Power, Race, and Migration

ENG 106. Spring 2020. University of Miami

Readings (Requires UMiami authentication)


Course: ENG 106, Section U4
Institution: University of Miami
Instructor: Preston Taylor Stone (pts25@miami.edu)
Office hours: W 1:30-3:30pm (Ferré 101)
Course Location: Dooly 109
Course time: T/R   6:35-7:50pm
Course Credit Hours: 3

Course Description:
In this class, we will embark on a hermeneutic analysis of cultural texts that focus on power, race, and migration. In other words, we will examine how we create, experience, and interpret cultural texts that feature narratives of race and migration in order to think through the human cost of structures of power. We will encounter different ways that researchers have focused on this issue and ask how we undermine or validate the structures of power in our society. Turning to cultural texts like films, novels, and memoirs will help us situate narratives of migration and race into wider frameworks like cultures and societies.This course is broken up into two parts: (1) Migration and Power and (2) Race and Power. Please note that you do not need any previous knowledge on this subject to succeed in this course.

This course will sharpen your analytical reading and writing skills as well as introduce you to academic research methods through a multidisciplinary approach to studying different forms of exploitation during our contemporary and preceding eras. In this course, we will work on writing strategies and skills applicable to all fields and majors, such as textual analysis, researching and locating scholarly sources, and constructing an argument in conversation with existing research. However, we will also consider the differences in academic writing styles among disciplines such as the natural sciences, social sciences, business, and the humanities. As such, you will be responsible for learning the citation style and academic writing conventions of your chosen field or discipline. 

Course Goals and Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course, students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Demonstrate effective written communication skills in relation to specific rhetorical tasks.
  • Construct original, well-reasoned arguments using a range of materials
  • Find, evaluate, integrate, and synthesize appropriate and relevant primary and secondary sources in their writing
  • Engage in close-reading of texts
  • Cite sources formally (using MLA, APA, Chicago, or other citation formats)

Required Texts

  • Regular access to a computer
  • Access to Netflix streaming services
  • Portable storage (flash drive, email, cloud, etc)
  • Most texts will be provided on Blackboard and linked on the schedule section of this document. You will be expected to print and bring these to class or have full access to them during class. The texts that will not be provided via Blackboard PDF will be required purchases for students. These required purchases are listed below:

Heads of the Colored People: Stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Barnes & Noble

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
Barnes & Noble

Policies & Assignments

Students are required to attend class, come to class on time and prepared (having done the reading/s or assignment/s), at least attempt all classwork activities, turn in assigned work when due, participate fully in good faith in any peer work, participate in class discussion, focus on the work at hand, and conduct oneself in a manner appropriate to the college classroom.

Rubric for class participation

5Student is always attentive and contributes relevant insight very often, completing all in-class assignments in a collaborative and receptive manner
4Student is attentive and completes all in-class assignments in a collaborative and receptive manner
3Student is distracted but completes all in-class assignments
2Student is often distracted and off-task, hesitant and unreceptive to collaboration
1Student does not complete in-class assignments
0Student is absent

On Writing and Reading
This class will ask a lot of you in terms of writing and reading. You are likely to do more reading in a quicker time in this course than any other course you have taken before. I will, before class, ask that you respond to several informal prompts on Blackboard in the hopes you will at least attempt to do this work. Homework is a small part of your participation grade but will be immensely helpful to you in thinking about the texts we are discussing and formulating a topic for your final paper. I understand this is not your only class and I respect that you have a personal life beyond our classroom. Nonetheless, I expect you will come to class having at least attempted to do the assigned reading and writing all the way through and having prepared notes, ideas, or questions to discuss with the class.

Revision is a central and integral part of this course and any writing course of merit. In order for your writing to be consistently improving, you must bring it through multiple drafts of revision. Revision, then, is a requirement of this course. You will upload free-write, journaling, even outlines and sketches, to your Google Drive folder. Failure to do so will cast a burden of proof on your having done consistent revision in good faith for each assignment, and this will be reflected in your grades.

Each student is allotted 4 unexcused absences (two whole weeks) and 3 tardies. Absences beyond this may result in deductions from the student’s final grade. Excessive absences will result in the student failing the course. After a student has been late (tardy) 3 times, each following time the student is late will result in 1/3 an absence. This means once a student has been late to class 6 times, they will receive an absence. Students who are consistently distracted in class (texting, browsing the internet, etc.) will be warned to pay closer attention to class. After this warning, if a student is continuously distracted in class, they will be marked absent. Students who acknowledge holy days on the same day(s) we have class will be excused if they have alerted the professor of all of these by the end of three days after you are enrolled in class. Absences do not excuse any due dates or work missed.

