Choose one of the following options. You should choose the option that you think will provide a spark for your thinking about the literary texts. Please be sure to reference and analyze specific passages from the literary work(s) in your response.
Critical Affect Literacy and Empathy: Empathy has been a theme for our course since the beginning. Jennifer Bondy and Brent Johnson introduce the concept of critical affect literacy in their article, “Critical Affect Literacy; A Call to Action in a Trump Administration,” which was our secondary reading for this unit. Pages 357-58 of their article offers a definition of critical affect literacy, which they then apply to an educational context. How could a novel such as The Leavers help us learn empathy, gain critical affect literacy, and view immigration in a different light? Using ideas from Bondy and Johnson’s article, write an essay in which you analyze the work being performed by The Leavers through the lens of critical affect literacy, and consider how this novel might change the way people interact with difference and understand power.
The Leavers in its Historical Moment: Published in 2017, Lisa Ko’s The Leaversentered a world of changing policies for immigrant and attitudes toward immigrants. Although Ko was inspired by a 2009 article in the New York Times (see our page for a link), it spoke to the political moment of the early Donald Trump Presidency. Write a response in which you consider the work performed by The Leavers in its cultural moment. How did it contest, challenge, or participate in dominant and popular discourse about immigration? Work with specific details about the novel in your response as you form a cohesive argument about the role of this book in its 2017-2020 moment.
– The Book is called The Leavers, by Lisa Ko. Draw from the text and quote specific textual examples.