AMERICAN STUDIES 301 MIDTERM
Due Friday, October 23 by 4:00 pm
Place in Box Outside my Office Door (THH 402C)
Please include a title for midterm, TA name, and staple
Description of assignment
: Compose an anthology of twelve quotations drawn from the
materials assigned for the first four sections of this course (Parts I, II, III and IV).
anthology will consist of a preface, short commentaries on each quotation, and a
The anthology should be governed by a theme (or a set of two topics aligned
to the concerns of the first four sections of the syllabus) that offer a way to unite together
the diverse materials for this course.
The best anthologies (those that will receive an A or
A- grade) will be ones where the theme enables the student to inquire into the
complexities of American culture and where both the structure and content of the
midterm manifest democratic thinking (i.e., examining an issue by looking at it from
multiple points of view) and integrative thinking (i.e, finding similarities and making
syntheses amidst diverse voices).
Texts for the assignment
Draw one quotation from each of the following texts or set of
Present the quotation and cite the text and page number of the quote (if the page
number is available).
Then provide your analysis of the quotation.
1. Carroll, ed., Letters from a Nation
2. Katz, ed., Why Freedom Matters
3. Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
4. McWilliams, Southern California: Island on Land
(chapters 2, 3 or 15)
5. O'Hearn, ed., Half+Half
6. David Brooks, On Paradise Drive
7. Political oratory or writings by Christopher Columbus, John Winthrop, George
Thomas Jefferson, Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass
Herman Melville, "Bartleby," or Nathaniel Hawthorne, "My Kinsman, Major”
Molineux" or "The Gray Champion”
9. Black, Our Constitution: The Myth That Binds Us
or Gustafson, “We the People and
the Word” or Thurgood Marshall, or Kingston, “The Laws”
Essays by Tony Kushner, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Stanley Crouch or political
oratory by Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Martin Luther King, Jr.