grapes of Wrath.

And, I’ve created a simple forum site to organize our Omeka work.  Go to the Steinbeck forum and register.  (You’ll see a link to register at the bottom of the login box.)  Once you’ve registered and logged into the site, click on the “Omeka exhibit items” link and then “Create a new topic.” Add your proposed Grapes of Wrath item to the title box and then use the text box to explain your topic/item and what makes it interesting.  (If things get confusing or weird, relax.  We’ll review this in class on Monday.)

Finally, bring a portable computing device (laptop) to class on Monday, so we can start tinkering with Omeka.

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For Wed. (April 12)

Let’s read up to Chapter 18 in Grapes of Wrath.

Also, don’t forget to start thinking about candidate items for your Omeka exhibition.  Recall our class discussion.  Feel free to email or ask me about items that you’re interested in.

And, bring your list of Grapes of Wrath voices into class on Wed.  You should collect about 7 or 8 examples and label them like this: Speaker [     ]; Setting [    ]; Distinctiveness [     ] (e.g. What makes them distinctive?  The rubric on dialect that I posted last week might help here.

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