Presenter Assignment

Each student will serve as the lead presenter and facilitator for one of our class sessions this semester. This presentation assignment is worth 25% of students’ overall grade.

Each presenter is responsible for providing the following:

Group Meditation and Meditation Text

Presenters should lead the class in a meditation organized around an additional text of your choosing.

  • The meditation may be interactive; it may be an activity; it may call for a sharing or it may not; it may require we stand or move around. It should however be contained to the physical classroom space and mindful of social distance, masks, and any other public health precaution we might need to observe.
  • The text might be a picture, a video clip, a poem, a quilt, a memory. Whatever you choose, the item and how you introduce it in your meditation should help us to consider something about the novel, the supplementary text, and/or a salient point you hope the rest of your presentation will help us consider.

Overview of the Supplementary material

You should provide an overview of that week’s supplementary readings. Your overview should include:

  • a summary of each of the supplementary essays that identifies
    • key takeaways
    • important references
    • significant structural, formal, and/or rhetorical elements
  • Relevant historical background on the author(s) for the supplementary essays
  • Brief publication and reception history for each of the supplementary pieces

Connections between Supplementary Text and Shange

After providing an overview of the supplementary text, you should highlight two or three salient connections between part of the supplementary reading and a specific part of Shange’s novel.

  • You should be sure that you include any relevant historical information about Shange, Shange’s novel, or a person, place, thing, and/or event referenced in Shange’s novel related to your presentation and/or the discussion you hope to generate.
  • There are many ways you might go about illustrating your two to three connections. For example: you may address how we might read a specific exchange between two characters in the novel through the lens of a concept put forth in one of the supplementary essays. OR Perhaps you address how we might reread a particular argument in one of the supplementary texts through the lens of a specific description of love in the novel.
  • However you choose to highlight your connections, be sure that you:
    • Bring us to specific passages in BOTH the supplementary text and the novel.
    • Identify HOW you’re making the connections you’re making.
    • Identify WHY such a connection matters (meaning what does it illuminate about one or more of the texts)?

Facilitated Discussion

At some point after you present your key connections, you should lead a discussion about the material you presented. There are no specific requiremnts for how you facilitate discussion, however you may want to consider preparing one or more of the following:

  • a couple discussion questions that are related to what you’ve presented but which you have not already answered or provided a solid claim about in your presentation
  • a list of related passages from one of the readings that you did not discuss in your presentation.
  • a question that asks us to consider how some of the overview history you provided relates to connections you presented (assuming your presentation did not already explicitly do that work for us)
  • a question that asks us to consider what you presented in relationship to a specific aspect of another text we’ve read or one of our prior discussions
  • provide a brief, clear exercise or mental challenge designed to help us reflect on and generate discussion from your presentation

A Reflection

You should include a brief reflection on how the novel, the supplementary essays, and/or the connections you’ve presented translate for you personally and/or practically as you discern the shape and direction of your capital “P” Project.

Additional Presentation Guidelines:

Presentation Length

Each presenter has 50-65 minutes for the entire presentation (including meditation, reflection, and discussion). I’m including some minimum and maximum time markers to help you plan. Please note that if you only do the minimum times, your presentation will not be long enough. Similarly if you hit the maximum for each part, your presentation will be too long.

  • Discussion: 15 minute (minimum) 25 minute (maximum)
  • Overview + Connections: 15 minute (minimum) 30 minute (maximum)
  • Meditation: 5 minute (minimum) 15 minute (maximum)
  • Reflection: 3 -5 minutes.

Presentation Organization

In general, you order the parts of your presentation as you see fit. However, you should consider:

  • The one organizational requirement: You must present your connections between the novel and supplementary texts before you facilitate discussion.
  • While it’s not required, I suggest beginning with either the mediation or the reflection.
  • While it’s not required, I suggest ending with either the meditation or reflection.

Presentation Materials

  • Please make sure that your meditation text is something we can read, hear, watch, listen, consume, or otherwise engage with in class. Meaning, it should be accessible within the physical space of our class room and appropriately scaled in size, length, or duration to work within the minimum and maximum time frame for the meditation.
  • Please provide a bibliography with clear, complete, and accurate MLA-formatted bibliographic information for any source that your presentation quotes, references, and/or significantly consults.
  • You don’t have to make a power point, but you should make sure that you provide whatever audio-visual-performative materials necessary to help us follow the information and connections you present. Alternatives to a Power Point or Google Slides like presentation might include: an electronic and/or hardcopy handout, using the dry erase board, playing music tracks, brining in other visual aids (e.g. a map); performing some aspect of what you’re presenting, and so on. )
  • For time, please email me any visuals you want to project on the overhead at least two hours before class.

Presentation Date

  • Once you have a presentation day, you are responsible for presenting on that day. We do not have enough class sessions in the semester to assign you to another week.
  • If you want to change your presentation day, you must negotiate a trade with one of your classmates.
  • Please note that if you trade you will be responsible for presenting on the essays assigned for that day, unless both you and your classmate obtain permission from the professor to swap the readings as well. The professor will not grant such permission unless there’s enough time for the class to adjust to the change in the reading schedule.


I will determine students’ grades by assessing each of the four below categories in terms of 1) how well the student adhered to the assignment guidelines and 2) the overall quality (accuracy, relevance, cogency) of the content they delivered in that area of their presentation.

  • 25% -Overview (includes bibliography)
  • 25% Illustrating Connections
  • 25% Discussion Facilitation
  • 25% Meditation + Reflection

Presenter Schedule

Presenter One: 2/17

  • Mohammed

Presenter Two: 2/24

  • Amanda

Presenter Three: 3/3

  • Emily

Presenter Four: 3/17

  • Fitgee

Presenter Five: 3/24

  • Annabel

Presenter Six: 4/7

  • Pam,

Presenter Seven: 4/21

  • Carmen