Electronics Policy and Google Drive vs. Blackboard
Each student is required to bring tablet, laptop, or similar electronic device to class in order to take notes, complete and submit in-class writing assignments, access readings or notes for class discussion, and participate in peer review. No electronic device should be a distraction from the activities of the classroom for any student. The use of laptops or tablets is allowed only to complete classroom-related activities. If electronic devices become a distraction or a means by which students avoid class participation, the student(s) in violation will receive an absence for class that day.

We will spend most of our class time working in Google Drive, a cloud-based file sharing system to which each student at the University of Miami has access. To log-in to your Google Drive, visit google.miami.edu and use the same credentials you use to access your email, Canelink, and Blackboard interfaces. You will have your own folder within the classroom’s folder (“ENG 106 S20”). Drive is where you will submit your drafts, revisions, in-class writing assignments, reflections, and peer reviews. The only thing you will not submit to this folder is your final draft to each assignment, which must be uploaded to Blackboard. It is up to you to make sure you have access to your Blackboard and Google Drive accounts and folders at all times. Inability to access Google Drive or Blackboard will not be sufficient excuse for not turning in assignments on time. For IT help, UMIT is located on the third floor of the Richter Library.

 Academic Honor Code
As a student of the University of Miami, you have agreed to uphold the Honor Code. Violation of this code includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or academic dishonesty. The Undergraduate Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook defines each of these violations:

Cheating – Implies the intent to deceive. It includes all actions, devices and deceptions used in the attempt to commit this act. Examples include, but are not limited to, copying answers from another student’s exam, and using a cheat sheet or crib notes in an exam.

Plagiarism – is representing the words or ideas of someone else as your own. Examples include, but are not limited to, failing to properly cite direct quotes and failing to give credit for someone else’s ideas.

Collusion – is the act of working together on an academic undertaking for which a student is individually responsible. Examples include, but are not limited to, sharing information in labs that are to be done individually.

Academic Dishonesty – includes any other act not specifically covered that compromises the integrity of a student or intrudes, violates, or disturbs the academic environment of the university community. Examples are attempting or agreeing to commit, or assisting in or facilitating the commission of, any scholastic dishonesty violation, failing to appear or testify without good cause when requested by the Honor Council, failing to keep information about cases confidential, supplying false information to the Honor Council and accusing a student of a violation of this Code in bad faith.

Title II, B

Any student who violates the Honor Code will fail not only the assignment but the entire course. Each of you has the ability to think through your own unique ideas. If you are thinking of violating the Honor Code because you are overwhelmed or in distress, speak with me and we will come up with a better solution.

On Accessibility and Acceptance
Every student, no matter their identity, ideology, or ability, is welcome and valued in this class. This class will require that we confront political, social, and ideological questions that may be deemed controversial. I encourage you not to shy away from this opportunity to think through these issues. No matter what, no student should ever feel unwelcome or unsafe in this classroom. If you find that you feel inappropriately uncomfortable, consistently unsafe, or need help, please let me know immediately and I will direct you to the resources that may help. The University of Miami Counseling Center (UMCC) provides professional support to students no matter their gender expression, sexual preferences, sex, race, financial or immigration status. You can make an appointment by calling 305-284-5511, by visiting counseling.studentaffairs.miami.edu, or by visiting the counseling center on Merrick Dr. (across from the Pavia Garage).

Students with accessibility requirements are provided for by the University of Miami’s Office of Disability Services (ODS) and may contact this office at 305-284-2374 or disabilityservices@miami.edu to make any requests for accessibility. If you have trouble contacting the ODS, let me know and I will help you. If you have contacted the ODS and have any requirements of me, please be sure to let me know as soon as possible.

Turning in assignments 
Papers should be submitted on Blackboard or Google Drive on the day and at the specified time they are due. Each day a paper is late, there will be a deduction of 10% from the grade. All assignments are assigned in due time to be completed by each student on time. It is your own job to make sure you do not forget deadlines and that you turn your assignments into the correct platform (Blackboard, email, or Google Drive). Every deadline is listed on this document in the schedule section, on the assignment sheets themselves, and verbally said in class. If you require an extension(s) for your assignment(s), you must request them of the instructor at least three class periods (over a week) prior to the due date of the assignment. Under no circumstances is the instructor required to grant you an extension(s). No late blackboard posts will be accepted.

