Category Archives: Homework

Walking Around with Coates in your Head

This weekend, you’re going to be an observer and archiver. Using Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Acting French” to get you started, you’ll curate a Rampages gallery of approximately 5 images and then write a separate 300 word blog post. You will be sharing this material in class on Wednesday, September 7th.

The Content: As you think about Coates’s experience learning French and the “culture of scholastic achievement” that he describes, collect 5 images (or more) that speak to the essay in some way. You can obtain these images in one of two ways: either do some new photographing on VCU’s campus OR collect photos from your own life. Each photo needs a caption; select a quotation from “Acting French” that you think describes or is in conversation with the photo (make sure to cite the page number at the end of the caption).

The Follow Up: Once you’ve curated your gallery (see the “How To” below), start a second post on Rampages. In 300 words, describe the experience of creating your gallery. What was the experience of photographing, collecting, or archiving like? What kinds of interactions did you have with other people while you were working? Did you make an interesting discovery or learn something new about “Acting French,” VCU, or yourself? You do not need to answer all these questions; they are just meant to get you started!

The How To: On your Rampages site, choose to start a new post. Title it “My Gallery,” or something more creative! Above the text box, select “Add Media.” Media will ask you to include an image from your “media library” or to upload images from your computer. Select the image you want to use; an “attachment details” box will come up on the right. Insert your “Acting French” quote (with a page number!) into the caption box. Then hit “insert into post.” Once your first image and caption appear in the text box, repeat the process with your next images. Feel free to use my gallery as an example.

After the Gallery: You’ll see many images in class on Wednesday, but I want to encourage you to remain in conversation with the amazing images and work your classmates have put together. With that in mind, your homework for Friday requires you to comment on at least two classmates’ galleries (you can certainly do more if you wish!). Using the linked names on your section page, browse your classmates’ work. You can choose to respond to any gallery–you may pick one you didn’t get to see in class, or you might continue a class conversation. Click “Leave a comment” on their post, and write your response to their work. This response should be at least 100 words; it can ask a question, remark on something that you think is especially cool or thought provoking, or share an insight based on your own viewing of the images. Once you’ve commented on at least two galleries, fill out this Google form telling me which galleries you accessed (this step will help me locate your comments more quickly). Make your comments before class on Friday, please!