Assignments for LIT 4192/Section 07CG/ Spring 2014 Money, and the Making of Modern Caribbean Literature


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Assignments for LIT 4192/Section 07CG/ Spring 2014 Money, and the Making of Modern Caribbean Literature
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Rosenberg, Leah R.
Department of English, University of Florida
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Gainesville, FL
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COURSE DESCRIPTION: This interdisciplinary introduction to digital humanities and the use of historical research in literary analysis examines two often overlooked labor migrations that profoundly influenced the shape and timing of the emergence of modern Caribbean literary culture: The immigration of Chinese and Indian indentured laborers into the French, Dutch, and British West Indies between 1838 and 1917, and the emigration and return of the Afro-Caribbean workers who went to Panama to build the canal between 1904–1914. Both groups worked under difficult conditions for exploitative wages, yet both managed to accumulate savings that bankrolled their entry into the educated middle class. Moreover, the new cultural forms and political aspirations they introduced to the region profoundly shaped Caribbean literary production and anti-colonial political movements. In this course, students will learn how to use archival material related to these migrations, including historical photographs, oral histories, and newspapers to enrich their understanding of Caribbean literature about these migrations, including the work of Jamaica Kincaid, David Dabydeen, Claude McKay, Lisser, Maryse Condé, V.S.Naipaul, Ramabai Espinet. The course introduces students to the digital humanities and digital archiving. It makes extensive use of the Digital Library of the Caribbean (, an open-access digital archive, whose technical hub is at UF. Students will have an opportunity to add their annotations to the finding aids in the dLOC collection and produce a digital humanities project as a final project.
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Course materials for: “Panama Silver, Asian Gold: Migration, Money, and the Making of the Modern Caribbean” an interdisciplinary Digital Humanities Course with the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC, Spring 2014, taught by Leah Rosenberg at the University of Florida

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Assignment 1: Reading the Colonial Archive This assignment introduces you to how scholars negotiate the colonial archive in making meaning. Due: 5pm on 26 January Part 1 1. Focus on 1 witness' testimony from Verene Shepherd's Maharani's Misery. How do you evaluate the significance of this testimony? How do you use other testimonies to qualify (e.g., verify, contradict, etc.) this version? 2. What other conditions influence how we read these sources (e.g., additional historical contexts, the acknowledg ed absence of information, etc.)? 3. Document your reasoning and analysis (500 words) and post to your individual home page and post a link to that page below Part 2 Using Hartman as your model, imagine your version of events (500 words) and post to your individual home page and post a link to that page below


Assignment 2: Representing West Indians in the Panama Canal Zone ASSIGNMENT 2: REPRESENTING WEST INDIANS IN THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE [Due 10 February by 8 pm] This assignment examines how literary texts transform the historical record. 1. Choose 1 scene from Susan Proudleigh or Tropic Death that represents a specific historical event, location, or identity (e.g., reasons for migrating to Panama, passage to Panama, encounters with Americans, living conditions, industrial accidents, West Indian women in Panama etc.). 2. Choose 2 related historical sources (or one primary historical source and one secondary, scholarly source). 3. How are the West Indian characters represented (e.g ., body, race, color, class, gender, skills, profession, and an individual's reasons for migration, etc.)? In the work of de Lisser or Walrond? In the 2 historical sources? For each, examine what the author includes and excludes. 4. W hat do these selections and interpretive choices tell you (500 750 words)? Possible sources for this assignment Questions for Group work on this assignment Read each other's assignment Identify a key passage in one of the historical sources that was key to writing your analysis and explain what was so important about that passage to your partner to your partner Now that you have read these two other accounts, do you think of de Lisser or Walrond differently and why? Did this exercise help you to understand the significance of the


text? Discuss these questions with your partner and briefly explain. Write down your answers. Biographical Info on Susie Pearl Core Some people had questions about who Susie Pearl Core was. We don't have a lot of information. Here is what Joan Flores was able to tell me: Unfortunately, there is not a lot of biographical information about her out there. These are a couple of mentions I found in the Panama Canal Review and the Canal Record. They're mostly from her retirement and after she had moved away from the Zone. I didn't look through every issue but I read quite a bit of the Review (less o f the Record) and this is all I found. I also searched around some older sources and she didn't come up, but keep me posted if anybody else finds anything. They could also search for Sue Peal Odom/Sue Core Odom (Odom is her married name). The Panama Canal Review 2:11 (June 6, 1952), 14. Accessed May 13, 2013. The Panama Canal Review 2:6 (January 4, 19 52), 11. Accessed May 13, 2013. "Lively Retiree," The Panama Canal Review 13:2 (September 1962) 11 [this one has a picture of her!] Canal Record, December 1974, page 11 ("Dr. and Mrs. John D. Odom") and 23 http:// Post your assignment on your individual home page and post a link to that page


