New York, New York

new_york_september_2009_01

We are off to New York very soon to study the Literature and Drama of New York: 30 students + 3 staff: what a blast! We have been working all week on the poetry, fiction and drama of New York and will arrive at JFK thoroughly soaked in the language and experience of those who have written about New York in the last 200 years. We will be visiting literary sites in the East Side, West Side, Mid Town, Greenwich Village, Central Park and Harlem. We will be going to Broadway to see a bunch of great shows and will be thinking and blogging about our experiences. It is going to be a great experience for us all.

So here are the blog topics (Literature and Drama) that you can draw from during our time in the Big Apple. Be sure to send through (to both James and Michael) your URL so that we can watch your blogs grow. We will also create a list of all the URLs in the group so that you can see each other’s work and comment on one another’s experience constructively. Be sure to use your creative imagination to Jazz up your blog site with photos that you take on location and with any other relevant images that you think amplify your expressive power. Enjoy the process!!!

Please see right at the end of this blog post for the specific submission guidelines. You must do your blogs within WordPress. Simply join WordPress. com (it’s free) and follow the prompts. If you want more helpful information about how to use WordPress really creatively, the best source for understanding more about how WordPress operates is from the online video provided by ACU through Lynda.com (Go to http://lynda.acu.edu.au/). When you are there select the video “WordPress.com Essential Training with Carrie Dils”. For those of you unfamiliar with blogging please also have a look at http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html. Everything posted in this blog is also in LEO. Have fun!

 

Literature Blog Questions

Each literature question allows you to choose from several options; these are numbered i, ii, and iii. You must answer five of the following questions. You may complete no more two blog posts on poetry options. The other three blog posts MUST be on other texts (novels and autobiography).

A. Washington Square / Poetry Blog

Choose ONE of the options from the topics listed below.

  1. Write a paragraph in the style of Henry James – and using James’ style of narrator – describing your experience of a location in New York that gave you a new understanding of the novel. Briefly say what this new understanding is.
  2. Choose one poem from Poems of New York and discuss how it has amplified or enhanced your understanding of a particular place or event seen in today’s travels through New York.

Try to imitate the style of your poem by writing one stanza which describes the place or event that you have chosen to focus on.

B. The Great Gatsby / Poetry Blog.

Choose ONE of the options from the topics listed below.

  1. Write a paragraph in the style of F.Scott Fitzgerald– and using Fitzgerald’s style of narrator- describing a location in New York that gave you a new understanding of the novel. Briefly say what this new understanding is.
  2. Choose one poem from Poems of New York and discuss how it has amplified or enhanced your understanding of a particular place or event seen in today’s travels through New York. Try to imitate the style of your poem by writing one stanza which describes the place or event that you have chosen to focus on.

C. Catcher in the Rye / Poetry Blog.

Choose ONE of the options from the topics listed below.

  1. Write a paragraph in the style of J.D. Salinger – and using Salinger’s style of narrator – describing a location in New York that gave you a new understanding of the novel. Briefly say what this new understanding is.
  2. Choose one poem from Poems of New York and discuss how it has amplified or enhanced your understanding of a particular place or event seen in today’s travels through New York. Try to imitate the style of your poem by writing one stanza which describes the place or event that you have chosen to focus on.

D. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Choose ONE of the options from the topics listed below.

  1. Write a paragraph in the style of Maya Angelou– and using Angelou’s style of narrator- describing an event experienced in New York that gave you a new understanding of this autobiography. Briefly say what this new understanding is.
  2. Choose one poem from Poems of New York and discuss how it has amplified or enhanced your understanding of a particular place or event seen in today’s travels through New York. Try to imitate the style of your poem by writing one stanza which describes the place or event that you have chosen to focus on.
  3. Choose one painting that you have explored at MOMA today and discuss how it has amplified your understanding of the literary themes and forms that we have been exploring.

E. Jazz + Poetry Blog 

Choose ONE of the options from the topics listed below.

  1. Write a paragraph in the style of Toni Morrison describing a location in New York that gave you a new understanding of the novel. Briefly say what this new understanding is.
  2. Choose one poem from Poems of New York and discuss how it has amplified or enhanced your understanding of a particular place or event seen in today’s travels through New York. Try to imitate the style of your poem by writing one stanza which describes the place or event that you have chosen to focus on.
  3. Choose one painting that you have explored at the MET today and discuss how it has amplified your understanding of the literary themes

 

DRAMA BLOG QUESTIONS

You must answer all five of the following questions.

 

  1. Blog on Waitress

Choose a theme that has some resonance with American life or culture and comment on the way this is explored in the musical version of Waitress. For example you might write a blog post that critiques the musical in terms of its exploration of American middle-class apathy OR its critique of American capitalism. You are encouraged to explore a theme that has not been discussed in class.

  1. Blog on Jitney

This blog post asks you to employ your knowledge of the elements of drama in relation to the stage play Jitney. Choose one or two elements of drama and consider how these are employed to symbolically represent pertinent American issues in the performance of Wilson’s play. In other words you need to consider how the theatre techniques employed by the director and company critique, endorse, criticise or expose particular American themes. For example you might focus on a character that is a caricature of a particular American type OR you might focus on a piece of set or a prop that symbolises some aspect of American life.

  1. Blog on A Bronx Tale

Write a blog post that compares the portrayal of gender in the film version of A Bronx Tale with the musical adaptation. In view of the two texts, do you believe that gender is represented differently or is there a commonality?

  1. Comparative Blog

Choose two of the performances that you have seen and compare their treatment of a particular American theme or issue. Do the two performances represent this theme or issue in the same way or do they contrast in their portrayal of it? This theme CANNOT be the same one that you wrote about in your first three blog posts.

  1. The American Dream Blog

Choose one of the performances that you have seen and detail what you think it suggests about the American Dream.

 

 

Specific Requirements:

Assignment 2- Blog Questions For Drama and Literature

Students will make ten blog posts for five days of the study tour in New York. Each daily blog must consist of answers to two questions, one on drama and the other on literature/art. Students are encouraged to post daily but must ensure that all blogs are completed and carefully edited by February 5th.

 

Each daily drama blog must contain 1 x 250 word (minimum) response to a drama question AND 1 x 250 word (minimum) response to a literature question. Therefore, you will develop 10 separate blog posts (5 x drama AND 5 x literature). See the unit outline for full details about this assessment.

Due date:                                          Must be completed for five separate days in New York; all blogs are completed, carefully edited, and submitted by February 5th, 11.59pm

Weighting:                                        30%

How to submit:                                All your blogs must be posted onto your WordPress Blog site by midnight 5th February. Students are encouraged to submit daily where possible.

Return of assignment:                   The blogs will be assessed within two weeks of completion. Blogs will be commented on directly in WordPress.

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