Syllabus for the Fulbright #prayforme #ilovetoteach #beyonceasecopoetics

I had to develop a syllabus draft for the Fulbright.  There were a number of guidelines for pages, format, assignments.  Here’s my attempt. 

Originally written in July and modified December 2017

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Fulbright Lectureship Course Syllabus

Proposed Course for MA candidates

Name of Lecturer:  Dr. Raina J. León
Course Title:  “Say her name!”:  Towards an ecopoetics of community, witness, and resistance
Course Description
At the end of the edge of the century, while some would “party like it’s 1999” as Prince sung or worried about the end of the computer age with Y2K algorithmic malfunctions, others saw the coming century as apocalypse.  In a way, those harbingers were right.  “Apocalypse” as a term can be said to mean a revelation of the hidden.  While also indicative of disaster, its literal meaning is that of unveiling what has been hidden: 
·      There was the contesting of a presidency with Al Gore and George W. Bush, also indicative of a struggle between a burgeoning eco-consciousness and capitalist interests.
·      We witnessed the rise of American militarism as a response to a terrorist event the likes of which Americans had never seen on their soil, again revealing a tension between the diplomacy and militaristic engagement.
·      We explored genes, genetic engineering and gene therapy through the Human Genome Project that showed hidden human intricacies.
·      Google was introduced and became the primary resource for research, as exemplified in the phrase, “Google it”.
·      Fracking as a strategy of natural gas and petroleum extraction becomes more widespread in rural and mountain communities.
·      Hurricane Katrina, in its sweeping rains and rising waters, showed the faults in levees and the faults in American ideologies that informed resource allocation in speed and impact, particularly with a poor, predominantly black population.
·      The first black president was elected and soon faced obstacle after obstacle in his governing actions, largely fueled by institutional racism.
·      The Occupy Movement is born, calling attention to the vast disparity in wealth in the United States and the manipulation of peoples by banks and other financial institutions.
·      After the increasing number of deaths of black and brown men, women, and transgender people, the Black Lives Matter is created and discussions of internalized, systemic, and institutional racism are pushed to the forefront. 
·      Those within the LGBT community gain the right to marry in 2015, and just a year later there is a mass shooting at Pulse in Orlando and becomes the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman and a hate crime against the gay community. 
·      A protest of Standing Rock over preservation of clean water for an indigenous community and all other communities downstream begins, continues with callous action by police representing corporate interests, and is shut down.  The protest site is burned to the ground; Standing Rock advocacy groups continue to fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline through the courts.
All of these events, these moments in time, have a place within a ecopoetics. In this course, we will define ecopoetics in relationship to the social context (particularly the United States since 2000, emphasizing the last 5 years) through poetry. We will use social context as a frame in which to read the poems composed by women, writers from the LGBTQ communities, and writers of color.  We will also explore the poetic contributions of these writers and ultimately explore how movements are indicative of ecopoetics in resistance, that ecopoetics is not a passive analysis or found in the writing about the natural world and the natural world in crisis; rather, ecopoetics requires community work and action beyond the page and the pen.   
This course enriches literary and critical analysis with interdisciplinary approaches including Critical Race Theory, feminist epistemologies, indigenous methodologies, and intersectionality as concept and framework.
Course Sessions
Distinctive features of the class structure include:
·      Each class will include a 10-minute walking meditation and 10-minute walking practice of observation of the collegiate environment. 
·      Class readings will incorporate criticism, short poetry samples, and multimedia resources, some of which will be analyzed as visual-poems.
·      Pedagogical strategies used within the course will include lectures, small group discussion, collaborative research using cloud-based technological tools, the use of dialogic journals, and the co-creation of poetry films that integrate an ecopoetic stance with a reading of an American contemporary movement.
·      Students should keep a blog in which they outline major points from their readings after sessions 4, 8, 12, and 16 to note important themes and text to world, text to text, and text to self connections.
·      Each class will close with 10 minutes of reflection what was seen, heard in class, discussed with peers, and how that connects with the human concerns of the student in that moment.  There will be time to share reflections from a small group of volunteers before class ends. 
·      All classes will end with 5 minutes devoted to “Much loves”, when students can share what they have appreciated from the readings and from the contributions of one another. 
