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Gothic Literature


Some great examples of the Gothic literature we'll be exposed to in class this year:

From the NY TImes Magazine

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"...Gothic is the genre of fear, and our fascination with it is reliably revived during times of anxiety and upheaval..."

Read the rest of the article "How Tabloid Trainwrecks Are Reinventing Gothic Literature."

Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

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Taking a Walk Through J. D. Salinger’s New York


Hey, listen. You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over?

There it is: the Holden Caulfield question. Sara Cedar Miller gets it all the time.

“Everybody’s read that book,” said Ms. Miller, the historian for the Central Park Conservancy. It went without saying that the book in question — the book with the question, on Page 60 — was “The Catcher in the Rye.”

And the answer, according to Ms. Miller, is that the ducks never go anywhere. READ MORE.

Censorship and Book Banning Links

American Library Association (ALA)
School district bans Common Core-approved novel for sexually explicit material
Banned Books Week: And Tango Makes Three
Schools and Censorship: Banned Books
//The Hunger Games// Reaches Another Milestone: Top 10 Censored Books
Attempted Censorship: “The Catcher in the Rye”

Anthem, Ayn Rand

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Ayn Rand Institute

Lord of the Flies

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The following literary criticism on Lord of the Flies as a period piece, argues that British schoolboy savagery is not in itself an adequate emblem of universal evil. K. Chellappan generously finds in the novel “the total fusion of form and meaning”; while James Ginden commends both Lord of the Flies and The Inheritors as presages of greater works to come. Lord of the Flies is praised by S.J. Boyd with a dangerous comparison to King Lear, a contrast which sinks poor Golding’s scholastic allegory without trace. L.L. Dickson and Lawrence S. Friedman contribute to the chorus of overvaluation, after which Stefan Hawlin fashionably applies postcolonialism to the work. The influence of Aldous Huxley upon Golding is James R. Baker’s concern, while Paul Crawford goes so far as to connect Lord of the Flies to the Holocaust, and Virginia Tiger discovers an amazing richness in the novel’s meanings.
Click here for access to the eBook, located on Opac:
OPAC PASWORD: nstigers

Check out this link as well:

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Night, Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. He was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. His mother and younger sister perished, his two older sisters survived. Elie and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in April 1945.

After the war, Elie Wiesel studied in Paris and later became a journalist. During an interview with the distinguished French writer, Francois Mauriac, he was persuaded to write about his experiences in the death camps. The result was his internationally acclaimed memoir, Night (La Nuit), which has since been translated into more than thirty languages.

Elie Wiesel's statement, "...to remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all..."stands as a succinct summary of his views on life and serves as the driving force of his work. Wiesel is the author of 36 works dealing with Judaism, the Holocaust, and the moral responsibility of all people to fight hatred, racism and genocide.


The Man and the Book
The Story of 'Night' is a NY Times article about the history of the book. Very interesting.

A God Who Remembers is a brief personal essay written and recorded for NPR's this I believe, a radio program on which people from all walks of life share their personal values. Wiesel begins:

I remember, May 1944: I was 15-and-a-half, and I was thrown into a haunted universe where the story of the human adventure seemed to swing irrevocably between horror and malediction. I remember, I remember because I was there with my father. I was still living with him there. We worked together. We returned to the camp together. We stayed in the same block. We slept in the same box. We shared bread and soup. Never were we so close to one another.

We talked a lot to each other, especially in the evenings, but never of death. I believed — I hoped — that I would not survive him, not even for one day. Without saying it to him, I thought I was the last of our line. With him, our past would die; with me, our future. Access the rest of the passage and listen to Wiesel read it aloud here.

The History
While there are number of tremendous resources, here are a few to get you started:

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Holocaust Survivors Stories
Holocaust Survivors Stories

The Jewish Virtual Library Holocaust Wing
The Jewish Virtual Library Holocaust Wing

There's obviously a plethora of information available online about the Holocaust and about Holocaust literature. The difficulty is sifting through the information to find the best resources. Share one resource you eventually found that your classmates my benefit from viewing. Post it using the Discussion tab above.

In connection with Night, English 10R students were asked to keep a typed reactionary journal in which they were to respond to any reading, image, video, etc., that connects to this unit and experience. For reference, the English 10R wiki site housed various connections for students to explore.....

