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ENG 3331: Literature of Black America: Home

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Getting Started


Library Session Goals:

  • Familiarize yourself with databases and related guides including the Oxford English Dictionary, etymology dictionaries, and MLA International Bibliography. Many of the sources listed on this guide will offer a "cite" tool to help with proper citing.
  • Explore the Library Guide sites and search tools in your collaborative group to begin brainstorming how you would like to approach your collaborative keyword essay.
  • Complete a series of research prompts that further your engagement with these tools, your keyword and course materials.

Glossary (n): an alphabetical list of terms found in or relating to a specific subject or text with explanations.

Final class project: co-author a digital glossary of key terms for reading, analyzing, and discussing banned black books, and literary works at large. Students will work in small groups to author a keyword essay entry in our collective glossary, which future
students and educators could use as a resource*. Keyword entries should help a reader understand a particular literary text (or several) in a compelling, critical, and creative way. Group’s keyword entry should include:

  1. Include a definition of the term (use the OED).
  2. Include the etymology of the term (use etymology resource on library site)
  3. Explain in your own words the definitions and root; and how these definitions may shift or expand depending on the context and usage. Consider the term against a historical, social, and/or cultural backdrop.
  4. Explore/include 1-2 scholarly sources that define and/or discuss your term in relation to our major readings or black literature more broadly.
  5. An explanation of how this term can help us read these banned books in a more nuanced and complex way. 
  6. Examples of this keyword in action, including a close reading of 2-3 of our major texts. These close readings should be at least 1-2 paragraphs per text. Point to a particular issue or highlight specific moments in the text that show how the definition is activated.
  7. Integrate relevant quotes from the major and supplementary texts to highlight ideas.
  8. The inclusion of links to other resources, images, videos, songs etc. that illustrate your keyword is encouraged

Keywords: childhood, beauty, body, memory, queer, storytelling, self-definition, place/space


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