[ENGLISH 180A] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (13 pages long!)

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ENGLISH 180A
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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ENGLISH 180A
Tuesday, January 17 Class #1
Reviewing the Syllabus and Class Introduction
1) Things to take note of:
a) Email is the best form of communication with the professor
b) This class can be taken as part of the Disability Studies minor
c) Advised to read ahead of the syllabus schedule
i) read assigned texts before coming to class
d) Texts are roughly divided in half
i) discussion is done on each half of the book per class meeting
2) TWO SIDES to studying autobiographies of the disabled community
a) Autobiography works against the mainstream stereotypes of disability
i) Creates a more inclusive attitude
b) Only deals with the individual, not others who share the same disability
i) Does not include cultural factors
ii) Can do damage to social change
3) Question to keep in mind while reading:
a) Where do the texts we read stand in between these two sides?
4) Assignments and Papers
a) Note the staggered due dates for essays
i) Sign up on bCourses for these due dates when notified later on in the semester
b) It’s encouraged to think of own topics for essays if you want to
5) Participation: 3 ways
a) Scribe write notes on board during class
b) bCourses post in the discussion area to earn points
c) Classroom contribute verbally to class discussion
6) What’s the Difference? – Memoir versus Autobiography
a) Memoir French for “memory”
i) May focus on a time period/specific facet to someone’s life
ii) A life narrative based on memory
(a) Raises issue in texts of whether memory is reliable
b) Autobiography “self” + “life” + “making marks” or “writing”
i) Attempts to tell whole life story
c) *Note professor may use them interchangeably
7) A brief description of each text we will read in class:
a) The deaf/hearing-impaired
i) Laborit French, age 22, female actor, and native signer
ii) Galloway American, about age 60, native signer, female actor, and speaker about
the intersectionality of identity (disability, sexual orientation, size)
b) Those with paralysis
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i) Bauby French, magazine editor, and paralyzed except one eyelid communicates
through the blinking of this eyelid, causing the text to be short
ii) Guest quadriplegic from a bike accident as a child; grew up to be a poet
c) Helen Keller
i) Deaf, blind female who is very famous
ii) First deaf, blind woman to receive a college degree
iii) Wrote many autobiographies; the one we are reading reveals the daily life of a deaf-
blind person
d) Those with developmental disabilities disability discussed as relational; how it affects
the self and family
i) Simon talks about sister with disability
ii) Kingsley & Levitz young men with down syndrome structured as interviews
with each other and family members
e) Those with mental/psychiatric/psycho-social disabilities
i) Danquah black female with clinical depression; talks about this inersectionality of
identity
ii) Forney graphic novel on being bipolar
8) Questions to keep in mind throughout the course:
a) What difference does it make if an autobiography is true or not?
b) How does the trueness impact author intentionality?
c) The “narrator” and “main character” of the story are meshed together – How does this
affect our understanding of the text?
d) What is the relationship between the author and the reader?
e) Who is the intended reader?
i) Is it the population that is ignorant of the disability community?
ii) Is it just us, the readers?
9) Notes of Caution
a) Ask whether the author should be a spokesperson of his/her time period
b) Avoid the tendency to read texts as psychological case studies
c) Do not let emotions become a block between you (as a reader) and the work
i) Constantly feeling “bad” that the author’s life is “so hard” can get in the way of
reading the text critically
10) For next class (Thursday, January 19):
a) We will go over more definitions and background
b) Read:
i) Chapter Four from Reading Autobiography
ii) Couser’s “Disability, Life-Narrative and Representation” (on bCourses)
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