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English 223 Term 2-­‐ Week 3 Announcements
•  No regular classes during Week 7. Instead, film screen and panel
discussion on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 in MS.04. 7PM. Please
feel free to invite friends.
•  Ferguson Solidarity Tour Wednesday 28 January, 1pm to 3pm
Room MS.01
Featuring Rev Sekou alongside: Carole Duggan (Justice for Mark Duggan), Marcia
Rigg Sean Rigg Justice & Change, Saqib Deshmukh (Justice for Habib Paps Ullah),
Tony Herbert (father of James Herbert), Jessica Agboola (Chair of Warwick AntiRacism Society) and Abi Awojobi (Warwick Anti-Racism Society).
•  Week 10 Reading
•  February 5th: Jack Halberstam “Complicity: Guilt, Collaboration and
the Psychic Debts of Catastrophe” 5pm PLT
“I can’t prepare myself a
revolutionary packet that makes
no sense when I leave the white
suburbs of Watertown,
Massachusetts and take the T-line
to Black Roxbury […] I hear there
are some women in this town
plotting a lesbian revolution. What
does this mean about the [black]
boy shot in the head [by white
cops] is what I want to know. I am
a lesbian. I want a movement that
helps me make some sense of the
trip from Watertown to Roxbury,
from white to Black. I love
women the entire way, beyond a
doubt”
“We realize that the liberation of
all oppressed peoples necessitates
the destruction of the politicaleconomic systems of capitalism
and imperialism as well as
patriarchy. We are socialists
because we believe that work must
be organized for the collective
benefit of those who do the work
and create the products, not for
the profit of the bosses. Material
resources must be equally
distributed among those who
create these resources.”
-“Combahee River Collective
Statement,” (1978)
“This Bridge Called My Back intends to reflect an
uncompromised definition of feminism by women of color in
the U.S.
We named this anthology ‘radical’ for we were interested in
the writings of women of color who want nothing short of a
revolution in the hands of women […] The six sections of
This Bridge intend to reflect what we feel to be the major areas
of concern for Third World women in the U.S. in forming a
broad-based political movements 1) How visibility/invisibility
as women of color forms our radicalism; 2) the ways in which
Third World women derive a feminist political theory
specifically from our racial/cultural background and
experience; 3) the destructive and demoralizing effects of
racism in the women’s movement; 4) the cultural, class, and
sexual differences that divide women of color; 5) Third World
women’s writing as a tool for self-preservation and revolution;
and 6) the ways and means of a Third World feminist future.
The revolution begins at home”
-From the Introduction
Some critics consistently inscribe Esperanza’s “dream in a foundational
democratic rhetoric and declaration (that the pursuit of freedom, liberty, and
happiness is the right of all American citizens); they do so reflexively, in the
naïve, albeit earnest belief that an iron will and individual hard work (that is, the
Protestant work ethic) would eventually lead her to her dream.
[These critics] overlook the regional specificity of the novel, sidestepping its
pointed focus on the relation between issues of ethnicity and class and the
novelistic representation of ideologies of exclusion based on the protagonist's
Chicana background and working-class roots. […] In their persistent view of
Mango Street as a ‘mirror of life,’ the groups I have pointed out have generally
failed to take into account the book's ideological and narrative intricacies
[… Instead, I propose reading] the last chapter as a persuasive device aimed at
drawing the attention of Mango Street's initial implied readers—Chicanos/
Chicanas—away from the original, basic rift in herself, a division which, on one
hand, fueled her desire to be alone to write, and, on the other, triggered her claim
to simultaneously desire to want to be in, and serve her community”
- Felicia J Cruz
English 223 – Second Essay
Length: 3000 Words
Due: Tuesday, March 10th 2015
In Quicksand, Helga Crane moves from Naxos to Chicago, Harlem, Copenhagen, and eventually to the South,
trying to find a place where she belongs. Throughout the novel, Larsen suggests that each space embodies of
certain racial ideology (racial uplift and accommodation in the Southern race school, urban isolationism in
Harlem, black primitivism in Copenhagen, and the folk in the South). Helga’s ultimate alienation offers a
critique of each of these spaces and its dominant ideologies.
Many of the novelists we have examined this year have similarly thought about the relationship between
geography ideology. Over the past 15 weeks, we have read and discussed novels through the lenses of
domestic space, urban space, and the spaces of the maquiladora and the prison. We have considered both
how different spaces produce different political, aesthetic, and social practices and how politics and ideology
also produce different spaces.
Drawing on one of the spatial units, choose either one or two texts and develop an interpretive argument
about the role that space plays within your text (or texts).
Some questions you might want to consider include: what are the political processes (and racial, gendered, or
class ideologies) that the authors identify as shaping that space? What kinds of politics are possible within
the space? Do the authors privilege one space over another as the locus of freedom? Does the novel seek to
critique that space, or to use that space as a perspective from which to critique broader political processes? Is
the novel interested in a specific place (i.e. the city Los Angeles, the Mexican-US border, a house in Chicago)
or more interested in the idea of place (i.e. domestic space, the border, ghettos in general)?
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