To figure whose presentation I’m asking you to respond to, find the classmate who’s the same position in the running order as you, but in the opposite week (Anthony will respond to Gustave, and vice-versa, etc.). By “respond,” I mean for you to ask at least one thoughtful question that engages further critical conversation about the show your colleague is covering. A thoughtful question does not have a yes or no answer, and does not call for opinion or conjecture, but rather close observation and analysis–deep thought on the material from someone (the presenter) who knows it well. For example, “Do you think the restaurant scene was real?” is not a good question for this assignment. A thoughtful question points to something specific in what’s the presenter has covered and takes it further, or asks about an aspect of the show that hasn’t been addressed yet: “When you say that Betty is primarily portrayed as a failed mother, what does that mean for the depiction of her children?” “You mentioned that social class is important; what sort of details are used to communicate class status in this show?” These are better sorts of questions.
Grad students, you are also formally required to respond (via question or comment) to each others’ work, and I’ll be looking to you to be leaders in discussion when we embark on the Q&A for each presentation.
I’ll send all of this out in an email, too. Feel free to ask questions, as always.