The Crucible Arthur Miller

McCarthyism: Senator Joseph McCarthy

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Throughout the 1940s and 1950s America was overwhelmed with concerns about the threat of communism growing in Eastern Europe and China. Capitalizing on those concerns, a young Senator named Joseph McCarthy made a public accusation that more than two hundred “card-carrying” communists had infiltrated the United States government. Though eventually his accusations were proven to be untrue, and he was censured by the Senate for unbecoming conduct, his zealous campaigning ushered in one of the most repressive times in 20th-century American politics.

While the House Un-American Activities Committee had been formed in 1938 as an anti-Communist organ, McCarthy’s accusations heightened the political tensions of the times. Known as McCarthyism, the paranoid hunt for infiltrators was notoriously difficult on writers and entertainers, many of whom were labeled communist sympathizers and were unable to continue working. Some had their passports taken away, while others were jailed for refusing to give the names of other communists. The trials, which were well publicized, could often destroy a career with a single unsubstantiated accusation. Among those well-known artists accused of communist sympathies or called before the committee were Dashiell Hammett, Waldo Salt, Lillian Hellman, Lena Horne, Paul Robeson, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein,Charlie Chaplin and Group Theatre members Clifford Odets, Elia Kazan, and Stella Adler. In all, three hundred and twenty artists were blacklisted, and for many of them this meant the end of exceptional and promising careers.

During this time there were few in the press willing to stand up against McCarthy and the anti-Communist machine. Among those few were comedian Mort Sahl, and journalist Edward R. Murrow, whose strong criticisms of McCarthy are often cited as playing an important role in his eventual removal from power. By 1954, the fervor had died down and many actors and writers were able to return to work. Though relatively short, these proceedings remain one of the most shameful moments in modern U.S. history.

Murrow vs. McCarthy

From the CBC documentary series, "Dawn of the Eye."

Mass hysteria outbreak reported in N.Y. town: What does it mean?

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(CBS) Why did 12 teens from the same town in upstate N.Y. all begin to experience odd symptoms at once? Doctors say it's an outbreak of mass hysteria.

Last fall, 12 teenage girls from LeRoy Junior-Senior High School - located in a town about an hour outside of Buffalo, N.Y. - began to show symptoms similar to those of Tourette's syndrome, including painful shaking and jerking their necks, Gothamist reported. Read more.

The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck)

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Literary Nonfiction

This is a great college site with a plethora of literary nonfiction. This site addresses several related issues relevant to the novel and provides a wide array of nonfiction resources. (The site includes discussion, links, images and so much more.) Click the image to access the site. See below for a sample of what can be found.

Category: Activism

See also Eco-Heroes and Social Entrepreneurs and Activism and Entrepreneurship. See also Good Newspage on how to stay positive.

The Story of Change is the latest chapter of the Story of Stuff.

2012 Goldman Prize (aka the Green Nobel) recipients. Video of EJ in Texas.

Brower Youth Awards, see winners past and present, even apply! Video of 2008 winners, 2009, 2010. See more videos of activists at Natural Natural Heroes on PBS.

Greenpeace Year in Pictures shows many actions such as International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo scaled Leiv Eiriksson, Cairn Energy's oil rig 100 miles off the coast of Greenland, with fellow Greenpeace activist Ulvar Arnkvaern. Their goal was to deliver a 50,000-signature petition demanding that the energy company release its oil spill response plan. Naidoo and Arnkvaern were sprayed with a water cannon and eventually arrested for their efforts, marking the first time in a decade that a Greenpeace Executive Director had been arrested. More see also Video blog from Greenpeace ship on Gulf oil spill.

Soul of a Citizen by Paul Loeb tells many stories of activism. The first excerpt here is on the powerful journey of evangelical global climate change activist Rich Cizik. The second is on Gandhi, King and the traps of the perfect standard. The third is how a self-described party girl became a global warming activist. Later, he drew upten rules distilled from his book. See also his anthology The Impossible Will Take a While. Audio and video interviews (Realplayer).
YES! is a nonprofit organization that connects, inspires and collaborates with young changemakers to join forces for a thriving, just and sustainable ways of life for all. Founded in 1990 by two teenagers. video overview. 240 Harkleroad Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95062 | 465-1091

The Yes Men use satire to name and blame corporate evildoers; they have a new movie. Also new activist training, the Yes Lab. They use a technique Culture Jamming.

Activists are being suppressed in a variety of ways in the former Soviet Union, for example, big fines for protesting, but they have found some interesting ways to fight back, such as teddy bear airdrop and a punk band viral video (they could use your help to get out of jail). 8/12

A new report (6.12) from international NGO Global Witness suggests that, in the past decade, 711 individuals have been killed while defending land and forest rights. 106 of these deaths allegedly came in 2011, with the number killed almost doubling over the past three years. According to the report, these deaths include "those killed in targeted attacks and violent clashes as a result of protests, investigating or taking grievances against mining operations, logging operations, intensive agriculture including ranching, tree plantations, hydropower dams, urban development and poaching."

