Assigned Readings:

1. Teju Cole,…

2. Aaron Calvin, “Author Teju Cole Talks His New Essay on Immigration, Twitter, and Censorship. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Buzzfeed News 14 March 2014.

3. Selina Sykes, “Art Without Borders: ‘French Banksy’ Produces Touching Portrait of Boy Looking Over the US/Mexico Border (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..” EuroNews 9 July 2017.

4. Colin Dwyer, “As Boy Peers Curiously Over Border, His Artist Asks, ‘What is He Thinking? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.‘” NPR radio story 8 September 2017 (4 min 53 secs)

Assigned Viewing:

Superbowl 2017 commercial 84 Lumber (5 min 44 sec)

from YouTube page: “The full, uncut 84 Lumber Super Bowl promotional film. See a mother and daughter’s symbolic migrant journey towards becoming legal American citizens. Contains content deemed too controversial for the original ad and banned from broadcast” published by 84 Lumber company.

In this Discussion, I ask you to reflect upon two different responses to the same humanitarian crisis: the increase in numbers of unaccompanied minors seeking entry into the US and the “resolution” of their immigration status through immigration tribunals. Valeria Luiselli’s book, Tell Me How it Ends and Teju Cole’s Twitter-essay, “A Piece of the Wall” both reflect upon this problem that took place during the last years of the Obama administration. Both Cole and Luiselli grew up in Africa–Luiselli in South Africa (though she is Mexican by birth), and Cole in Nigeria (though he is American by birth).

Task: Write a 400 word essay that analyzes how the innovations “A Piece of the Wall” and Tell Me How it Ends to the genre of the essay impact or affect our understanding of the immigration debates they discuss, circa 2014?

  • Remember, your thesis can’t be: “In my opinion, X Text si better at discussing immigration than Y text.” That’s a value judgement rather than analysis.
  • Do not write your opinion. Instead, formulate your thesis in terms that can be proven and which characterize what kind of impact the style and features of each text have on how the information is conveyed.
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