These practices are incorporated intentionally so as to work to establish the community necessary for collective action that aligns with the aims of ecopoetics.    
Session 1 Defining ecopoetics through poem, action, video
Session 2 Writing beyond the pastoral
Session 3 Resistance against dehumanization
Session 4 Relationship to the natural world
Session 5 The urban landscape as opportunity and crisis
Session 6 Social movement and ecopoetics
Session 7 Borderlands and migration
Session 8 Borderlands and migration
Session 9 Poetic method as ecological process:  complexity, the non-linear, and recycling
Session 10 Poetic method as ecological process:  complexity, the non-linear, and recycling
Session 11 Stay Woke:  #Blacklivesmatter, #Blackpoetsspeakout, #Sayhername
Session 12 Stay Woke:  An ecopoetics analysis of don’t call us dead
Session 13 Marriage and movement
Session 14 Pulse, Orlando:    
Session 15 Standing Rock:  An analysis of movement and poems
Session 16 Standing Rock:  An analysis of movement and poems
Session 17 Guest speaker on social context and ecopoetics (and tech tutorial)
Session 18 “OK, ladies, now let’s get in formation”:  Identification of contemporary issues and poems for an ecopoetic analysis
Session 19 Presentations of ecopoetics analyses in video format
Session 20 Presentations of ecopoetics analyses in video format
Course Schedule
Session 1        Defining Ecopoetics
In this class, we will define ecopoetics and some of its traits, establishing a framework for engagement with the assigned texts.   We will apply this framework in an in-class analysis of “Turnt” and Lemonade sections “All Night” and “Love Drought” by Beyoncé. 
Primary Reading II: Juliana Spahr ,“Turnt”
Secondary Reading/s: Beyoncé, “All Night” and “Love Drought” videos from Lemonade (poems from Warsan Shire)
__________________________________________________________
Session 2        Writing beyond the pastoral, imagining ecopoetics
In this class, the pastoral will be defined and explored through poems that revel in landscape and immerse the reader within a particular social context in addition to the natural world.
Primary Reading I:  Camille Dungy, “First Fire” and Tonya Cherie Hegamin, “The Visitors” in Yellow Medicine Review, Fall 2010.
Optional:  Films:  An Inconvenient Truth , Thin Ice , or excerpt:  “Green Antarctica”
_______________________________________________________
Session 3        Resistance against Dehumanization
What does dehumanization mean as a term?  How does this reduction of human to animal fit for control (based on aspects of identity like race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, etc) illuminate a sociological aspect of ecopoetics?  How does the poem illuminate the human condition?  How does might the reader “read the world” through a poem that interweaves the natural world with the fate of humanity?  In this session, we explore the Freirean theoretical foundations and apply them to an ecopoetics analysis of poems by Marilyn Nelson and Patricia Smith.    
Primary reading I: excerpts from Marilyn Nelson, A Wreath for Emmett Till
Primary reading II: excerpt from Patricia Smith, “When Black Men Drown Their Daughters”, Incendiary Art
_______________________________________________________
Session 4       Relationship to the natural world
In this session, we explore the damaging relationship that humanity can have with the natural world and how the natural world speaks (through poetic narrative and the persona poem).
Primary Reading I: Excerpt from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
Primary Reading II: Evie Shockley, “The Cold” and “The Question of Survival” from The New Black
Secondary Reading/s: excerpts from Aracelis Girmay, The Black Maria
_______________________________________________________
Session 5        The urban landscape as opportunity and crisis       
How might we read a poetic text as depiction of social movement building, internal struggle, and the urban space as passive landscape and active ecosystem?  This is the question we explore in applying our emerging understandings of ecopoetics as term to the reading of don’t call us dead by Danez Smith.
Primary Reading I: Danez Smith, don’t call us dead
 _______________________________________________________
Session 6       Guest speaker and Social movement and ecopoetics
In this class, we continue our reading of don’t call us dead and invite speaker, Danez Smith, to join the class to answer questions. 
Primary Reading I: Danez Smith, don’t call us dead
_______________________________________________________
Session 7        Borderlands and migration
In this class, we will learn about the work of Gloria Anzaldúa in Borderlands/La Frontera through text and video in class and conduct analyses in class of the work of poets from the US border with Mexico:  Carmen Tafolla, Laurie Anne Guerrero, Emmy Peréz, ire’ne lara silva, and Guadalupe Méndez Medina.
Primary Reading I: Excerpts from Gloria Anzaldúa in Borderlands/La Frontera:  “The Homeland, Azatlán”
Primary Reading II: Excerpts from Gloria Anzaldúa in Borderlands/La Frontera:  “Towards a New Consciousness”.
________________________________________________________
Session 8       Borderlands and migration
In this class, we continue our interrogation of border in ecopoetics through the reading of Javier Zamora’s work in relationship to the current work of the Trump.
Primary reading I:  Excerpts from Javier Zamora, unaccompanied