"Are You Here to Save Face — or Save Us?": Brittany Trilford, 17, Addresses World Leaders at Rio+20. Twenty years ago, at the original Rio Earth Summit, Severn Suzuki, a 12-year-old from Canada, became “the girl who silenced the world for six minutes” and update. 6.12.

Grist Change Gang where you can nominate change agents and read about them.

Iowa makes it illegal to video animal cruelty, see Books below on context of attacks on animal rights activists.

A lone, young US activist and Six Canadian T-Shirts have an impact on UN climate talks in Durban. 12/11.

Tim DeChristopher, a student, bid up public (federal Bureau of Land Management) oil lease auction, monkey-wrenching to protect our land from our companies, for which he will probably face charges. His statement on why he did it, with a link to his legal defense fund. Facebook page. Powershift 2011 talk (video excepts). he's been put under harsh conditions 3/12 appealing his conviction 5/12

College Activists Strip Down to PACT’s “Beyond Coal” Eco-Undies, Kick Ash With the Sierra Club Time lapse images of mountaintop coal removal.

Paul Hawken has created a database of a broad range of activist organizations (you can search it to find some related to your hometown issue) of many thousands of organizations who are working on social and environmental justice, as well as related concerns (short video explain this). He thinks these constitute a new kind of social movement. The book //Blessed Unrest// is the result. video of a talk at Google HQ based on the book.
Utne Reader List 2008. and 2009. (not all green, but all interesting).
List of all UCSC student-led organizations

Paul Hawken has created a database of a broad range of activist organizations (you can search it to find some related to your hometown issue) of many thousands of organizations who are working on social and environmental justice, as well as related concerns (short video explain this). He thinks these constitute a new kind of social movement. The book //Blessed Unrest// is the result. video of a talk at Google HQ based on the book.


Utne Reader List 2008. and 2009. (not all green, but all interesting).

List of all UCSC student-led organizations

Selected Eco-Heroes

Lester Brown, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. BBC Radio commentator Peter Day calls him "one of the great pioneer environmentalists." Brown is the author or co-author of over 50 books on global environmental issues and his works have been translated into more than forty languages. His most recent book is Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilizationtext interview and links, Video of talk at Google (1/2006), free download of new book. "Saving Civilization Is Not A Spectator Sport"audio Recorded Nov 10 2009in San Francisco, Commonwealth Club (Realaudio)

David Brower Executive Director of the Sierra Club, he had a significant impact on green history in the US. Video biography //Monumental// can be seen on PBS.[1]. An earlier biographical video is For Earth's Sake: The Life and Times of David Brower and is also the name of a book of his essays. Brower is the subject of the classic biography //Encounters with the Archdruid// by John McPhee

Rachel Carson (video) episode of Bill Moyer's Journal (includes play based on her life). Rachel Carson's Silent Spring Excellent PBS documentary McHenry Library VT2457 . Essay on Rachel Carson's influence

Majora Carter video ***** Environmental Justice 11/09 audio interview

David "Gypsy" Chain was killed defending old growth forest.

Tim DeChristopher, a student, bid up BLM oil lease auction, monkey-wrenching to protect our land from our companies, for which he will probably face charges. His statement on why he did it, with a link to his legal defense fund. Facebook page. Powershift 2011 talk (video excepts). UPDATE: he's been put under harsh conditions 3/12. Indepth interview by author [[http://www.commonbook.rctc.project.mnscu.edu/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={F7C6C6AB-CCB3-4574-9F5D-3750C864A303}|Terry Tempest Williams]] 4/12. New video documentary6.12

Lois Gibbs is an environmental activist who discovered that her son’s elementary school was built on top of a toxic waste dump in Niagara Falls, NY. Upon subsequent investigation she discovered that her entire neighborhood was built on the same dump, known as the Love Canal. Gibbs now runs The Center for Health and Environmental Justice. CHEJ can help citizens understand the technical issues and how to get support in fighting environmental injustice. Recent interview with UCSC alum

Van Jones (Oakland CA Environmental Justice). Jones, civil rights leader and founding and executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Jones has made a name for himself linking prisons and environmental injustice, working in a pro-active way to ensure that marginalized inner city youth will not miss out on the next wave of “green capitalism.”In this short one page article Van Jones argues against the environmental limits idea, but showing that the damage from Hurricane Katrina was not just the force of nature, but the negligence of the U.S. government. Good simple article for considering how environmental justice gets defined. Interview 2008 book on greening the economy. Book Excerpt. Here is an Oct 2008 interview (audio). 5/09 audio interview 5/10 audio interview, including how he got attacked and forced to resign from Obama administration).

