21L.488 | Spring 2018 | Undergraduate

Contemporary Literature: Street Haunting in the Global City


Re-Reading Assignment 2


Due: Class 24

Hand in an approximate 2 page reading response. The response will be informal (no need for thesis statement or developed argument; you’re free to narrate your own personal re-reading experience) but should be written in full sentences, thoughtful and analytical, and provide specific quotations from the excerpt chosen. The most important criteria is evidence of serious grappling with the text/class concepts.

Choose one passage to share with the class.


Choose one of the following prompts for this assignment.

  1. Re-read selections from primary and/or secondary texts that have informed (or will inform) your aesthetic choices for the final creative project. Write about the key passages and/or ideas, why they are compelling to you, how you see them in relation to your own creative work and lived experience of the city, what you noticed when you returned to them, how exploring an actual city altered your engagement with such ideas, etc.

    Note: I am fine with you using this as a kind of first-draft or brainstorming exercise for the final creative piece and its explanation of class-informed concepts and critical lenses. In fact, I want the assignments to feel linked and helpfully generative in both directions, and encourage you to use this as a chance to deepen your project. However, the final explanation you hand in must also show signs of substantial revision, development, and additions. You may re-use up to 2 paragraphs from this response in the final explanation, if you so choose.

  2. Re-read approximately 25 pages of 10:04 and write up your new analytical findings, using the re-reading questions below as possible inspiration.

  3. Pick two texts you have not gotten a chance to compare in a paper, and revisit key scenes. Write up a two page comparison including textual evidence from both texts.

  4. Pick a term or “critical lens” (a few possible examples of many: “precarity,” “focalization,” “opacity,” “uncanny,” “palimpsest”) from an earlier class discussion and apply it to a different text(s), citing at least two substantial passages. Explain how you are revisiting this concept in a new context.

  5. Read or check out any of the optional reading resources and connect this new resource to at least one or two passages from earlier class readings.

Possible prompts to guide your re-reading response. Not exhaustive and not necessary to address all.

  • What new connections were you able to make to other parts of this text, and to other texts we have read?
  • What is something you did not notice the first time around?
  • What is something you noticed the first time around, but now interpret differently or have a different reaction to?
  • How is your reading of this excerpt different knowing what you know about the rest of the text?
  • What interesting uses of figurative or descriptive language did you notice?
  • Take the time to look up unfamiliar words, names, allusions, dates, historical events, etc. Record them. Does this knowledge help or shift your reading at all?
  • Where do you see something that could be read in more than one way?
  • Without having to worry about plot or what is going on, what do you notice about the formal and stylistic choices made by the author?
  • Do you see any other connections to current events, your experience of Boston/other cities, or other discussions we have had in class?
  • What questions does the passage raise for you (ongoing or new)? Did anything become more problematic in your view? Does anything continue to bother or confuse you?
  • What observations do you have about your own personal reading experience and what was different (environment, mood, time of day, stress level, schedule, interest in or engagement with the text, etc.)

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2018
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments