Diaz & Rankine Discussion Questions


What role does masculinity play in this story? How is it defined? What characteristics of masculinity are highlighted or undermined?

How is language important in this story? Think in terms of the mixing of Spanish and English, but also the mixing of different diction, vocabulary, slang, etc.

What is the significance of the story’s title?


How would you characterize this text? Is it poetry? An essay? Something else? What makes you say so?

What senses does refer to in describing experience? How is sensory experience important in this text?

This text was published in 2014, and continues to be re-printed as we speak (see this article about the updates: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/01/07/claudia_rankine_s_citizen_new_printing_mourns_michael_brown_eric_garner.html). How do you see the text relating to our contemporary moment?


Can you connect either of these texts with others that we’ve read throughout the class?