(C/O @XavierFiles)

Because I’ve gotten questions on this: if you want to revise any of your essays, plan on meeting with me or corresponding with me via email so we can discuss a revision plan.


In The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, our protagonist Mace remarks that “professional wrestling is the most uniquely profound artistic expression of the ideals of the United States” (15). But how so? Use evidence from Act I to show how the play depicts wrestling as a metaphor for American society.


Here are the abstracts we produced in our workshop. Let’s continue to both use these as examples of how a close reading argument moves from a “specific passage to a general conclusion” and try to improve on them.

Example 1
Citizen explores the many ways that people of color, particularly women, experience descrimination and micro-aggressions. Rankine highlights one incident in particular where Serena Williams’ body is mocked by a white woman on the tennis court by stuffing her bra and skirt to mock Williams’ strong athletic build. These types of migro-aggressions followed Williams and many other black women throughout their professional careers and lives. Rankine’s text shows that predominantly white environments attempt to use white normativity to break the self-esteem of women of color.

Example 2
The section “Stop and Frisk” from Citizen by Claudia Rankine represents racial discrimination towards people of color by depicting a scene of an innocent black person being profiled for a crime because he supposedly “fit the description” of an otherwise unknown suspect. This example of white normativity reveals the book’s main theme of social injustice and prejudices that are sometimes, but not always, intentional.

Example 3
“You are not the guy and still you fit the description because there is only one guy who is always fitting the description.” This passage portrays that there exists a description that is targeted for stop and frisk. It shows that even if the person being stopped and frisked is innocent, they are already targeted because they “fit the description.” Citizen is about how happenings like stop and frisk feed into racism in America today. Thus, stop and frisk normalizes the prejudice toward people of color.

Example 4
Hurricane Katrina, a tragedy many felt deeply about, was portrayed on the news.”And the fiction of the facts assumes randomness and indeterminacy.” The fact is that people died due to the hurricane, but contradicting the “fiction of the facts” many died because they were left to fend for themselves. Citizen represents Hurricane Katrina by using quotes from CNN to show how the media language about Katrina was unable to


Monday, May 7
(Drafts emailed by Saturday, May 5 by 8p.m.)

1. Frank Fernandez
2. Alexis Stanich
3. Ralph Gonzales
4. Ashley Armanious

1. Daisha Greggs
2. Renu Maharjan
3. Johnathan Peña
4. Adriana Buitrago

Wednesday, May 16
(Drafts emailed by Sunday, May 13 at 8p.m.)

1. Audrey Rosenblatt
2. Danielle Reid
3. Yang Chen
4. Ruby Vasquez
5. Suresh Tamang

1. Jessica Dragos
2. Tyler Spratt
3. Selines Luna
4. Tenaisha Foreman
5. Alissa Fiol

1. Catherine Casteneda
2. Cindy Gutierrez
3. Brian Guzman
4. Michael Neat
5. Karolyn Kuczynski

1. Dominique Vample
2. Kameron Johnson
3. Almira Veseli

Email or leave a comment if you haven’t yet signed up.


Here are the Splash Page presentation dates you signed up for, for your reference. If you haven’t yet signed up for a date, leave a comment or shoot me an email.

Monday, April 30

Ashley Armanious
Alexis Stanich
Frank Fernandez
Tenaisha Foreman
Daisha Greggs
Brian Guzman
Tyler Spratt
Ruby Vasquez
Alissa Fiol

Wednesday, May 2

Suresh Tamang
Yang Chen
Audrey Rosenblatt
Danielle Reid
Ralph Gonzales
Jessica Dragos
Almira Veseli
Renu Maharjan
Johnathan Peña
Mikey Neat
Karolyn Kuczynski
Selines Luna
Kameron Johnson
Catherine Castaneda
Dominique Vample
Diana Juela
Cindy Gutierrez


Here are the first Essay 3 thesis drafts we came up with during Wednesday’s workshop. I’ve typed up what you wrote on the board so we won’t forget. We’ll refer back to these and try to improve them!

Remember the original “fill-in-the-blank”: In Citizen, Claudia Rankine does _____ to show ______ about American racism. You should fill in the first blank with a specific device or feature from Citizen. Then, fill in the second blank with the larger significance of this device or feature for our understanding of the text as a whole.

Here’s what you came up with:

1) In Citizen, Claudia Rankine uses Mary Catherine’s comments about having white features to highlight micro-aggressions and white normativity in our society.

2) In Citizen, Claudia Rankine uses second person to show stereotypes.

3) In Citizen, Claudia Rankine highlights the casual racist tendencies of white people to show that racism is rampant and subtle.

4) In Citizen, Claudia Rankine uses certain situations to depict racism and how people of color don’t receive the help they seek.

5) In Citizen, Claudia Rankine uses aggressive language to show the arrogance and ignorance of white characters.

6) In Citizen, Claudia Rankine uses Serena Williams’ experience to show how she was being thrown against a “white background.”


Here are the prompts we discussed for Essay 2. If you have any other ideas beyond these, leave a comment!

1) While desiring the same goal as Charles Xavier——mutant equality——Magneto believes that Xavier’s program of equality under the law effectively maintains the existing systems of power that oppress mutants. Is Magneto right? Use evidence from God Loves, Man Kills to support your answer.

2) How does God Loves, Man Kills engage with themes of religious fundamentalism? Use evidence from the graphic novel to back up your claims.


Understanding a poem always requires multiple readings. Let’s practice!

We’ll read Derrick Austin’s “Silver Millennium” and “The Lost Woods as an Elegy for Black Childhood” three times each. Each time, you’ll approach the poem slightly differently.

  • The first time, just listen to the poem.
  • The second time, choose one line of the poem and annotate it with a short question or comment.
  • The third time, the class will “explode”—meaning, you’ll share aloud what you wrote after the line has been spoken.

We’ll then follow up with some questions:

  1. What did you hear during the explosion?
  2. What surprised you?
  3. What patterns did you notice?
  4. Which lines drew your attention and why?