This is essentially a research project based on one of the graphic novels we are working with in class.
These reflections are NOT BOOK REPORTS! You will not cover the theme, characters, plot, etc. of the book. Your job is to ENRICH OUR UNDERSTANDING of the material presented in the text by creating an artistic or literary reflection about it.
You can submit, one of the following (or something else that you propose and I accept before you get started):
1. A written essay – no less than 5 pages, double spaced WITH a works cited page.
2. An illustrated reflection (you can hand draw, paint, use collage, clip images from the books we’re using, or use any combination of techniques). Include a works cited page. You might do this using Google Slides or Prezi, or PowerPoint, etc.
3. A video reflection with works cited in the credits.
For instance, if you decide to write, draw or create a video about John Lewis’s first book, you will need to tell us (or illustrate in a meaningful way) about:
*the historical period, and how this story fits in with it
*the events that took place then, specifically those that are illustrated in the book(s)
*the people discussed in the memoirs, not just the characters, but historical persons as well
*perhaps include some of the music (lyrics or links to music) of the period as discussed in the memoir,
*show us film or tv footage (clips) that are about the period (or stills if you’re presenting a written reflection).
In other words, help us understand the text more deeply through your reflection.
I am providing you with a list of some terms and items I expect you to cover in your presentation, but you are also expected to go far beyond this list. YOU DO NOT NEED TO INCLUDE EVERY ITEM ON THE LIST! Choose those that fit your own ideas about the books we’re reading.
The Best We Could Do – pages 1- 172
This part of the story is told in flashbacks from the 1940’s to the 1990’s, so it might be a good idea to arrange the scenes in chronological order
* Map of Vietnam/Cambodia/China
* life in Malaysian refugee camp (1970’s) news video
* The Battle of Saigon (1968)
* Pete Wilson – Propositions 187 and 209 (anti-immigrant sentiment in CA- 1990’s)
* 1951 Viet Nam as part of French Indochina (French colonialism)
* Indochina War and Opium Tax (1946-1954)
* The Great Vietnam Famine – 1944-1945 (rice hoarding)
* Ho Chi Minh/Viet Minh and the Free Republic of Viet Nam (1945)
* Return of the French to Vietnam (1954)
* Vietnamese Student resistance to French colonialism (1950’s)
* Rise of communism in Indochina
*The Geneva Peace Accords (1954)
* Vietnamese Land reform terror (1956)
The Best We Could Do – pages 173 through end
Saigon 1965 and Saigon in 2001 (comparative photos?)
Ngo Dinh Diem
The Binh Xuyen
Excerpt from “Vietnam War with Walter Cronkite” (video)
Popular culture – James Dean, Elvis Presley
The Mekong Delta – Ha Tien
Eddie Adams and the “Execution” photo
Vietnam Liberation Day (Reunification Day)
Cambodia Khmer Rouge
Map – route from Vietnam to Terengganu Malaysia
Pulau Besar Camp (photos or video)
Catholic Charities and Resettlement of Refugees
CETA – Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1970’s
Please pay special attention to the following criteria for success. I’m looking for an engaging and interesting presentation using both the art and the themes of the graphic novel you’ve been assigned. You MUST do research to create an effective presentation.
- You are welcome to use PowerPoint, Prezi, or other slide-type presentation tools, however – a simple slideshow will not be sufficient. You must have no more than 10 words on any one slide. More words on a slide (as in a bullet point presentation) generally means a boring presentation. You might as well have mailed it in. If I see more than 10 words….. you will not receive credit for it.
- Reflect on the reception of this work. What did art/literature critics have to say about this graphic memoir? You can find this information by doing online research. You MUST include a minimum of three (3) sources in addition to the book you are reflecting on. These might be history, art history, art criticism, etc.
- Most importantly:include a critical analysis of what this work (the graphic novel) represents for a specific group of people. In other words, what can we learn about a specific group of people and/or a historical period or place by reading this work? What stereotypes are confirmed? Or overturned? What more would you like to know after reading this memoir? How would this story be different if it was told about this group of people rather than by a n insider, a member of the group?
- Some portion of the presentation should refer us to specific pages/images in the work.
- Grading criteria include:
1) quality of the presentation, highlighting CREATIVE engagement with the text, and emphasizing your own particular skills. (I’m not looking for museum quality art here — just an honest attempt to do something interesting and something that is not slapped together at the last minute).
2) quality of research and presentation of material that ENRICHES an understanding of the text. You must incorporate source material in your project. This would include: art and text from the book(s) you are working with, AND historical and/or critical sources who have written about/presented on the topics covered in the book you chose.
3) ability to reflect (include your own point of view) and compare your ideas with those of others who have responded to the text (art critics, historians, etc).
- Create a critical analysis of what this work (the graphic novel) represents for a specific group of people. In other words, what can we learn about a specific group of people and/or a historical period or place by reading The Best We Could Do? What stereotypes are confirmed? Or overturned? What more would you like to know after reading this memoir? How would this story be different if it was told about this group of people rather than by an insider, a member of the group?