Family farmer and activist Lynn Henning exposed the egregious polluting practices of livestock factory farms in rural Michigan, gaining the attention of the federal EPA and prompting state regulators to issue hundreds of citations for water quality violations. 2010 2010 Goldman Prize winner.

Wangari Mathai First environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. 11/06 Interview (audio). 2007 audio interview. A new documentary on her will be shown on PBS in mid-April //Taking Root//, trailer. Video of 2009 talk "Challenge for Africa."

Annie Leonard gives us another model of activism, use of media. Her Story of videos have been seen by millions. Live discussion/interview.

Bill McKibben, writer and organizer of 350.org, Why I Got Arrested Over the Keystone XL Pipeline 9/11 tells the story of how he became an activist

Chico Mendes was killed protecting the Brazilian Rain Forest. Sadly, activists there are still in danger. Recently two Mexican eco-journalists were also killed audio text.

Local hero Julia Platt How Monterey Bay Was Saved from the Brink see The Death and Life of Monterey Bayan excerpt by Steve Palumbi and Carolyn Sotka, see also TEDtalk.

Karen Silkwood a whistle-blower on nuclear industry practices that could have endangered millions of Americans was the portrayed by Meryl Streep in Silkwood VT6062 clip. Silkwood was probably killed to insure her silence.

Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation fisherwoman, leads a one-woman crusade against Dow and other petrochemical plants, which create 17% of America’s pollution from her Texas town of 1,352. These factories have turned Seadrift from a traditional fishing port into a massive chemical cocktail that poisons the surrounding air, earth and waters, sardonically dubbed Texas Gold, video excerpt. From Texas to Wall Street to the front lawn of former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson's multi-million dollar mansion on Long Island -- all the while chased by Texas Rangers charged with bringing her to justice -- Diane pursues a reckless industry with a soft drawl, dogged determination and her own special brand of Southern bad-ass fisherwoman humor.

In the 16 years since she began her fight, Diane has received death threats and suffered intimidation tactics; shots were fired at her house from a helicopter and her dog was poisoned.Democracy Now interview Wilson's book,//An Unreasonable Woman// Beyond Organic Interview

E. O. Wilson biologist TEDtalk video Audio: wonderful interview 11/08). Video of 2009 talk

Ken Saro-Wiwa (1941-95) was executed by the Nigerian government during his fight to prevent the further exploitation of his Ogoni people by the Shell Oil Company. book devoted to him and his writings

Muhammad Yunus founder of the Grameen Bank, which makes micro-loans all over the world, empowering people in many ways, not least of which to give them the option on not exhausting their local habitats in order to survive in the short term. Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. See also Social Entrepreneur.

Selected Organizations

Carbon Disclosure Project is an independent not-for-profit organization holding the largest database of primary corporate climate change information in the world. Thousands of organizations from across the world’s major economies measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, water use and climate change strategies through CDP. We put this information at the heart of financial and policy decision-making.


Emily James, a talented documentary filmmaker, has created a new movie called Just Do It about "environmental extremism" -- climate activists who are willing to risk beatings and arrest to stop environmentally catastrophic projects. (how she kept everyone out of jail).link.
Interviews with 2009 Brower Awards for young environmentalists.

2010 Goldman Prize winners.

Natalie Warne at 17 learned about the Invisible Children Project -- a campaign to rescue Ugandan children from Joseph Kony’s child armies. As an intern for Invisible Children, she led a nation-wide campaign for the project. She successfully got the campaign featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, a victory that dramatically raised the profile of the movement. Natalie now works as a film editor in Los Angeles. (TEDtalk video). UCSC has a local program.

In 2011 three young women swept the top prizes of the first Google Science Fair, doing important research on cancer and asthma. At TEDxWomen Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah described their extraordinary projects-- and their route to a passion for science.
McLibel. In the longest trial in English legal history, the "McLibel Two" represented themselves against McDonald's £10 million legal team. It is the David and Goliath story of two people who refused to say sorry.