Assignment 3: Working with Newspapers ASSIGNMENT 3: WORKING WITH NEWSPAPERS Due 21 February by Midnight This assignment allows you to think about how newspapers create historical meaning. You may focus on any aspect of Panama or Asian migration for this assignment. Browse the newspapers available online. A list will be posted on the Wiki page for this assignment. Choose one that contains stories about West Indians in Panama and/or Asians in the Caribbean. Select a news item related to the migrants. Examine the representation of immigrants or migrants. Read the entire issue of the newspaper in which the article appears. What kind of items does this newspaper carry (e.g. ads, editorials, letters, news, literary pieces, cartoons)? Write (500 750 words) for the Wiki characterizing the representation of im/migrants and the newspaper. Here is a link to Paul Losch's guide to new spapers for this assignment Post your assignment on your individual home page and post a link to that page


Assignment 4: Visualizing the Archives and Creating Metadata ASSIGNMENT 4: VISUALIZING THE ARCHIVES & CREATING METADATA (Due March 16 at 5:00 pm) METADATA INFORMATION FOR ASSIGNMENT 4 This assignment asks you to examine how photography historically has constructed the raced subject. Part 1: Choose 1 image from photographs you examine in Special collections, from the photo gallery. or from other online sources for Caribbean photographs such as Duperly, Picturesque Jamaica which has images on Indo Caribbean people on pp. 66 and 68 o see also Duperly Coolies At Worship. National Archives UK Caribbean through a Lens Project National Archives UK Caribbean through a Lens on Flickr The National Anthropological Archives (part of the Smithsonian Museums) Examine the photo and consider the following: Note the gender of the subjects; their position vis vis, machines, animals, vegetation, buildings or other racial subjects. What do you know about the pho tographer or what position or perspective do you imagine he/she had? What is the historical context for the photograph? If so, does the historical context (or moment in history) have particular significance? Is it possible to find sources on that contex t? Is the photograph dated? Is there a caption? What do these selections and interpretive choices tell you? Write (500 750 words) on the provenance of the photograph and the way it constructs its subject. Paste the photo from the photo gallery into your Wiki entry. Part 2: Meta Data


1. Consider what's included and what's missing in the citation (the citation includes the record information or metadata). 2. In the source you selected, what additional information do you think should be incl uded to make the source more useful for scholars? Consider what information should be included on the publisher? The author? The place and date of publication for historical context? What other information should be included? Complete the following info rmation for your photograph 1. Title of the item selected and accession number if part of the Panama Canal Collection. 2. Permanent link for the item selected (if available). Include a photograph of the image if your photograph has not been digitized. 3. Provide the following a. Subject Keywords: b. Abstract: (Description of the what is depicted in the photograph) c. Note: (Information about the object's portrayed or about photographer) Examples. Dredging crew s were generally composed of both silver and gold roll employees, who lived and worked on the same dredging machinery, but maintained separate facilities such as sleeping and dining written on photo reads Crew of the Sandpiper: 1. Joe, S mith, 2. Jack Smith 3. Jim Brown 4. Dan Forester 5. Alan Green. Rest of crew are blacks OR Caption on back of photo reads Proprietress. itself, background, etc. and might even link to other related collection objects. Post your assignment on your individual home pa ge and post a link to that page. This assignment can be done as a group project based on your group work in Special Collections on 3/11. Group assignments must include an additional section that outlines the work each person did and group assignments should have some information concerning the historical context and its significance. Each member of the group should post the assignment on his or her homepage and one version should posted below with all authors listed. Part I of a group project can also be longer than 750 words.


