10 November 2005
- Wikipedia on John Henry
NPR's coverage: Present at the Creation
On the above page, click on the audio icons to hear a news story and a recording of the ballad song, as well as the lyrics to one particular recording.
On the above site, choose two versions of the song, and come to class with a one-paragraph statement that characterizes the textual differences between your chosen texts.
In what ways is the John Henry story a tall-tale? How is it social commentary? Is it primarily a story about technology, or about race? Is it too simplistic to say "both"?
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Write a paper that uses peer-reviewed academic sources to defend an intellectually complex, non-obvious claim about one or more of the works on the syllabus.
Your paper should demonstrate your developing ability to apply a consistent critical approach (economic determinism, gender theory, historical-topical, etc.), to integrate quotations from quality sources (at least 4, in addition to your literary work or works), and to acknowledge a variety of interpretations (including evidence that challenges your thesis).Continue reading...
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