The Writing Center (www.as.miami.edu/writingcenter) can help you at any stage of the writing process.  Appointments are suggested, but they also accept ‘walk-in’ visits.  If I think it’s necessary, I will ask you to use the Writing Center on a regular basis. Please note that all appointments are currently being held online until further notice.  To make an online appointment, make an account at the above link/sign in as usual and choose an available time.

OWL @ Purdue is a great online resource for writing and research techniques. It can be located at https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html.

Extra Credit is not available or permitted in this course. I do not allow extra credit for several reasons: put simply, it is unfair to those who have committed to the work required of this class if others are able to do extra work for credit. Moreover, extra credit requires extra effort and time to which I am unable to commit for reading, annotating, grading, and categorizing within the gradebook.

On Communication
I will make a point to learn each of your names and I expect you will learn to use one another’s name in conversation, as well (“I agree with what ___ said”). This will create a welcoming and meaningful culture for our classroom. If you have a question about the policies or assignments for this class, you may speak to me before, during, or after class, via email, or in office hours. I will make a point to reply to your email within 24-to-48 hours. If you have not received a response from me after two days, you should email me again. Please do not email me to ask questions about an assignment one or two days before it is due as this will not allow due time for me to respond and for you to use this answer in writing your assignment.

If you have a question or concern about an assignment or participation grade, please come and see me during my office hours or talk with me before or after class to arrange a meeting.  Due to federal requirements, UM faculty are not permitted to discuss grades via email or phone, so we will need to meet in person and in private.

Overall Grade Distribution:

Attendance/Class participation100pts
Comparative Context analysis150pts
Lensing Assignment150pts
Short Close Reading150pts
Literature Review150pts
Research Paper300pts

Grading Scale:

A – Exemplary B – Effective C – Sufficient   D – Unsatisfactory F – Failure

Rubric for written assignments

AStudent’s argument is clear, concise, and thought-through.Student’s essay has little to no grammatical errorsStudent’s essay is carefully crafted to suit its reader and contains a strong personal voiceStudent’s writing itself is effective because it offers fierce insight, vivid details, strong analysis, and solid evidence Evidence is selected and presented carefully for relevance and effectivenessStudent’s essay demonstrates the writer’s ability to actively read and respond to difficult textsStudent’s essay is turned in on time.
BStudent’s argument is fairly clear and concise but lingers about at times.Student’s essay has a few grammatical errorsStudent’s essay needs further development in areas such as organization, textual support, or analysisStudent’s essay needs further revision to adjust sentence structure and/or provide smoother transitions between sentences and paragraphsStudent’s essay showcases clear and strong writing but the writer may still be unsure of her voice, audience, or styleWriting demonstrates strong awareness of assignment goals and purpose but may not incorporate relevant evidence effectivelyStudent’s essay is turned in on time.
CStudent’s argument is unclear but the essay meets the word requirementStudent’s essay has more than a few grammatical errors but is still readableStudent’s essay contains all the requirements of the assignment in adequate form, but shows vague or confused awareness of assignment goals and purposeStudent’s essay does not include relevant evidence or does not connect this evidence effectively to argumentStudent’s assignment is turned in late
DStudent’s argument is unclear and awkwardly phrasedStudent’s essay under the word requirement Student’s grammar is nearly unreadableStudent’s writing shows a carelessness in structure and mechanics which detract from the overall quality of the workWriting reflects serious problems with development of ideas, organization, and minimal effort toward revisionStudent’s essay offers no evidence from the text to support claims
FStudent did not turn in assignment


Blackboard reading responses
The night before most reading assignments are due, you will be asked to respond to a specific prompt or question related to the reading. These responses are designed to stimulate your thinking about the text and the course themes and help prepare you for class discussion. They are also great places to start generating ideas for your essays and research projects. These posts will be graded based on completion, but thoughtful responses will enrich our class discussions and help you develop confidence in your ideas, critical reading skills, and writing. All posts are due before class time. To earn full points on your reading responses, you will need to write thoughtful answers in full sentences and/or paragraphs and submit your post before class time. *200-300 words each*

Close reading
This brief textual analysis paper will require you to select a passage from a written text we read in class and examine how the author uses language and rhetorical strategies. Note that this is not a report on what the author is saying nor is it a summary of the text. While it will be important to understand the text, this assignment is meant to explain how the author conveys their story or argument (the types of evidence they use, the methods of presenting). You may choose to do a close reading of a cultural text (short story, poem, film, mini-series, documentary) or an academic text (peer-reviewed article, monograph chapter). *1000 word min.*

