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HUMA Y 1300
Cultures of Resistance in the Americas



PowerPoint Slides

HUMA W 3315
Black Literatures and Cultures in Canada
HUMA F 3316
Black Women's Writing in the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States
HUMA F 6129
Black Women's Writing in the African Diaspora
Teaching Philosophy

AP/HUMA 1300 9.0A
Cultures of Resistance in the Americas
Fall/Winter 2009-2010

Media Review

The Assignment:

Choose any article or advertisement published in a major North American newspaper between August 1 and September 29, 2009. The selected article/advertisement must engage some aspect of black experience in Canada, the United States and/or the Caribbean. For example, you may choose an article that discusses the opening of Canada’s first Africentric school, responses to President Obama’s health care reform, or the performance of Jamaican sprinters at the World Championships.

Rather than reading only for information, read looking for ways of thinking about the subject matter. Your goal is to critically analyze the article/advertisement, looking carefully at its representation of markers of difference and/or power, such as, race, class, culture, sexuality and language. Examine the assumptions that are made and any underlying biases that may dictate the arguments or mode of presentation. For example, how does the article/advertisement work? How is it argued? How does it reach its conclusions? What do the title and sub-headings reveal? Why and how are images used? You also want to consider the presumed audience and how this might affect representation.

Finally, relate your discussion to ideas covered and discussed within the course so far. Make use of relevant course material and discussion in lectures, tutorials and readings. Be as specific as possible.


This short assignment is a compulsory diagnostic essay required by the Department of Humanities. It helps us identify any difficulties you have in your writing and analysis upfront, so we can address these quickly. This assignment is not graded to give you the chance to improve your writing before the first graded essay. After this, students will be expected to perform at a level acceptable to the university and will be graded accordingly. In addition to helping you identify your writing skills, this assignment also encourages you to look critically at the world around you and will help you relate the ideas discussed in the course to a broader social context.

Length: 2-3 pages (500-750 words).

Due Date: September 30, 2009.

Format: The review should be typed, double-spaced and have numbered pages. A cover page should include the title of the assignment, your name, and your tutorial leader’s name. Include a bibliography that lists the date and source of the selected article/ad and any course material that you use, as well as a photocopy of the article/ad.

Criteria of Evaluation

  1. Demonstration of a critical understanding of the selected article/advertisement and the ability to assess the article/ad within the context of the course and relate course material to a broader social context;
  2. Ability to present a clearly defensible point of view based on your analysis;
  3. Presence of unified, developed, coherent paragraphs with a clear relationship among the paragraphs;
  4. Absence of misspellings, sentence fragments, run-on sentences and comma splices;
  5. Appropriately cited references within the body of the text and appropriately formatted bibliography.