class paper
books for conference projects



Conference Project
click here for the schedule of conferences

   Activists in Oakland carry it on, 2015

The assignment is to produce a fifteen-page introduction to an autobiography (or set of autobiographies by the same author) that sheds light on the Freedom Movement in the decades that followed World War II. Click here for a list of autobiographies that fill this bill, but feel free to select any other suitable text. The conference paper's task is to give readers information and analytic insight that can enhance their understanding of the autobiography(ies) the paper addresses. For an example of this kind of writing, see John Blassingame's introduction to the classic Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Copies will be distributed in class.

Here are due dates and guidelines for the various phases of conference work...

Prospectus and bibliography, due February 27
In addition to whatever else it does, the prospectus needs to:
- identify the autobiography you have selected;
- comment on this autobiography's significance to students of the Black Freedom Movement in the period the course covers;
- describe your paper's central missions as an introduction (what facts most need to be established? what questions most need to be raised? what arguments most need to be constructed? and so on);
- summarize the research plan that flows from these missions;
- include a preliminary bibliography of both primary and secondary sources you plan to use (not every pertinent text you've identified).

Detailed outline, due April 3

The outline should organize your paper, paragraph by paragraph. Note the main argument each paragraph will make and the evidence it will present in support of that argument. Use the outlining process to work through conceptual issues and organizational problems. Don't stint on this part of the project. If you do the job right, outlining the paper may require as much time as does writing it, and the outline may be just as long as the paper.

Document the outline by recording the source(s) of the evidence each paragraph will present. Footnotes are not required at this stage, though you'd be wise to start constructing them. It is a requirement that the outline include a bibliography that covers all of your sources. To construct notes and bibliography, follow the guidelines in Mary Lynn Rampolla, Pocket Guide to Writing in History. If you cannot find the necessary guidelines in Rampolla's handbook, see Kate Turabian's Manual for Writers (chapters on the note-bibliography style of documentation). Both of these books are on reserve at the library.

Conference paper, due May 1
Not counting the title page and bibliography, the paper should weigh in at about fifteen pages, in double-spaced 12-point typeface and with 1-inch margins. It must be proofread and fully documented in accordance with the conventions laid out in Rapolla's Pocket Guide and Turabian's Manual. Hand in two hard copies and email the paper to the whole seminar, including Priscilla Murolo.

Class discussion of conference papers, May 8
Read the papers before class meets and arrive at the seminar table with questions for the various authors. Be ready to respond to questions prompted by your own paper. Please come to class with the autobiography(ies) for which you have written an introduction.

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Schedule of conferences:

Tuesday 2/6, 2/20, 3/6, 3/27, 4/10, 4/24, 5/8

4:00 - Julia Paolercio

4:30 - Nick Thompson


Thursday 2/8, 2/22, 3/8, 3/29, 4/12, 4/26, 5/10

10:00 - John Bemis

10:30 - Sophia Lynch

11:00 - Lizza Rodriguez

11:30 - Marley King

12:00 - Mansuda Arora


2:00 - Daryn Gray

2:30 - Fox Rinne

3:00 - Maddie Mungo

3:30 - Alison Havens

4:00 - Isabelle Gonzalez

4:30 - Giaana Singh

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