Building Community with Greenspace. Yale students work together with many different urban New Haven neighborhoods to create green spaces, urban rehabilitation, safety and pride. More examples of activism at Natural Heroes series website.


Inspired by Aung San Suu Kyi’s call to action, “If you’re feeling helpless, help someone,” Morley composed this song. TEDtalk video.
Few “Like” Environmental News. It’s easier than ever to share news. But sharing of information is biased against complex and depressing news. So where does this leave the complex and depressing world of environmental news? Host Jeff Young asks Eli Pariser, founder of MoveOn.org and author of “The Filter Bubble,” what the Internet is hiding from us? audio and text. See alo his fine TEDtalk (video).
David Harvey: Urban Uprisings From Occupy Wall Street to the Paris Commune, distinguished professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. 5/12.

Eco-Kienevel: Being "green" has a longstanding association with things like organic granola and natural-fiber clothing, but dirt bikes and extreme sports? Our panel of eco-revolutionaries is kicking environmentalism into high gear and showing how we can make the environment more macho. Enviro-innovators Saul Griffithand Lindland will also showcase their latest Eco Knievel project, including the world’s first green stunt. (audio).

//Listen to the Land//, a book of interviews with eco-heroes by Derrick Jensen, eco-philosopher. audio Interview on activism.
Wendell Berry, Tim DeChristopher, and Teri Blanton discuss principled activism during this live web event hosted by the Orion Magazine staff on April 12, 2011.

John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
AKA John Ernest Steinbeck, Jr.

Birthplace:Salinas, CA
Location of death:Sag Harbor, NY
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, Garden of Memories Cemetery, Salinas, CA
Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Novelist, Playwright
Nationality: United States

Executive summary:The Grapes of Wrath
American author John Steinbeck wrote moving tales of ordinary, working class Americans, works which resonated during the Great Depression, and have remained popular and pertinent over subsequent decades. His own upbringing was basically middle-class — his father was an accountant who rose to become treasurer of Monterey County, California — but his primary literary inspiration came from Sir Thomas Malory's telling of the legend of King Arthur. He worked as a ranch-hand and lab assistant to earn his tuition to Stanford, then attended the college intermittently, only taking the classes that interested him (mostly English and marine biology) and never earning a degree. After quitting college in 1925, he worked as a deckhand and construction laborer, surveyor and fruit-picker while writing his first few novels.

His first novel, Cup of Gold (1929), centered on the life and romance of the pirate Henry Morgan, but like his next few efforts it was received indifferently. His fourth novel, 1935's Tortilla Flat, became a best-seller, telling a rather whimsical, humorous tale about unemployed Mexican-Americans in California, obliquely inspired by King Arthur's adventures. With his 1936 novel In Dubious Battle, focused on a strike of migratory fruit pickers on California farms, Steinbeck entered the genre of politically-charged "working stiff" fiction that became his trademark.

Of Mice and Men (1937), arguably Steinbeck's most beloved work, tells the poignant story of two migrant field workers, mismatched in stature and intellect but the best of friends. His most famous work, The Grapes of Wrath(1939), was drawn from Steinbeck's extended visits to California migrant camps at the height of the Depression, and chronicles the heartbreaking exodus of homeless Oklahomans who come to California in a desperate search for work. Grapes of Wrath was adapted into a classic John Ford film starring Henry Fonda, with most of the novel's dark, stark imagery intact, but with a more optimistic Hollywood ending in place of the book's bleak finish.

Steinbeck's other well-known novels include Cannery Row (1945), which deals with attempts to repair a fractured friendship among workers and shopkeepers in a California cannery town, and East of Eden (1952), a sprawling but intriguing soap opera of blackmail and murder, inspired the Biblical sibling rivalry of Cain and Abel. His lesser-known but still excellent writings include The Wayward Bus (1947), a compact, intense tale of passengers stranded at a gas station, and Travels with Charley (1962), a non-fiction work which chronicles Steinbeck's journey across America with his pet poodle. He also wrote the original story for Alfred Hitchcock'sLifeboat, and the screenplay for Elia Kazan's Viva Zapata!, a film biography of Emiliano Zapata starring Marlon Brando.
Steinbeck won a Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for The Grapes of Wrath, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. His third wife, Elaine Anderson Scott, was the ex-wife of actor Zachary Scott.


New York Drama Critics' Circle Award 1937, for Of Mice and Men
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1940, for The Grapes of Wrath
Nobel Prize for Literature 1962
Presidential Medal of Freedom 1964

Julius Caesar Shakespeare

Anthem Rand

The Catcher in the Rye Salinger