Comparative Context analysis
For this assignment, your group will choose a piece from the special collections in the Kislak Center and compare/contrast how this piece has been or might be discussed in three different rhetorical contexts, genres, or academic disciplines. For instance, you might look at the map “Carte figurative et approximative représentant pour l’année 1858 les émigrants du globe, les pays dóu ils partent et ceux oú ils arrivent” and discuss how it might be approached by social sciences, humanities, economics, or healthcare fields and in a popular source such as a magazine, newspaper, or film. You should then use your analysis to make recommendations for writing persuasively in each of these contexts. *group presentation of ~20-25 mins*

Literature review 
This assignment will act as Part 1 of your research project. After selecting a topic for your project, you will conduct research and provide an overview of the existing body of research on the topic—trace the different schools of thought or approaches to the topic, summarize what other scholars have said, and examine how they agree, disagree, and relate to each other. This is, in short, a report on all of the scholarship about a given topic (or as much as you can find). Think of this as if you are stepping into the ongoing scholarly conversation about your topic and your goal is to outline each of the strands of that conversation. This performance of research and abridging arguments of other scholars is an important part of recognizing there is an ongoing interest in the topic you are researching and it will be very important to do as you continue in your academic career. The literature review will help you situate your own argument (that of your research paper) within the existing scholarly research. Aspects of this will become crucial during your research paper since you will need to reference sources in the literature review in your paper. Therefore, as you are researching, you would be wise to think about what others are not saying so that you can provide the missing link. *minimum of 10 peer-reviewed sources*

Research paper
You will produce a research paper in a scholarly format on a topic of your interest that relates to our focus of study: power, migration, and race. I encourage you to think about topics addressed by your area of study. This is not a report or summary of different sources (literature review). Though you will use your literature review to situate your own argument, the majority of your paper should be dedicated to developing your own argument and situating your own contribution to (or criticism of) the arguments of others. Your essay must use research from scholarly sources (min. of 7 peer-reviewed sources), put forward a clear and convincing position on your topic, and follow a single citation style, format, and set of conventions (MLA, Chicago, or APA). *2000 word min.*

Lensing assignment
This assignment asks you to use a theoretical or conceptual text as a framework to read a primary text, such as a creative or fictional work. One way to approach this is to imagine yourself as the author of the theoretical text and respond to the second text from their perspective. Therefore, the goal of this assignment is to use the concepts and ideas of the theoretical text as a “lens” to evaluate and interpret the cultural text. *1500 word min.*

ENG 106 Spring 2020 Course Schedule*

Week 1

T   1/14 “Power” by Audre Lorde

Review Syllabus, Google Drive, Blackboard

“What is an argument?” assignment

Homework: Watch Mudbound on Netflix, read “XVI. The Propaganda of History” from Black Reconstruction by W.E.B. Du Bois, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   1/16 Introduce close reading

Discuss Mudbound and Du Bois 

Review citation style: MLA

Homework: Watch 13th on Netflix, read “I. Of Our Spiritual Strivings” from The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois and “The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning” by Claudia Rankine, respond to Blackboard prompt

Week 2

T   1/21 Discuss 13th, Du Bois, and Rankine

Discuss Close-reading assignment

Review citation style: APA

Homework: Watch When They See Us ep. 1 on Netflix, read pp 1-16 of “The Wake” from In the Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   1/23 Discuss When They See Us ep. 1 and Sharpe

Review citation style: Chicago

Homework: Watch When They See Us ep. 2 on Netflix, read the first three stories of Heads of the Colored People: stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, respond to Blackboard prompt; close-reading free-write due Monday 1/27

Week 3

T   1/28 Discuss When They See Us ep. 2 and Thompson-Spires

Watch parts of LEMONADE by Beyoncé

Homework: Watch When They See Us ep. 3, read the second three stories of Heads of the Colored People: stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   1/30 Discuss When They See Us ep. 3 and Thompson-Spires

Homework: Watch When They See Us ep. 4, watch Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe, read the final three stories of Heads of the Colored People: stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, respond to Blackboard prompt

Week 4

T   2/4 Discuss Thompson-Spires, When They See Us ep. 4, and Janelle Monáe

Review comparative context analysis group assignment

Homework: Read “Defining Diaspora, Refining a Discourse” by Kim D. Butler, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   2/6 Discuss Butler article

Homework: Watch “Immigration: Then and Now” from Children of the Revolución on PBS.org, read “Survival Migration: A New Protection Framework” by Alexander Betts, Close reading assignment due no later than Sunday, 2/9 at 11:59 pm

Week 5

T   2/11 Discuss Betts article & “Immigration: Then and Now”

Homework: Watch Living Undocumented on Netflix (ep. 1) and Living Undocumented on Netflix (ep. 2), read “Juan Crow: Progressive Mutations of the Black-White Binary” by John D. Márquez, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   2/13 Discuss Living Undocumented ep. 1-2 and Márquez article 