Assignment 5: Collaborative Guides and Annotations ASSIGNMENT 5: COLLABORATIVE GUIDES AND ANNOTATIONS Initial Proposal Due: : 15 April First Installment Due: 17 April Presentation of a complete draft of the project: 23 April, Final draft due: 29 April The Swinging Bridge or Tree of Life The overall goal of the project is to elucidate the literary text through analysis and historical and cul tural contextualization and to provide useful themes, questions, and references for future instructors and students. Students will work in groups to produce a guide to the historical and cultural references and important aesthetic or formal aspects of these novels. Each group will be responsible for a chapter or series of chapters in one of the novels. Emphasis may be placed on using primary historical documents to contextualize the setting of the particular representation of historical events or identities. (The sections will be designated by the instructor in consultation with the groups.) Each group will provide key concepts, study questions, and explications of important historical and cultural references and literary aspects as well as an evaluation of relevant online resources for their section of the text. Groups are encouraged to include at least one primary or archival source. The project must include bibliographic information in MLA forma t for its sources. Each group will also write a brief statement that introduces the group members and indicates the groups collaborated. All groups will meet with the instructor to discuss the project. Contributions will be posted on the appropriate page of the PBWorks wiki, and, if students so desire, successful projects will be added to the dLOC. Learn more about a digital scholarly edition Note on Alternative Projects Grading Criteria for Final Projects 1. The project includes each of the criteria listed above (themes; question s; explication of references, contexts, and formal characteristics; evaluation of online resources; bibliographic information on works cited). 2. The project must be a collaborative effort in which each student contributes significantly and as equally as possible. It includes an introduction to the authors of the project and the nature of their collaboration.


3. The project identifies important themes and explains their significance. 4. The project articulates important questions in a straight forwar d fashion. 5. The project provides insightful explication of cultural and historical contexts or references and explains their significance to the text. 6. The project incorporates at least one archival document or other item. 7. The project provides a coherent evaluation of online resources and provides URLs for strong online resources. 8. The project is written in straightforward and succinct prose with as few typos or other errors as possible. 9. The project is presented in a well designed fash ion with visual clarity. It is easy for readers to find information and to understand the organization of the project. Sign up sheet for Final Project Please sign up for ONE group for the final project. I have divided the two novels according to their official and then allocated 3 4 or people to each part depending on the length of the part, calculating roughly 25 pages per person. You may also opt for alternative project in mapping or providing a time line or combination for one of the n ovels ( see below ). Schedule 1. Pick a section/group by April 3, absolute deadline 8 April 2. April 15 Proposal due: post on your group wiki page the division of labor: What are your themes and questions, and a list of your proposed topics for notes. State who will do what. Groups will meet together in class on 15 April and all the groups for each novel will also meet to coordinate. 1. April 17 Complete at least 25% of the project is completed. Post progress on the wiki page for your group and be r eady to explain your work in class. 2. April 23 Each group presents the highlights for of their work.


Each group must produce 1. Overview with dates and main events that occur in their section. This sound include a statement about the function and s ignif i cance of your "Part" of the novel. (250 words -or a bit longer) 2. A List of 2 5 Main themes and study questions for the section of the novel the group has been assigned. 3. Minimum 9 15 references which the group will define and whose historical o r cultural significance the group will explain. 4. Include link or reference to primary historical sources if possible 5. Include bibliographic information and link (where possible) to sources for your work. Here you will be providing links to online b ackground or other relevant material 6. Explanation of how you collaborated: Who did what. 1 page. Maryse Group 1/ Pa rt I pp. 1 99 Group 2/Part ll pp. 103 181 Group 3/Part lll pp 185 255 Group 4/Part IV pp. 259 368 Group (s) 5/ Alt ernative structures or projects : (Mapping Tree of Life with annotations (with coordination with the groups);Time line ; Family Tree Example Project: http://viewshare .org/views/drevans/swag diplomacy black travel memoirs/ Group: 1 Part 1 pp 1 114 Group 2: Part 2: pp. 117 243 Group 3: Part 3: pp. 247 306 Group (s) 4/ Alternative structures or projects : (Mapping The Swinging Bridge with annotations (with coordination with the groups);Time line ; Family Tr ee combination of map and time line.