There are three assigned books — The Grapes of Wrath, Waiting for Nothing, and A Cool Million. There are also several articles and excerpts from books, all available as pdf documents (links on this page).

Written work

Posts: There are 13 reading assignments, and for each one, a required blog post. The posts due on Tuesday should be about 500-600 words long; the Thursday posts can be shorter, around 300-400 words. Try to write about 1,000 words a week. The posts should include a relevant image. You can write a personal response to what you’ve read, or quote an article and work your comment around it, or link to a helpful source and report on the information it has to offer. Avoid posts that simply summarize the reading or that give opinionated reviews (I liked it, or didn’t). Rather, engage with the reading through analysis and interpretation, or bring in outside material that can help with interpretation and appreciation.

Comments: For each post assignment, write a comment on someone else’s post. These thirteen comments should be about 100 words each. Think about the kind of comment you’d find helpful. Compliments are nice, but it might be more useful to offer a contrasting view, or further illustration of the writer’s point, or a suggestion for further reading.

Due dates: The dates below indicate the class during which we’ll discuss that reading assignment. The blog post for each reading is due the night before the class (i.e., on Monday and Wednesday night) or every early the next morning, so there’s time to read them over before class. The comments on other people’s posts should be done within a day or two of the original post, while the readings and discussion are fresh in your mind.

Schedule of Assignments
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