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EN340: Team Aural Recording

Page history last edited by Tonya Howe 9 years, 10 months ago


10% of your final grade




To get the term started, and to ease you into the sometimes strange language of early texts, your first assignment will not be an essay, but an audio recording of one of the short fictions from the first unit of the class. Reading aloud is an important skill for a number of reasons--primarily, it aids and develops comprehension, but it is also the mode of reading most characteristic of the early modern period. Silent reading is a relatively recent phenomenon, becoming more available as a mode of consciousness during the eighteenth century.  As Patricia Meyers Spacks writes in Privacy: Concealing the Eighteenth-Century Self,


Before the great spread of literacy in the eighteenth century, communal reading aloud was a widespread activity. Reading aloud continued [even as] increasing numbers of people found it possible to read to themselves, to read alone. (9)


The act of reading silently, reading in private--especially by women and young people--was especially worrisome, because it signaled a realm that needed a different form of surveillance, an imaginative, uncontrolled realm that could potentially cause bad behavior, poor morals, lack of social discipline. Spacks goes on to note:


[T]he possibility of feeling and thinking without witnesses readily evoked danger. Especially when commentators imagined young people or women reading alone, reading in privacy, they often imagined dark contingencies: uncontrolled, uncontrollable fantasies leading inevitably to disaster. (Privacy: Concealing the Eighteenth-Century Self 10).


While silent reading has become the norm, it was very much under contestation during the period we're studying. We can forget that reading is not only an activity with a history, but that it is also a physical activity and an activity that depends upon full awareness of meaning. It can be difficult to understand the rhythms, the humor, the voice, and the nuance of early prose fiction--just like early poetry, or Shakespeare--and this assignment is geared toward helping you develop the skills needed to appreciate the literature we'll be encountering in the upcoming months. By learning first to hear the literature of the period, we will, hopefully, become more adept at the silent reading that will characterize the remainder of the term.


The scope of this project will be collaboratively determined--that is, the class as a whole, including me, will come to a joint conclusion about the length of the reading, some ideas for dividing the work, and so on--but we will work together to record one of the shorter pieces assigned from the anthology.  Each student will be responsible for producing an MP3 file of you reading your portion of the text aloud, and getting that MP3 file to me by the due date.


Grading Standard and Tools


A successful recording, however, will not be simply a completed recording. Rather, I will be looking for the accurate pronunciation, smooth rhythms, logical breakdown of the text into the parts read, and clarifying intonation that show comprehension. You will have to practice! This project will also take longer than you think, so be sure to plan and execute the project in a timely fashion. I will take your team members' feedback into consideration when I assess your individual contribution to the project. 


A free audio recording program named Audacity is available for download; you should install this on your computer. For full instructions on recording to your computer in MP3 format, check out this useful website--or browse the web to learn!


Recording Assignments



  1. Dr. Howe. -- Title through “...a Price for her Embraces:” (227)

  2. Abdelaziz, Mai A. -- “— — A Crowd of Purchasers of all Degrees....” (227) through “... Expressions so little polite.” (228)

  3. Ahmed, Faduma Y.. -- “— — In fine, they were infinitely charmed...” (228) through “...the good Luck to come off undiscovered.” (229)

  4. Al-Hashem, Zahraa A. -- “But these Cogitations were but of a short Continuance...” (229) through “either of her Virtue or Reputation.” (230)

  5. Black, Lauren A. -- “— Having told him she would admit of his...” (230) through “...the whole Affair made a Theme for public Ridicule.” (230)

  6. Butler, Megan B. -- “— Thus much, indeed, she told him...” (230) through “...beyond the Power of Heaven itself to help me!” (231)

  7. Celis, Yesenia. -- “— She uttered many more such Exclamations...” (231) through “...at least, as yet.” (232)

  8. Dunn, Amanda L. -- “They parted not til towards Morning...” (232) through “...the Remembrance she had forfeited the other.” (232)

  9. Ewell, Ebony E. -- “— — The more she reflected on the Merits of Beauplaisir,...” (232) through “...the Vigour of his latter Caresses.” (233)

  10. Fasulo, Laura C. -- “But he varied not so much from his Sex....” (233) through “...in which she promised herself Success.” (234)

  11. Hade, Carrie A.-- “She no sooner heard he had left the Town...” (234) through “...the amorous Heart of him who talked to her.” (235)

  12. Hammer, Alexander W. -- “He compelled her to sit in his Lap...” (235) through “...that there was none of it to be seen.” (235)

  13. Herse, Emily W. -- “In fine, her Habit and her Air...” (236) through “...to take Part of your Chariot.” (236)

  14. Johnston, Margaret D. -- “Here the feigned Widow ended her sorrowful tale...” (236) through “...to light into a Blaze.” (237)

  15. Kidane, Miriam M. -- “— — He now thought himself as fortunate...” (237) through “...in which she spoke when she appeared herself.” (238)

  16. Lehimdjian, Gabriella -- “— — These Aids from Nature joined to the Wiles of Art...” (238) through “The first contained these Lines:” (239)

  17. Lopez, Wendy -- “To the Charming Mrs. Bloomer,...” (239) through “— — Once more, my Dear, Adieu.” (239)

  18. Lillis, Jennifer A. -- “Traitor!” (239) through “...was now become rather a Penance than a Pleasure.” (240)

  19. McQuinn, Yalonda D. -- “The Widow Bloomer triumphed some Time longer...” (240) through “...either as to our Persons or Reputations.” (241)

  20. Mitchell, Rhyan A.-- “That which I require of you, (said she,)...” (241) through “...nothing of the Truth.” (242)

  21. Mulligan, Mary Kate. -- “— — I do not fear, (said she,)...” (242) through “...Yours, // INCOGNITA.” (242)

  22. Obando-Romero, Maria V. -- “He had scarce come to the conclusion...” (242) through “Your everlasting Slave, BEAUPLAISIR.” (243)

  23. Sarceno-Ortiz, Evelyn N. -- “Nothing could be more pleased than she...” (243) through “...believing before he left her he should easily obtain that Satisfaction.” (244)

  24. Sava, Margaret E. -- “— — A noble Collation being over, he began to sue for...” (244) through “...in her Head how to disappoint him.” (244)

  25. Shutermeja, Griselda -- “The Hours of Repose being arrived,...” (244) through “...he resolved never to make a second Visit.” (245)

  26. Walton, Davette L. -- “— — Finding her in an outer Room, he made no Scruple of...” (245) through “...the Liberties to which she had been accustomed.” (246)

  27. White, Lauren M. -- “But this Confinement was not the greatest Part...” (246) through “...she was at length convinced of it” (246)

  28. Young, Samantha G. -- “— — All the Pity and Tenderness she had been...” (246-7) through “I cannot live, and bear this Shame!” (247)

  29. Dr. Howe -- “— — But the old Lady believing that now or never was the Time...” (247) through “FINIS.” (248)

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