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Native Son

The students of EN3322 Writing the American City: The Literature of Chicago (2018-19) devoted a full seminar discussion to providing users of TeacherHub English with an explanation of Five Important Things to Know about Native Son by Richard Wright. This video distils footage from that two-hour discussion into a ten-minute round table on the five important things we thought every reader should think about while reading one of our favourite novels on the course.

  1. Fear is a force that drives the novel
  2. Economics and politics govern relationships
  3. Mass media shapes and controls societal perception of Bigger
  4. Blindness is a key and complex motif
  5. Bigger needs to be understood both as an individual and a representative figure

The Studs Terkel archive

This is an enormously valuable resource that contains interviews with many authors and plenty of other people relevant to understanding Chicago. You can also play around with the interviews--cut and paste and remix any number of interviews into your own thing--which might be useful for research, and is definitely fun to do.

Blood in the Streets

An excellent and relatively short oral history of the 1919 race riots.

 

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