Midterm Study Guide

The midterm will have two parts. 


Part 1 will consist of 5-8 short answer questions related to Taylor or other major items covered in class.


Part II will consist of four prompts requiring longer (2-3 paragraph) responses.


To prepare for Part II, be ready to answer the following:


(1) Carefully select two tales from our anthology of American Indian Myths and  Legends. Choose one that will allow you to describe in detail how it encodes distinct cultural values  (worldview); choose a second that will allow you to describe in detail how it reflects distinct historical / material realities. Use details form Taylor to fill out the world view and historical / material reality.


(2) In class, we discussed the ways in which Cabeza de Vaca’s narrative progresses (there is a clear geographical progression, but also other kinds of evolution from many to one, from religious language to natural language, from a European frame of reference to an American Indian frame of reference, and so on). Please describe three of these ways the narrative unfolds and describe what we discover when we read the narrative through that lens.


(3) Puritan theology had a significant impact on the way puritans lived their lives. Our readings have talked about sanctification and justification; about compunction and conviction; about the jeremiad as a genre that seems to capture not only the Puritan present, but also their version of history and their version of the soul; about the anxiety and self-examination caused by the doctrine of pre-ordained election. It has been fascinating to see how some texts seemed to follow what we might call the Puritan script lock-step, while others directly challenge that script, while others still seem to lie somewhere in the middle (is Bradstreet a clear conformist or a subtle resister? Does Knapp’s diabolical possession support the Puritan script or challenge it?)  Please choose three of our Puritan texts–one following each of these three modes described above (lock-step, dissenting, and in-between) and describe what places it I’m that group.


(4) There will also be a question on encounters with native populations that will ask you to reflect on both Cabeza de Vaca and Rowlandson while also using a bit of relevant Taylor (his chapter on the Spanish and his chapter on Puritans and Indians that we are dreading for Tuesday’s class. I’ll present this question more fully during Tuesday’s class.


There will also be a bonus question that will ask you to reflect a bit on the course so far as it relates to teh “anthology / editing” theme.



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