10/22 Seminar: Discussing James Baldwin’s “Another Country”

10/22/2015 Class Schedule:

I. Baldwin Speaks: Listen to the following audio excerpts of Baldwin reading from “Another Country” (20 Minutes)

(Corresponds with pages. 84-88 & 120-123)


(Corresponds with pages. 256-257)

Baldwin on Love:

Baldwin on the artist’s struggle for integrity:

II. BreakOut Groups (30 minutes)
Small Group Discussions
Group A: Discuss Book 1. Pg. 1-185.
(Ashley, Jo’Cory, Caitlin, Elliot, Janeen, Ava, Nicolas S, Katie.)
1. Share your pre-prepared discussion questions with the group.
2. Discuss the character Rufus. In what ways does this character invoke the personality of previous Baldwin protagonists? In what ways is he different?
3. What role does music play in Book I? Give examples.
4. What do you make of Leona and Rufus’s sex scenes? What role does sex play in the first section of the book more broadly? In other words, what does it represent? Give examples.
5. What role does New York City play in this novel? In other words, how can we think of New York as a “character” in this text?

Group B: Discuss Book 2: pg. 185-381.
(Halle, Sean, Kevin, Aaliyah, Ashley, Mackenzie, Nigel,)
1. Share your pre-prepared discussion questions with the group.
2. What are the major themes of this section of the novel?
3. What might it mean to think about Another Country as a “jazz novel”? Do you think this title is appropriate? Why or why not?
4. Discuss the character Ida. How is she different—or similar—-from previous Baldwin characters?
5. Discuss Eric. What does he represent?
6. What role does music play in this section of the book?
7. How is this novel different from previous works of fiction you have read by Baldwin?

Group C: Discuss Book 3. Pg. 381-last.
(Caitlon L, Keliani, Jessica, Meena, Allison, Amber S., Romie, Loren)
1. Share your pre-prepared discussion questions with the group.
2. Discuss the character Vivaldo. How is he different—or similar—from previous Baldwin characters?
3. Discuss Richard. How is he different—or similar—from previous Baldwin characters?
4. Why do you think the novel is entitled “Another Country”?
5. How is this novel different from previous works of fiction you have read by Baldwin?
6. What are the major themes?

III. Presentations (30 Minutes)

IV. Seminar Discussion

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