24.908 | Spring 2017 | Undergraduate

Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities

Instructor Insights

Instructor Interview

"Rich discussions are best arrived at if they stem from a personal basis where students are invested in trying to find an answer that can work for them in their personal lives, the lives of their families, or their communities."
— Michel DeGraff

In the following dual language videos and two Chalk Radio podcast episodes, Prof. Michel DeGraff describes various aspects of how he taught 24.908 Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities.

View in English:

View in Creole:

Student Insights

"It’s not just about the curriculum; it’s about the space you create."
— Dalila Stanfield

In the following videos, two students share their experiences in 24.908 Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities.

José Esparza, MIT Student

Dalila Stanfield, Wellesley Student

Curriculum Information



Requirements Satisfied

  • HASS-S
  • CI-H
  • Unrestricted elective


Offered periodically


Grade Breakdown

The students’ grades were based on the following activities:

  • 15% Essay 1
  • 15% Essay 2
  • 15% Essay 3
  • 40% Essay 4 (20%) and oral presentation (20%)
  • 15% Attendance & Participation


A rubric (PDF) was used to assess the essay assignments.

Student Information


Fewer than 10 students

Breakdown by Year

Mostly juniors and seniors

Breakdown by Major

Linguistics, bio-engineering, earth science, mathematics, and materials science

Typical Student Background

Most students were from MIT; there were also visiting students from Wellesley. Many students were first generation Americans with parents or grandparents from Mauritius, India and Mexico, among other places. Students came to the course with the understanding that ideology around identities or identity politics are yet another “metaphor for power” (who belongs, who doesn’t belong).

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

  • Met 1 time per week for 3 hours per session; 14 sessions total.
  • Class sessions were discussion-based. Students also made oral presentations in which they connected course readings to their lived experiences. 

Out of Class

  • Students wrote essays and completed readings outside of class.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2017
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Written Assignments
Presentation Assignments with Examples
Instructor Insights