Secondary text:  Javier Zamora, “Saguaros” (text and video) 
_______________________________________________________
Session 9       Poetic method as ecological process:  complexity, the non-linear, and recycling
In this class, we will learn about and apply an analysis of the poetic method as ecological process, emphasizing recycling and use of non-linear as opposed to linear narrative structuring within the same body of work. 
Primary Reading I: excerpts from Claudia Rankine, Citizen. 
__________________________________________________________
Session 10      Poetic method as ecological process:  complexity, the non-linear, and recycling:  The Women’s March
In this session, we will explore poetic method as ecological process in respect to complexity, intersectionality, and the invocation of musicality and chorus. 
Primary Reading II: Audre Lord, “Poetry is not a luxury”; Audre Lord, “A Litany for Survival”
Secondary Text:  Alicia Keys, reads “I Rise” by Maya Angelou and her speech
______________________________________________________
Session 11       Stay Woke:  #Blacklivesmatter, #Blackpoetsspeakout, #SayHerName
In this session, the class will learn about social media platforms as their own ecosystems, paralleling the relationships and structures within the natural world.  We will also learn how evolution and movement building can be exacerbated within the virtual world as opposed to the speed of the natural world.  We will also define ecopoetics in relationship to specific cultural identity. 
Optional Reading: poem selection from Camille Dungy; music from Erykah Badu, “Master Teacher”, Kendrick Lamar, “We gone be alight”, J. Cole, “Be Free”; TED talk from Alyssa Rivas “#StayWoke or Stay Divided”;
_______________________________________________________
Session 12      Stay Woke:  An ecopoetics analysis of don’t call us dead
In this session, we apply what we learned in the previous session to an analysis of don’t call us deadin whole and small group discussion. 
Primary Reading I:  Danez Smith, don’t call us dead
Optional: Danez Smith, “Dinosaurs in the Hood” (text and video)
__________________________________________________________
Session 13      Marriage and movement
We explore how love for one’s partner is interchangeable and inseparable from the natural world around us. 
Primary Reading I: Cody Pueo Pata, “Mili’ōpua” in Yellow Medicine Review, Fall 2010
__________________________________________________________
Session 14      Pulse, Orlando 
We analyze the poems written in response to the Pulse, Orlando, the largest mass shooting by a single gunman and a hate crime, indicative of a tension between a metanarrative of gender roles and identities and the counternarratives of the beautiful and daring people who danced once at Pulse.
_______________________________________________________
Session 15      Standing Rock:  An analysis of movement and poems
In this session, we explore the frameworks provided by Gaile S. Cannella and Kathryn D. Manuelito as theoretical frameworks to support an ecopoetics analysis of Standing Rock documents, poems, letters, and art pieces.  Students in this session will identify the different turns within the chapter by Cannella and Manuelito and then explore a particular line of textual research in class. 
Secondary Text: Layli Long Soldier, “Resolution” (text and audio)
________________________________________________________
Session 16      Standing Rock:  An analysis of movement and poems
In this session, we continue to analyze the student-identified documents (using the principle of ecopoetics process in recycling) using the frameworks provided by Gaile S. Cannella and Kathryn D. Manuelito. 
________________________________________________________
Session 17      Guest speaker on social context and ecopoetics (and tech tutorial)
In this class, we will analyze works in class from Yellow Medicine Review, Fall 2010, edited by Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán.  Bodhrán will join the class online to serve as a guest speaker to talk about indigenous movement building processes as an ecopoetics and his work as organizer and editor.  There will also be tech tutorial on how to create digital poems.
__________________________________________________________
Session 18      “OK, ladies, now let’s get in formation”:  Identification of contemporary issues and poems for an ecopoetic analysis
In this class, students will identify contemporary issues and write or curate poems that use a an aspect of ecopoetics to connect to that issue.  Students should prepare to work in small groups and should come with technology.  In class, we will look at short examples of poetry films from the 2017 Ó Bhéal Poetry Film competition, which incorporates films from all over the world.  These will be set aside, Beyoncé’s “Formation”, which will be watched and analyzed in class. 
_______________________________________________________
Session 19      Presentations of ecopoetics analyses in video format
In this class, students will present their ecopoetics analyses of the contemporary moment through poetry films that can be Tweeted and published on Youtube. 
________________________________________________________
Session 20     Presentations of ecopoetics analyses in video format
In this class, students will present their ecopoetics analyses of the contemporary moment through poetry films that can be Tweeted and published on Youtube.


