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ALL-AFAM– Panel Presentation Guide

You will each present as a part of two panels. There will be five panels before midterms. The are:

  • The Diasporic Self I (Schomburg and Flores)
  • The Diasporic Self II (Guillen and Estevez)
  • Origins (Thomas)
  • Invisible Latinidad (Chambers, Redd,
  • Blackness as a Question (Obejas)

There will also be five panels after midterms:

  • Blackness as Presumption (Diaz)
  • Throwing Voice I (Keene)
  • Throwing Voice II (Alvarez)
  • The Artist as Intellectual (Fusco)
  • Writing the Music (Flores)


Each panel should make sure that you provide the following items in writing:

  • general commentary

What is happening in the story, play, essay or poem? What do you imagine is the point of the writing? If there isn’t an automatic tie between the text and the class themes, don’t push it. In this section, simply tell us what the piece is about. You may also want to provide a brief bio of authors and or a list of recurring concerns in their works.

  • course-specific commentary

Continue your discussion of the text, but now make sure to draw relations between the text and the questions we have been asking. Do a close reading of a section of the work. How does this writing contribute to our discussions? If the selection is excerpted from a journal or anthology, say more about what the work means in the context of the book. Be sure to pay attention to the book’s framework. Is it an "African-American" book? An "African Diasporic" book? A "Latino" book?) What does this author’s inclusion mean? What does this selection’s inclusion mean? If the work assigned is part of a larger text by one author, what does the rest of the book do? How does this particular chapter relate to our class in the context of that book?

  • African-American Literary Theory and Criticism

Choose an article (essay, interview, manifesto) of African-American literary theory or criticism that makes claims about African American literature – what it is supposed to do, who can write it, how it shapes one’s readings. I have provided some articles in your course packet, but you may also find useful essays in Within the Circle and African American Literary Theory, both of which are on reserve for our class at Olin. Give us a brief sketch of the essay and discuss the day’s reading in relation to the article. What does this essay propose? How does it help you think about African-American literature? Does it open up any new readings of the text we have in front of us? If so, why? If not, how might you extend the essay so that it could open up a discussion of the text at hand? Make sure you cite any outside texts according to MLA guidelines.

  • 3 - 5 discussion questions for the class

Provide questions that will engage the class and push our conversations forward. Where possible, remind us of past conversations that are relevant for reading the text at hand as you ask these questions.

ALL-AFAM Author Paper Guide

Write a paper about the possibilities of reading the Afro-Latino author of your choice as an African-American author. The author should have produced at least two major works. (Books, plays, CDs, etc.) If you have a question about the appropriateness of an author, come see me. In the course of the writing you should make sure to cover the following areas:

  1. Discuss the author’s career as a writer. What is her claim to fame? Where has he been published? Where has she been reviewed? Anthologized? Invited to speak?
  2. Discuss the themes and techniques of two or three works. Meet this author wherever she is. Don’t try to force a conversation around black identity if that is not a major theme in the works you are discussing. However, your reading should at some point engage the conversations we have been having in class.
  3. Discuss relevant passages in depth. Do a close reading of passages from two or more texts. What does it mean to read these passages as African-American literature? Is there a tension? An obvious connection?
  4. Discuss this writer’s relationship to African-American literature. Is (s)he published in African-American journals or anthologies? Is (s)he a member of African-American writing communities? Conferences? Organizations? Does African-American literary theory or criticism offer insights into the reading of this author’s work? What writings have you found useful? Is there anything you would add to this discourse in order to more fully engage the author you are discussing?

ALL-AFAM Final Project Guide

Guidelines TBA

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