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I.Oral Presentation on Dante Gabriel Rossetti “Jenny”: Your presentation will be due in-class on the day for which you signed-up (see chart above for due dates). A successful presentation will…
a.Be twelve-minutes in length
i.Tell us what you’re going to tell us. (Immediately identify your thesis statement and orient the audience with context.)
ii.Tell us what you said you’d tell us. (Support your claim with specific references to primary source and research.)
iii.Tell us what you told us. (Reiterate in a conclusion.)
i.Do not simply summarize the text or other critics’ analyses for your entire presentation
ii.Focus instead on establishing your argument (in response to a critic, by applying a cultural theory to the text, by comparing the text to another course text, etc.)
iii.Maintain focus (avoid inventorying a plethora of examples or topics; instead focus on presenting a unified topic)
i.Introduce something new (e.g. introduce the class to new ways of thinking about women in literature, demonstrate how to apply known concepts and theories to new texts, and/or provide insight into the primary text)
ii.Indicate how your argument fits into a larger, ongoing academic or global conversation
iii.Avoid repetition. You will need to collaborate with others presenting the same day as you in order to avoid repetition of information. This is the extent of the required group work. In all other ways, unless you choose to work in pairs or groups, you are responsible for the success of your own presentation.
i.You must use a multimedia presentation aid (e.g. short film, song, painting, costume, game, Prezi, data visualization, etc.). All presentation aids, regardless of format should supplement (not replace) the oral component. They should also be relevant to your focus (e.g. a song is relevant if you are presenting on a lyrical poem).
ii.Your appearance and the way you conduct yourself should be appropriate for a smart-casual presentation.
Summary of Literary Theories
Biographical Criticism—assumes that a work is influenced by the life events and experiences of the author. Biographical critics use information about an author’s biography to add to readers’ understanding of the text.
Ethnic Studies—seeks to give a voice to ethnic minorities by increasing awareness of the ways people of various ethnicities write and are written about. This includes examining the history, politics, and cultural artifacts of various ethnic groups.
Disability Studies—seeks to give a voice to individuals with a disability by increasing awareness of the ways people with disabilities write and are written about. This includes examining the history, politics, and cultural artifacts of those with disabilities.
Deconstruction—challenges the stability of meaning in a text by exploring the ways the apparent message is contingent upon an opposing message. This theoretical approach explores the ways meaning is reliant upon a network of ideas, words, and institutions.
Marxist Criticism—assumes that literature reflects a period’s social and political conditions. Marxist critics examine how class structures and materialism are represented in literature (e.g. how is inequality perpetuated; how is oppression opposed; how does material wealth determine the identity and actions of characters; etc.).
New Criticism—insists that a text has meaning in and of itself (regardless of authorial intention and historical or cultural influences). New Critics perform ‘close readings’ of the text that ask not just what the text is about but especially how the text conveys those ideas (e.g. through tone, structure, imagery, symbolism, ambiguity, etc.).
New Historicism—argues that we can never know exactly ‘what happened’ in history (i.e. there is no such thing as an historical fact). Instead “history” is simply our interpretation of events. Therefore, New Historicists ask not ‘what happened’ but how literature represents an event and/or conditions (how are certain governmental policies, intellectual concepts, social conditions, and/or political platforms supported or critiqued; how are traditionally marginalized groups represented; etc.).
Post-colonialism—seeks to give a voice to colonized peoples and nations by increasing awareness of the ways colonized populations write and are written about. This includes examining the identity and culture of colonized populations as well as the methods of reinforcing or undermining colonialist ideology.
Psychoanalysis—assumes that a work of literature is capable of revealing the repressed neuroses or unconscious mind of an author, collective culture, or characters. Psychoanalytic critics may ask, for instance, whether there are subconscious motivations in the text (e.g. id/ego/superego or an oedipal complex) or whether the text follows archetypal patterns (e.g. Hero, Quest, Mother/Whore, Anima/Animus).