Week 8 Updated!

The Google Classroom code is s5wqbmz

Dear Students,

I just realized this was vaguely written. The Monday assignment is cancelled: The revised schedule asks you to write a short, informal response en route to an essay by Monday. I believe everyone is overwhelmed at the moment, and I am personally too busy developing an online transition for the semester to respond adequately to Monday writing.

On Thursday, this site will automatically take you to the site for our class on Google Classroom. As is stated in another recent post and in a handout discussed at our most recent meeting, get your Google account for Queens CollegeAll materials, assignments, and grades will be moved to the Google Classroom site for our class in order to make things as simple as possible.

For now, please try to read the coursework for the coming week. The links are posted below for you:

3/17 Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus Scenes 1-6

British Library, An Introduction to Doctor Faustus.  

3/19 British Library, Key Features of Renaissance Culture

Christopher Marlowe, Dr. Faustus, scenes 7-final chorus) 

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Revised Schedule

Week 4 2/18 Discussion  Reading: Lynn Worsham, “Moving Beyond the Logic of Sacrifice” (19-31).    2/19 Discussion; in-class writing Reading: Gwyneth Jones, “The Universe of Things.”  Due: Rough draft of Essay I   Thesis; irony; using a theoretical lens.
Week 5 2/25 Discussion  Reading: Lynn Worsham, “Moving Beyond the Logic of Sacrifice” (32-44).  Due: Discussion board 2/27 Discussion; in-class writing §  Donna Haraway, “Women in the Integrated Circuit;” Bhanu Kapil, short selection from Humanimal.  Due: Professional Draft of Essay I   
Week 6  3/3 Discussion Reading:Bhanu Kapil, from Humanimal Due: Graphic response  3/5 Discussion; in-class writing.
Week 7 3/10  “Women in the Integrated Circuit”  “Cyborg: Myth of Political Identity”  Homework: Graphic response 3/12  Excerpt from “Walking Among the Comrades” and handout from Buddhism in America Homework: Discussion board topics will be drafted in/as a class.  Introduction to critical cyborg history and the influence of materialism.
Week 8  3/17 Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus Scenes 1-6 British Library, An Introduction to Doctor Faustus.      Due Monday 11:59 pm: 2 pg. informal response en route to Essay II 3/19 British Library, Key Features of Renaissance Culture Brainstorm Form: literary terms II Reading: Christopher Marlowe, Dr. Faustus, scenes 7-final chorus)   
Week 9 3/24 Reading Due: Humanism Questioned (p. 385-391) (see here for a quick synopsis of Marlowe’s Tamburlaine) And, Hans Moravec, “Pigs in Cyberspace”   Due Monday 11:59pm: Full draft   3/26   Reading due: Cleanth Brooks, “Structure and Genre in Doctor Faustus”  Establishing motive; making use of theory. 
Week 10 3/31 Effective Library Research Workshop, Discussion. Reading: Void Star (Chapters 1-9) Due: Professional Draft of Essay II 4/2; Introduction to the Annotated Bibliography; discussion. Reading: Void Star (Chapters 10-13) Research, functions of sources, using an interpretive lens, 
Week 11 4/7  NO CLASS (Wed. schedule) Due: CRAB entry 4/9 NO CLASS Spring Recess  

Coronavirus contingency plan:

Please check the blog daily for updates. Make sure you have the link to the blog in a browser window for ease of access.

Prepare to go online, if necessary, in the following ways:

Get your Google account for Queens College. Materials on this system can only be accessed via your Queens College account. Short lectures and tutorials will replace in-class meetings, when necessary, in order to meet asynchronously as much as possible.

Be sure that you are able to access Blackboard Collaborative Ultra. If you work from a smartphone, know that the app for BB Collaborative Ultra is different from the regular BB app and is much more functional/up-to-date than the regular BB app.

Further update: As much as possible, we will be crafting discussion boards in our class meetings and posting follow-ups online. It is hoped that this will be a more engaging way to use the discussion board.

Essay 2: Lens Analysis


Assignment Concept: Lens analysis requires you to distill a concept, theory, method, or claim from a text (i.e. the “lens”) and then use it to interpret, analyze, or explore something else e.g. a first-hand experience, visual text, physical object or space, historical or current event or figure, a cultural phenomenon, an idea or even another text (i.e. “the exhibit”). A writer employing lens analysis seeks to assert something new and unexpected about the exhibit; she strives to go beyond the expected or the obvious, exploiting the lens to acquire novel insights. Furthermore, there is a reciprocal aspect in that the exploration of the exhibit should cause the writer to reflet, elaborate, or comment on the selected concept or claim. Using a concept developed by someone else to conduct an analysis or interpretation of one’s own is a fundamental move in academia, one that you will no doubt be required to perform time and time again in college. 

Assignment Prompt: Choose one of the following prompts for your essay. 

  1. Discuss the key themes of the serial prose poem Humanimal.  Produce a close reading in your investigation of these metaphors. Make use of other relevant texts to prove your point.
  2. Explain how Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus reflects humanist ideals, and how those ideals may or may not also be reflected in Hans Moravec’s “Pigs in Cyberspace.” 
  3. Discuss the key themes of the short story “The Universe of Things.” Produce a close reading in your investigation of these themes. Make use of other relevant texts to prove your point. 

What I am looking for (a.k.a. how you get your “grade”, i.e. full points):

  1. Do you know how to read a writer’s biography and extract the relevant information that will help give useful context to the novel and the topic you are discussing? 
  2. Do you know how to create a clear and interesting thesis that answers the prompt?
  3. Do you know how to structure paragraphs around topic sentences?
  4. Do you know how to extract relevant information from the texts to support your thesis and topic sentences? 
  5. Do you know how to use, integrate, cite, and document other people’s ideas properly?
  6. Do you rework your draft after receiving feedback from readers? 
  7. Do you edit and proofread your drafts? 

Reading for Next Week

Dear Students,

Hurray! We are almost finished with the first unit of the class, on close reading. I really enjoyed reading all of your essays. It is a pleasure to see your thoughts develop when thinking about these poems, especially those of you who made substantial changes between your predrafts and formal drafts. I can’t wait to see how things develop as you establish and/or revise your thesis statements and organize your paragraphs around explaining and arguing your theses. If you have not received comments from me for your formal draft, check your other emails addresses and write me if you still do not see them. If you have not received feedback on your draft because I don’t have your draft, you are failing my class until I get your essay. All drafts of all essays are required to pass the class, and I will not accept missing essays at the end of the semester, but the good news is that these essays are not hard to write if you take it step by step in the way I have explained in the assignments for the predraft and formal draft.

Reading: Humanimal is online in the resources page (remember the password is different there, and it is on the course syllabus in case you forget). Read “Humanimal 2,” pages 9-35 (the type is large and it will go fast). I have included the introduction and Humanimal 1 for those who want more context to Humanimal 2.


Please see the site menu for the discussion board for “Moving Beyond the Logic of Sacrifice.” Students only need to post in one of the threads. Bonus if you post to two or respond to another student’s post.

Discussion Leaders post to the blog in order to facilitate the in-class discussion through a deeper engagement with the exhibit text and questions for further analysis. When posting to the blog please remember to include the category for your post, which is “discussions.” You can find the category in the the “document” tab to the right of the text window when writing your post.