Fulbright Lectureship Course Outline

Proposed Course for PhD candidates

Name of Lecturer:  Dr. Raina J. León
Course Title:  Multiliteracies:  The Art of Teaching Literature in a Digital Age
Course Description
In this class, future professors will learn about contemporary American literature through the practice of reading it (reading transaction), writing about it (literary criticism), writing inspired by it (generative creativity), and creating digital representations of those processes (multimodal expression) so as to better teach future students who are digitally connected and motivated.     
Course Sessions
Distinctive features of the class structure include:
·      Class readings will incorporate close reading, criticism, writing prompts (creative and scholarly) ,and multimedia resources, some of which will be analyzed as visual-poems.
·      Pedagogical strategies used within the course will include lectures, small group discussion, collaborative research using cloud-based technological tools, the use of dialogic journals, and the co-creation of poetry films that integrate literary theory with a reading of an American contemporary writer’s work.
·      Students should keep a blog in which they outline major points from their readings after sessions 2, 4, and 7 note important themes and text to world, text to text, and text to self connections. They will also receive prompts to foster create responses to the texts that can be completed through writing in the genre discusses or creating a video or music response to the text.  These should be shared on the blog after sessions 3, 5, and 8.  Digital representations of teaching literature are expected to be produced for session 10’s gallery walk/exhibit of presentations. 
·      The class will incorporate multimedia resource and/or an introduction to a tool to create such resources at each session. 
·      Each class will close with 10 minutes of reflection what was seen, heard in class, discussed with peers, and how that connects with the human concerns of the student in that moment.  There will be time to share reflections from a small group of volunteers before class ends. 
Session 1 Defining Multiliteracies and Multimodal Expression through Book Trailers
In this session, we define the terms and use Book Trailers as sites of analysis and application.  We will also learn some basic tools like how to maneuver text representations through apps like Notability and Skitch.
Session 2 Teaching Literary Theory through Music and Video
We will explore feminist criticism, literary postmodernism, postcolonial criticism, formalist criticism, and critical race theory as tools for the examination of contemporary multicultural literature written within the American social context.  We will identify major features of these theories based on in class readings, small group discussions, and application of these lenses to commonly reviewed and discussed multimedia texts.  Finally, we will storyboard how we might approach creating a short series of videos that could integrate analysis of a short text through one of these lenses.  
Session 3 Teaching Fiction or When the Movie Doesn’t Follow the Script
We will do a close reading of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, applying literary theory to our analysis of the text.  We will also watch short selections from the film that contradict the novel, talking about our approaches to teaching a novel and film that are vastly different. 
Session 4 Teaching Science Fiction through Technology
We will define science fiction as a genre and read selections “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury and selections from Octavia Butler Parable of the Talents in terms of the social impact of technology, including unintended consequences.
 
Session 5 Digital Storytelling
In this class, we will learn about from Joe Lambert on the art of digital storytelling key traits of a digital story.  This class will be a tutorial in learning the tools, watching and analyzing digital stories, and then crafting our own together. 
Session 6 Teaching Nonfiction through Digital Storytelling
Building on what was learned in the previous session, we will read selections from Ta’Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me,James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, and Jesmyn Ward’s The Fire This Time.  From this reading and discussion, we will also identify passages that speak to us to integrate into our own digital stories. 
Session 7 Teaching of Poetry through Poetry Films or Beyoncé and Warsan Shire
In this class, we will learn about ecopoetics as a field and as an analytical framework.  After watching selections from Beyoncé’s Lemonade, which includes work by Warsan Shire (British poet, born to Somali parents in Kenya), we will apply analytical lenses that include ecopoetics, feminist theory, and diasporic epistemology.
Session 8 Teaching the Graphic Novel through Visual Thinking Strategies
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang will be read and discussed using literary analysis tools and visual thinking strategies.  We will then discuss how one might teach the graphic novel in a literature class. 
Session 9 Teaching the Novel
In this class, we will read another novel that has been depicted on television, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.  Students engage in discussion of the themes of the text, the literary analysis tools that they use to understand the world, and its relevance in our contemporary context.  Finally, we will talk about how we might use the written text and the visual text within our classrooms. 
Session 10 Teaching Literature in the Digital Age:  Student Presentations (Gallery Walk)
In this session, students will present on one American contemporary text, preferably by a person from a marginalized group, and communicate core aspects of the text through a digital format. 


#44of52, #52essays2017, #twt, 

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