Contemporary Latin American Fiction

Clap When You Land (Pages 321-417)

Entry Questions

Instructions:

Pick one question and one person to report back.

.What things happen in the Dominican Republic that allow Yahaira and Camino to bond and what are some of the tensions between them?  

.How do they deal with acknowledging the privileges that many times come with living, studying, and making money in the diaspora? 

.Describe Zoila’s process of reflection regarding Camino and her rights as Yano’s daughter?

Oral/slide presentations

Tavera,Loida Stelli

Tellez,Anthony

Thakur,Priya D

Lind,Donna

Joseph,Matthew

Wrapping Up

Describe how Elizabeth Acevedo uses the last confrontation with El Cero as a battle between women and patriarchal violence. (Pages 384-390)

What is the novel’s final conceptualization of (the mother)land? (Pages 416-117)

Extra-credit opportunity with a 250-word reflection:

Asynchronous Blog Post on Clap When You Land (Pages 321-417)

ASYNCHRONOUS BLOG POST Deadline: 10/25 before the class.

Instructions:

In the comment section down below answer ONE of the following prompts (2oo-word minimum).

OPTION ONE

Discuss the development and complexity of Camino and Yahaira’s relationship during their days together in the Dominican Republic.

OPTION TWO

Reflect on the topics down below and elaborate on how the author, Elizabeth Acevedo, approach (ONE of) them in this third section of the novel:

.Camino’s search for reparations

.Yahaira’s immersion in the Dominican culture

.Zoila (Yahaira’s mother) emotional transformation

.Funerary/ spiritual rites

OPTION THREE

The final confrontation with El Cero generates an alliance of all the women in the story. Examine the strengths of each character and their distinct defense against masculinist violence.

OPTION FOUR

Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about these pages (321-417) from Clap When You Land do you want to bring into the discussion?

Clap When You Land (Pages 219-230)

Entry Questions

Pick and complete ONE sentence. Fill in the blank:

1. As a reader, the fact that the novel is written in verse______________.

2. In Clap When You Land queer identities are_____________.

3. In the novel, masculinities are_____________.

4. As a queen in chess, Yahaira shows strenght, resourcefulness and determination when_________.

5. Camino wants to defend her_________.

Re-cap

Clap When You Land is a novel-in-verse that explores the complications and intricacies of love, mourning, family, and sisterhood. As a social backdrop, the reader discovers issues of poverty, access to health care, neocolonialism through tourism and the taking of the Caribbean coastline, and the statelessness of the Haitian population in the Dominican Republic. The novel tells the story of Camino and Yahaira, two sisters who discover one another after the death of their father in a tragic plane accident. Dealing with family secrets, omissions, and lies, they learn the truth about their father, themselves, and each other throughout the book.

Oral/slide presentations

Ramrup,Uma D

Salas,Alan

Sasunov,Samuel

Sisterhood

Small-Group Discussions

Sibling relationships can be complicated, especially when you don’t come up together. In Clap When You LandCamino and Yahaira aren’t instant social media friends.  They have reservations about each other. 

.What secrets did each sister have that the other didn’t know?

.What makes them go through with their secret plan of reunification?

Asynchronous Blog Post on Clap When You Land (Pages 219-320)

ASYNCHRONOUS BLOG POST Deadline: 10/18 before the class.

Instructions:

In the comment section down below answer ONE of the following prompts (2oo-word minimum).

OPTION ONE

Analyze the social media intrigue between Camino and Yahaira. How does the internet foreground their encounter but also the tensions between them?

OPTION TWO

Discuss how chess and the ocean become rhetorical concepts to analyze Yahaira and Camino’s state of mind respectively and to reflect on their relationship with Yano (Papi).

OPTION THREE

Reflect on the topics down below and elaborate on how the author, Elizabeth Acevedo, approach (ONE of) them in this third section of the novel:

.The marginalization of Haitians in the Dominican Republic

.Mother-daughter relationships

.Troubled sisterhood

.Physical and abstract remains (re: Papi)

.The return to the airport

OPTION FOUR

Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about these pages (219-320) from Clap When You Land do you want to bring into the discussion?

Clap When You Land (Pages 116-218)

Entry Question

What topics from the texts we have discussed during the first half of the semester would you like to see included in the midterm? Would you like to propose a question?

Clap When You Land

Discuss how do Yahaira and Camino’s sense of space is reduced by their common and particular tragedies? In what spaces do they feel protected or understood? In what spaces do they feel threatened? How does the other sister’s space become a desire?

Compare these elements of space in the novel

mud and sand|subway and emergency staircase

Oral/slide presentations

Lind,Donna

Lowe,Stefan E

 

Asynchronous Blog Post on Clap When You Land (Pages 116-218)

ASYNCHRONOUS BLOG POST Deadline: 10/4 before the class.

Instructions:

In the comment section down below answer ONE of the following prompts (2oo-word minimum).

OPTION ONE

How do Camino and Yahaira’s notions of family are transformed during this mourning period? Include reflections on biological, extended, and chosen families. Discuss at least two scenes from this section.

OPTION TWO

How does Camino’s levels of vulnerability increase after the tragedy? Elaborate on the ways the issues she confronts offer a glimpse into soci0-economic or cultural dilemmas in the Dominican Republic. Make reference to at least two scenes from this section.

OPTION THREE

Reflect on the topics down below and elaborate on how the author, Elizabeth Acevedo, approach (ONE of) them in this second section of the novel:

.tourism and native exploitation

.sexual violence

.access to health care and alternative medicine

.acesss to US citizenship

.spiritual practices

OPTION FOUR

Write a poem that summarizes one theme from this section (see OPTION THREE) using only direct verses (quotations from different pages) from Elizabeth Acevedo.

