• – Participation (20 %)
  • – Midterm (30 – 50 %)

  • – Students have options for how much weight they would like the midterm and class project to count in the assessment of their final grade. Selections must be made no later than two hours after the midterm deadline. Students may choose from the following options:
    • Midterm 30 Project 50
    • Midterm 40 Project 40 (default option)
    • Midterm 50 Project 30


  • My Expectations: – Punctual attendance is a key part of participation. (Click here for details about the attendance policy). However, I expect you to do more than just show up to class. I expect you to not only come to class but to come on time with your copy of the readings, access to the course schedule, writing utensils, and any other materials and/or assistive technology necessary for you to be a ready and active member of the class. I expect you to not only complete the readings prior to our class session but also take time to annotate, reflect, look up background context, and formulate questions to contribute to our class inquiry. I not only expect you to complete your journal assignments in a thoughtful and timely way. I also expect you to respectfully and attentively read and respond to your peers’ work. At the end of the day, your participation influences not only your success but also your classmates’ success and the success of the class as a whole.


  • Undergraduates – Undergraduate students will be responsible for completing a take-home midterm examination. The midterm will consist of two parts: The first will consist of a mix of multiple choice, true-or-false, and fill-in-the-blank identification questions. The second will consist of 1-2 short essay questions.
  • English MA/PhD – For English MA and PhD students, the midterm will consist of an 8-10 page textual analysis paper on one of the pieces in Fire!!. The analysis must meaningfully engage 2-3 relevant, peer-review scholarly sources.
  • Other Graduates – Graduate level students outside the English MA and PhD program may choose between taking the midterm or submitting an 8-10 page textual analysis paper (see above). Students must notify the professor of their choice no later than one week before the midterm. If you do not notify me of your selection, I will assume that your preference is to take the midterm.

Class Project:

Over the course of the semester, the class will produce a zine that considers the role and legacy of the Harlem Renaissance publication Fire!! in our current 2022 moment. The zine will be a collection of essays, creative writing, visual art, and other work. Together these pieces will offer an extended meditation on Fire!!: its history, materiality, form, thematic concerns, authors, and its intellectual and artistic as well as socio-political promise. Students will work together in small groups of three or four. The groups will contain a mix of graduate and undergraduate students, and each group will be responsible for the content and layout of a section of the zine. While there will be some in-class time reserved for this project, students should expect to be working with their groups outside of class time throughout the semester. This assignment is as much about process as it is about product. As such groups will be required to complete project check-ins, participate in peer workshops, and class presentation days. Additionally, graduate students will serve as group leaders and liaisons and should expect to meet with the professor throughout the semester.

For more information about the class zine project, visit the Zine Project Assignment page.

Submitting Assignments

Respect your work, your readers, and your sources.

  • Adhere to formatting and submission instructions indicated on respective assignment sheet/post.

  • Submit Work On Time
    • Unless otherwise noted (as is the case with blog posts), assignments are due at the beginning of class date they are listed by on the syllabus. 

  • Cite Sources
    • All quoted materials should be properly formatted, and all quotes, direct reference, and paraphrasing of work other than your own must be thoroughly and accurately cited according to MLA guidelines.  

  • Proofread and Edit
    • Leave time to adequately revise and edit your work. Make use of your resources (style guide, spellcheck, writing centers, friends, etc). When possible read your work out loud (preferably, to a friend) before you submit it. When you read your work out loud you are more likely to catch awkward phrasing and unclear sentences.  
    • Ultimately proofreading involves more than just running spellcheck, but I expect that at the very least, you can spellcheck your work and try to attend to the Word red and blue edit flags that Word automatically makes. Unless I’m provided with a viable alternative, I will assume that if you submit your work without heading the Word spellcheck suggestions, you do mean to respect your work or your readers (and depending on the error, your sources).