Watch Deportation Nation on Youtube

Homework: Watch Living Undocumented on Netflix (ep. 3), read “Introduction” by Viet Thanh Nguyen and “The Ungrateful Refugee” by Dina Nayeri from The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives, respond to Blackboard prompt

Week 6

T   2/18 Discuss Living Undocumented ep. 3 and The Displaced readings 

Watch “Trump, Immigration, and Power” from MetroFocus

Homework: Watch Living Undocumented on Netflix (ep. 4), read “Enforcing the Politics of Race and Identity in Migration and Crime Control Policies” by Yolanda Vázquez, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   2/20 Discuss Living Undocumented ep. 4 and Vázquez article

Homework: Watch Living Undocumented on Netflix (ep. 5) and Living Undocumented on Netflix (ep. 6), read “Gender, Race, and the Cycle of Violence of Female Asylum Seekers from Honduras” by Lirio Gutiérrez Rivera, respond to Blackboard prompt; Comparative context analysis presentation drafts due in Google Drive no later than 2/21 at 11:59 p.m.

Week 7

T   2/25 Discuss Living Undocumented ep. 5-6 and Rivera article

Homework: Groups 1 & 5 prepare for comparative context analysis project presentations

R   2/27 Groups present comparative context analysis project:

Group 1 (Brianna, Alexandra, Felisa, Katie)

Group 5 (Ethan, Karrington, Avner)

Homework: Groups 2, 3, & 4 prepare for comparative context analysis project presentations

Week 8

T   3/3 Groups present comparative context analysis project

Group 2 (Alexa, Adam Florman, Roy)

Group 3 (Cidnee, Adam Edelstein, Rocío, Lucas)

Group 4 (Greg, Luis, D’Andre, Matthew)

Homework: Read “Conclusion: The Burdens of White Supremacy” by David C. Atkinson from The Burden of White Supremacy: Containing Asian Migration in the British Empire and the United States, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   3/5 Discuss Atkinson reading

Review Literature review assignment

Midterm Reflections

Homework: Listen to “The Non-United States of Asian America” episode of the podcast Self Evident: Asian America’s Stories; Literature review draft due to Google Drive before class Tuesday, 3/24

* * * SPRING RECESS 03/07-03/15 * * *

* * Coronavirus extension of Spring Recess: 03/16-03/22 * *

Week 9

T   3/24 Literature Review draft due before class

Literature Review workshop

Homework: Adjust literature review based on comments from peers and professor; Listen to “The Non-United States of Asian America” episode of the podcast Self Evident: Asian America’s Stories

R   3/26 Review Research Essay assignment

Discuss Self Evident episode

If time permits: listen to “Filipino Americans: Blending Cultures, Redefining Race” from NPR

Homework: Literature Review due no later than Sunday 3/29 at 11:59pm; Read Ch 1-2 of The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race by Anthony Christian Ocampo, listen to “The Talk We Were Supposed To Have” episode of Self Evident: Asian America’s Stories, respond to Blackboard prompt

Week 10

T   3/31 Discuss Ocampo and Self Evident episode

Homework: Prepare draft for research essay workshop

R   4/2 Research Essay Workshop

Homework: Adjust research essay draft based on workshop feedback

Week 11

T   4/7 Research Essay Workshop

Homework: Read Prologue and pp 1-30 of of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   4/9 Discuss Vargas

Review Lensing assignment

Homework: Read pp 31-62 of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas, respond to Blackboard prompt

Week 12

T   4/14 Discuss Vargas

Homework: Read pp 63-96 of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   4/16 Discuss Vargas

Homework: Research essay due no later than Fri., 4/17 at 11:59pm; Read pp 97-135 of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas, respond to Blackboard prompt

Week 13

T   4/21 Discuss Vargas

Homework: Read pp 136-164 of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   4/23 Discuss Vargas

Homework: Read pp 165-198 of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas, respond to Blackboard prompt

Week 14

T   4/28 Discuss Vargas

Homework: Read pp 199-end of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas, respond to Blackboard prompt

R   4/30 Discuss Vargas

Homework: prepare draft of Lensing Assignment for workshop

Week 15

T   5/5 Lensing Assignment workshop

Homework: Lensing Assignment due no later than May 8 at 11:59 p.m.

*Course schedule is fluid and may require alterations throughout the semester depending on different, unforeseen events or complications. All changes will be announced both in class and via Blackboard/email announcements in due time for students to receive and adjust their plans accordingly.