OPTION FIVE

Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about these pages (116-218) from Clap When You Land do you want to bring into the discussion?

The Sound Catalog and Clap When You Land (Pages 1-115)- Obejas and Acevedo

Pass the mic discussion

1. After reading pages 59-60 from “The Sound Catalog” by Achy Obejas and pages 96-97 from Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, compare the characters’ contrasting understanding of and desires for their respective home countries.

Clap When You Land

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines counterpoint as follow:
1a: a complementing or contrasting item: OPPOSITE
b: use of contrast or interplay of elements in a work of art (such as a drama)
2a: one or more independent melodies added above or below a given melody
b: the combination of two or more independent melodies into a single harmonic texture in which each retains its linear character: POLYPHONY
Analyze the use of this technique by Elizabeth Acevedo in her novel? How does the cover of the book illustrate the novel’s counterpoint narrative?

Oral/slide presentations on Clap When You Land (Pages 1-115)

Hakim,Taha

Jeune Dumeny,Santiella

Larsen,Sven G

Group Discussion

Thinking of sounds as literary devices, what do you think the genre of the verse novel makes you notice?

What does the word “mud” do conceptually, narratively, and rhythmically in this opening poem?

Asynchronous Blog Post on Clap When You Land (Pages 1-115)

ASYNCHRONOUS BLOG POST Deadline: 9/27 before the class.

Instructions:

In the comment section down below answer ONE of the following prompts (2oo-word minimum).

OPTION ONE

Compare how Camino and Yahaira react and cope during the immediate aftermath of the airplane accident that took their father’s life.

OPTION TWO

Reflect on the topics down below and elaborate on how the author, Elizabeth Acevedo, approach (ONE of) them in this first section of the novel:

.socio-economic classes

.race

.sexuality

.gender-based violence

.family ethics

.relationship to nature or the city

OPTION THREE

Pick one poem from Camino and one poem from Yahaira and analyze how the arrangements of words on the page, the division in stanzas, the empty spaces, bilingual lexical choices, or any other aspect related to form/poetics amplify the emotional state of the characters.

In your examination, you can make reference to plot elements beyond the poems you selected.

OPTION FOUR

Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about these pages (1-115) from Clap When You Land do you want to bring into the discussion?

Senses and emergencies: Haiti and Cuba

Breakout Room Discussions

Group 1, 2, 3

As classmate Casandra Oquendo noted:

In Danticat’s story, we have a group of foreigners who live in “gingerbread houses perched on the hills that overlooked Villa Rose’s white-sand beaches” (111). Some of these people are french-speaking artists and writers from Guadeloupe (a French Department) who met some of the children at the school in the village.

Is this an example of developed countries controlling under-developed or developing countries? (and I would ask too) Are Princess’ beauty and labor as a model been exoticized and exploited for European cultural consumption?

Group 4, 5, 6

Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble a society’s majority group or assume the values, behaviors, and beliefs of another group whether fully or partially.

How does the story “The Sound Catalog”  by Achy Obejas represent the tensions between goals of assimilation and Cuban cultural retention in the diaspora?

Oral/slide presentations

Boothby,Jazz

Gonzalez Sanchez,Iris

Grullon,Michael L

Open Group Discussion

1.How do these stories use the enhance and loss of perception through different senses to explore topics of extraction, dislocation, and empowerment?

2.Michael J Bustamante argues that “there are two widely familiar versions of the Cuban story.” In one “the ‘triumph’ of the Cuban Revolution marked the definitive end of one period of the island’s history—nearly six decades of ‘pseudo-republican’ scandal following the island’s ‘mortgaged’ independence in 1902—and the beginning of true liberty under the banner of revolutionary change. ” In the other, “the Cuban Revolution represented not a fulfillment of nationalist dreams but an unmitigated tragedy. For many of those who left the island in the 1960s, Cuba’s turn to socialism made the prerevolutionary period look like paradise lost, transforming their homeland into an island in chains.”

How do these two competing narratives clash in Achy Obejas’ story? How Cuba is remembered by the different characters?

Asynchronous Blog Post on the Haitian and Cuban Stories

ASYNCHRONOUS BLOG POST (Deadline: 9/20 before the class)

Instructions:

In the comment section down below answer ONE of the following prompts (2oo-words minimum).

OPTION ONE

Could “Seeing Things Simply” by Edwidge Danticat be interpreted as an allegory of neocolonial extraction? Could it be a story of female empowerment instead? What do you think? Support your arguments by bringing evidence from the story.

Keywords:

Allegory- a narrative in which a character, place, or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences.

Neocolonialism- the practice of using economic imperialism, globalization, cultural imperialism, and conditional aid to influence or extract riches from a country instead of the previous (often violent) colonial methods.

Recommended video:

OPTION TWO

Pick one of the sounds from “The Sound Catalog” by Achy Obejas and through that section, examine the complex gains and losses of the main two characters while in the diaspora.

Recommended Reading:

Remembering and Forgetting the Cuban Revolution by Michael J. Bustamante

OPTION THREE

By bringing concrete examples from the stories, compare how does Edwidge Danticat and Achy Obejas centralize sight and hearing to tell the stories respectively. In what ways has your perspective on the characters’ bodies and interior world expanded thanks to these narrative approaches?

OPTION FOUR

Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about any of the two texts do you want to bring into the discussion?

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