Whether or not you were one of the in-class discussion leaders today, please share your perspective on the readings in the comments section to this post. Please share your comments no later than Thursday, April 17th at 9:35 a.m. (Pacific Standard Time).
The major assignment this week (due Thursday) is your Research Narrative. The assignment is meant to be the culmination of the research process for your project. The final part of the project will be all about presentation, and so this assignment should contain all the research (sources, questions, analysis) and research products (context, conclusions, a sense of the story, findings) that you will need to finish off.
This week we make our final topic shift in the class as we begin our reading and discussion of the Asian American Movement(s). We have an assortment of readings for Tuesday to get us started. The first is an article on “The Third World Women’s Alliance (presented to you as DCR 21), which will help us think about the ways racially-minded feminism integrates into the larger class story in new ways.
We’ll also begin reading our final course text, Asian Americans: The Movement and the Moment. This is a very different kind of book, scholarly in its analysis but an accessible “people’s history” in its tone and presentation. We’ll get started with pages 16-100.
Finally, I ask you to watch a wonderful segment from Democracy Now! on the legendary figure Yuri Kochiyama. The segment begins at around the 27 minute and 28 seconds mark on the video at this link.
We’re almost at the end of our semester! But before we get there we have a few more miles of our journey together. Stay focused on the road ahead. The finish line will come soon enough.
For Tuesday we will READ part IV of the book Prison Writings: My Life is a Sun Dance, by Leonard Peltier. (It is provided to you as DCR 20.) Very few people are more associated with the term “political prisoner” than is Peltier. He is also an important figure in the evolving narrative of our class, made all more so by the fact of his imprisonment since 1977. Peltier has now spent more than half of his life in a federal penitentiary. Before you do the reading, I ask that you do some research on who Peltier is, the conditions and controversies of his imprisonment, and the historic movement to see him released.
You are also expected to cover the following additional sources for our discussion. Read a short article from the NY Times called “Burglars Who Took on F.B.I.,” which can be found here. A short mini-documentary accompanies the piece. I ask that you watch it. Finally, listen to the audio story “Student ‘Subversives’ and the F.B.I.’s ‘Dirty Tricks’,” accessible online from NPR. We’ll follow up our discussion with a short lecture on the FBI and its surveillance programs of the 1960s and 70s.
We have an abbreviated week this week, since we will not have class on Thursday. (I’ll be in Salt Lake City at the annual NACCS conference.) Use that extra time to work on the next part of your semester-long research project.
This week we will delve a bit further into the organizational development of the American Indian Movement, or AIM. As we do we will cover two pretty interesting examples of scholarship on the period as well as analyze a primary source in the context of your third (and final) Critical Evaluation exercise.
On TUESDAY, we will read a chapter on “Red Power” from the book Blood Struggle by Charles Wilkinson. We’ll also read a chapter on the centrality of the Pine Ridge reservation to the activity of AIM. This piece is from the book Agents of Repression written by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall. Both are provided to you on Sakai. We’ll have an in-class discussion on these two selections (using some slightly revised format) and follow that up with a lecture.
On THURSDAY we’ll watch the documentary “Alcatraz is Not an Island.” To prepare for that, as well as to provide you one more chance to demonstrate your skills of historical interpretation, you will prepare and turn in your final Critical Evaluation exercise. The source (provided to you as DCR 19) is the proclamation made by the “Indians of All Tribes,” the group who organized the Alcatraz occupation.
I hope you have a relaxing and/or productive spring break!
When we return from the break, we’ll wrap-up our discussion of Chicano and Latino movements and then begin the transition to discussing Native American movements of the era. On Tuesday we will have our regular in-class discussion activity. We’ll be finishing the book by Ian Haney-Lopez (chapters 8-9) as well as reading two digital readings (DCR 14 and 15) on the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican organization of the era.
On Thursday we’ll begin framing our discussion of the “Red Power” era of Native American political activism. As a compliment to the lecture we will read a chapter from a book on 20th century American Indian history (provided to you as DCR 16).
Welcome to the week before spring break!
We’ve successfully reached the half-way point of our class. By the end of the week you will have completed most of our class assignments and finished most of the reading for the entire semester. Our class is front-loaded for two reasons: 1) to make sure you do your best work when you are best equipped to do it, and 2) to give you the preparation to successfully complete your semester “teaching” project.
This Tuesday we will have our normal in-class discussion. You know the routine, so I won’t restate it here. The reading assignments are chapters 4-7 in the book by Haney-López and a recent online magazine article on Chicano activist Carlos Montes. We’ll follow up our discussion with a brief lecture. I’ll also return your outstanding course work.
On Thursday we’ll talk about more politically radical efforts by Chicana/o students in the later 1960s. You have an article to read (posted on Sakai as DCR 13). More importantly, you have your “Questions, Topic, & Sources” assignment due in class. This assignment was previously due last week but extended so that you could produce something good. Don’t let me down!