Monday, January 30, 2012

Learning Community Redemption Songs

Last Wednesday, we watched Lauryn Hill and Ziggy Marley's Redemption songs and discussed the ways the lyrics of the song interact with Caribbean history. This was our introduction to IS History II. We had a lot of good discussion about mental slavery, Freud, Marx, and the role of free will in history. On reflection, I think the class could have been more focused if I had made a presentation or put my lecture outline up to guide the discussion.

Janices's class:

  • There are two assessement centers, one in Student Services, and one in Academic 102. We use the one in Academic 102. Check hours here.
  • Slavery

Monday, January 23, 2012

Introduction to US History to 1877, International Studies

ToI basically introduced the class to American studies through deconstructing the lyrics to Bob Marley's, "Redemption Song," as performed by Lauren Hill and Ziggy Marley.


Old pirates, yes, they rob I
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom
'Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fulfill the Book.

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

(Guitar break)

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fulfill the book.
Won't you have to sing
These songs of freedom? -
'Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs -
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

Lauryn's freestyle lyrics:

Yo, If they can stop this fruit
They would pop this route
Chop this fruit
Treat us like a prostitute
Knock this youth
See me in my cocky suit
God's recruit
From fallin even God's salute
Tribal truth
Ja people can't be mute
Share my youth to Babylon can't regroup
Sing, to Babylon can't regroup
Sing, to Babylon can't regroup

Historical Topics Covered
  • Atlantic Slave Trade
    • Banking and insurance industry
    • Humans as capital assets
  • de las Casas
  • Enslavement of the Indians
    • Brutal treatement
    • Civilizing mission
    • Christian mission
  • Synchretic culture
    • Myal
    • Obeah
To Ilustrate Myal and Obeah, I will play "Mi Friends", the Victor Essiet version of Bob Marley's Duppy Conqueror. We mentioned Marcus Garvey, who Marley [loosely] quotes in the second verse: Emancipation yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.

Interestingly a student from Ireland pointed out to me after class some similarities between Irish and Jamaican history, a point illustrated by the Chiefains' version of the same song, also played with Ziggy Marley.

Ireland and Jamaica were both British plantation colonies. Indeed, many scholars suggest that if you want to understand English attitudes toward Africans, look at English attitudes toward the Irish, during British conquest of that island.

Learning Community HIST 1302 PSYCH 2301

Today was Janice's day to teach. She covered the basic theoretical approaches to Psychology and also covered the historical development of psychology from William James through Latane and Darley. Wednesday, I will
  • Introduce professor to the class
  • Have class introduce each other

Overlapping topics: History and Psychology
  1. Latane and Darley--bystander apathy (1970-ish)
    1. Dissent
  2. Roll of free will in history
    1. Marx
      1. Structure determines the infrastructure
      2. Ideological hegemony
    2. Freud
      1. Return of the Repressed
    3.  Human Agency
Janice gave us a learning tip:
    Let the name help you remember the term or concept. Many times the meaning of a term will lie within the roots of the term itself.

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    Introduction to History 1301, U.S History to 1877

    Last Wednesday, Dr. Davis welcomed new students to the start of the spring semester History 1301 class. He explained his narration of American history may not be the one many know, and the class can expect an eye opening account of genocide, slavery, and civil war. Through the semester, Dr Davis will unveil clues from America's past, which will help students understand how many troubling events of today came to fruition. As a class we will seek to understand, through gaining an understanding of U.S. history, such things as why so few Americans vote, why the U.S. has one of the largest incarceration percentages in the world, and why the U.S took five days to reach its own impacted citizens in New Orleans following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    Dr. Davis gave some direction on how to obtain a passing grade:

    • Attend class at the scheduled time.
    • Listen actively in class and take notes. Some of the exam questions will come directly from in-class lectures and may not be found in the text book.
    • To be prepared for class, read the text book and follow the chapter schedule listed in the syllabus.
    • Pursue extra credit. Extra credit opportunities will be discussed in class, as they arise, and can be found through this blog.

    During this class we took part in a lively and interesting debate into the question of "What is America?" We will be discussing numerous topics in the future, which students will have different views upon, so Dr Davis gives these guidelines to help us all get the most out of these intellectual debates:

    • Discuss respectfully.
    • Summarize the point of view you to which you are responding.
    • Offer your point of view.
    • project your voice to the whole classroom so everyone can hear what you have to say.

    I also discussed the Supplemental Instruction (S.I.) program,which I will be leading for this semester. We will have sessions twice weekly (times and dates will be confirmed next week). S.I. is free, fun, and improve students' grades. All History 1301 students are welcome to join us.