Choose one of the class readings from week 7 or 8, then respond to one of the prompts from the Discussion for that reading that you have not already used for a Discussion post; for reference, they are
For “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress”:
1. Zinn says that “When we read the history books given to children in the United States, it all starts with heroic adventure–there is no bloodshed–and Columbus Day is a celebration” and that beyond “the elementary and high schools there are only occasional hints of something else,” such as that which appears in the definitive Columbus narrative (at the time), 1954’s Christopher Columbus, Mariner by Samuel Eliot Morison, which amounts to one sentence on one page that does, in fact, rightly refer to the actions of Columbus and his successors as “genocide” but which quickly buries this fact in a “mass of other information, [thus saying to the reader]: yes, mass murder took place, but it’s not that important… it should affect very little what we do in the world (Zinn 7 – 8). Does the reluctant coverage of Columbus’ actions throughout Western history inform the debate about existing or past power structures in Western/American culture; how so? Do past injustices and cruelties matter in the now; why or why not? Whose interest does it serve (or did it serve) for historians to have “swept under the rug” the overwhelming number of human atrocities committed by Columbus, Cortes, Pizarro, the English Settlers, and their successors; how so?
n your response, be sure to introduce the title and author, summarize the reading (or the relevant parts) briefly, define the argument(s) or persuasive point (s) that the author is making as alluded to in the prompt, and respond to the prompt using specific evidence from one researched source (the author and title of which you also name) that supports or opposes some claim you are making, with proper MLA in-text citations for your quoted evidence (for reference, our library’s article databases on which you may conduct your research are available here). In addition, you must include “long form” Works Cited citations for both your reading and your outside source on a separate page.
VSPs must be a minimum of 300 words and, in addition to containing proper MLA citations, must use proper MLA page formatting where it concerns page numbers, student name, instructor name, class number, date and title. Also, make sure the document is double-spaced between lines.
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