TEST III

The third RM test will take place on either April 22 or 23, depending on when your class is scheduled–see the column on the right to find out when. The format will be as follows: there will be a series of short questions that cover the Truth and Memory discussions we’ve been having in class: you can review that material here and on LEA, where you can still find the Halbwachs reading on Collective Memory. Very briefly, there will be a short series of questions about the following topics:

  • Issues of Transcription
  • Collective Memory and Halbwachs
  • Truth and Memory (Especially the segment on Yellow Rain, but also the one on Stonewall)

The essay question for your exam is the following:

How can we compare the way documentary filmmakers and reporters use personal narrative? (Personal narrative is what we have been using all semester; it is personal story, elicited from an interview, told in the first person “I”). Using examples from the films we saw by Nika Khanjani and Samara Chadwick and elements from any of the reports we’ve listened to but in particular the Radio Lab report on Yellow Rain and the oral history of Stonewall, your essay must make an argument about either the similarities or differences in how they treat personal narrative.  Good responses will have a strong thesis statement and will use specific examples, such as quotations from the radio programs or specific references to the films. You should have an introduction and conclusion and several paragraphs that prove specific points. Click through on the website to find tips for how to write a strong introduction and a good thesis statement, and how to frame a paragraph.

You will be allowed to come into the test with one page of notes which you will attach to the test when you submit it. 

You should have plenty of material to talk about–personal narrative is what we’ve been talking about all semester–it’s what you’ve been collecting in your interviews, what the filmmakers collected when they record their subjects talking about their memories, what the reporters used when they get people to speak about their past. The purpose of the essay question is to get you to think about how that differs from how you’ve been using your narrator’s stories, and/or how that is the same or different from how the filmmakers used it.

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