RQ: WD, Eps. 3 & 4


Keep the following questions in mind as you watch The Walking Dead, Ep. 3, “Tell it to the Frogs” & Ep. 4, “Vatos.” The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

Walking Dead, Ep. 3, “Tell it to the Frogs”

Why does “Tell it to the Frogs” open with Merle on the rooftop? What accounts for his turn from delirious chattering to savage act of will (sawing off his own arm)?

What do you make of the scene in which Lori, Carl, and Rick are reunited? Why do you think the show runners (or the comic creators, for that matter) chose to put the family drama at the center of the show?

Why do you think the gender politics are so explicit? Do you think the divisions and inequities around which Andrea and Ed fall out existed before the fall of civilization OR does the fall of civilization produce gender inequity? Does the show suggest that gender equality, such as it is, is a luxury that the survivors cannot afford?

When the men in the camp find the zombie eating the dead deer they beat the zombie to death. How does Darryl react to the way the men kill the zombie? How do Andrea and her sister react? Why do you think the men kill the zombie so savagely?

How does the sound editing add to the mood of episode throughout?

Why does Rick volunteer to go back into the city to rescue Merle? What do the rescuers find when they return to the rooftop where Merle was handcuffed?

Walking Dead, Ep. 4, “Vatos”

What did Andrea and Amy’s father teach them that they translate into survival skills?

Why or for whom is Jim digging graves at the beginning of the episode and how do the other survivors respond?

Why is it ironic that Shane tells Jim no one will hurt him as he puts him in arm lock and then ties him to a tree?

Who kidnaps Glen and how do Rick and the gang plan to get Glen back?

What secret are Guillermo and Felipe hiding? What is your assessment of Guillermo and Felipe’s ruse and how do the group of survivors in ATL compare to the group of survivors at the quarry?

Do the survivors navigate a changed urban landscape in a sustainable way? OR what are some benefits of the zombie apocalypse to both the environment and society? How could we produce the benefits to the environment and society portrayed (in part) in “Vatos,” but without the total collapse of civilization?


RQ: Hist KL, Scenes 8-13


Keep the following questions in mind as you read King Lear Scenes 8-13. The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.


Scene 8

Does Lear cause the storm, or vice versa? What is the relationship between the storm and Lear’s “woman’s weapons” (7.435)?

Why does Shakespeare give audiences a report of Lear in the storm before we see him out on the heath?

What secret does Kent tell the First Gentleman in Scene 8? What surety of his story does Kent offer the First Gentleman?

Scene 9 

If you were staging Lear, how would you portrait the “Storm” in Scene 9? Why?

Whom does Lear address in the opening lines of Scene 9?

Is the storm magical? For instance, how is it possible, in Lear’s assessment, for the storm to “Find out their enemies now” (9.51)?

Compare the power Lear attributes to the storm in 9.50-60, i.e. the storm can discover who all the villains are even if they are wearing disguises, to 11.25-33.

Does the storm transform Lear, from a seemingly unsympathetic man to a deeply sympathetic one, OR,  is he another counterfeit exposed? Could you even, ever tell the difference between the two? If not, so what?

Do you agree that Lear is “More sinned against than sinning” (9.60)?

What ideas or emotions does the storm convey to stage and theater audience, as well as readers, that words cannot (11.6-20)?

Scene 11

What motivates Lear’s pity for Tom? Is Lear sincere? How can you tell and so what? Also, does it matter that Tom is really Edgar, disguised nobleman?

When Edgar describes Tom’s life before the hovel, is he telling the truth? If yes, assess his character. For instance, are you surprised he chose to take on the costume of a beggar?

If you were directing this play, would you have Lear take off all his clothes at “Unaccomodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings! Come on, be true” (11.96-99)? Why or why not? AND, can an actor really ever be naked on stage?

Where, or even how, do you think Edgar learned to curse?

What does Poor Tom eat? For what does his diet qualify him?

What, as Lear asks, is the “cause of the thunder” (11.139)?

Scene 13 

Where are they in Scene 13?

Is Lear’s condemnation of his daughters in the mock trial justified? What does he see when he anatomizes Regan?

Why does Tom/Edgar taxonomize all those dogs even as he disperses them?

Does Lear’s madness come from inside or outside?


26 Sept. Division.

Featured Image: The Main Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

Piktochart Sharing

If you created your Visual Rendering in Piktochart, make sure you did the following. If you did not do the following, do it now:
1. Click “Share” in the upper right hand corner

2. Choose “Public” if you haven’t already

3. Cut and paste the public URL

4. DO NOT just copy and paste the URL from page on which you made the VR. If you do I can’t read it.


Write in response to the following prompt for five minutes without stopping. Keep your response on hand, because we will return to it at the end of class.
Given what you know about The History of King Lear so far, why are we reading this play in a class about the places and ideas (i.e. anthropocene, ecological thought, etc.) that come after “Nature”?

Part I. Background

Part II. Discussion

  • 1. Are the kingdoms already divided? If yes, so what? If no, so what?
  • 2. Why does Lear divide his kingdom? How does he decide which sister gets which portion of land?
  • 3. How much does Gonoril love her father? Does Regan improve Gonoril’s speech? Is it possible to love someone as much as they say they love their father? How much does Cordelia love her father?
  • 4. Does Cordellia take the contest for the biggest portion of the kingdom too seriously? Do you think she should have won the contest? Why doesn’t she?
  • 5. What are some consequences of Lear’s curse (1.100-12)?
  • 6. What does Kent mean when he says, “Think’st thou that duty shall have dread to speak/When power to flattery bows?” (1.136-7). Is Kent out of line? Does he misread and/or misspeak in court? Or, are his criticism warranted?
  • 7. Does Lear do Cordelia a favor by disowning her?
  • 8. What’s the gist of the sisters’ discussion at the close of the scene and after Lear has exited the stage? Does their conversation challenge or support your initial reaction to them? Why do you think Shakespeare bookends Scene 1 with two, informal, conversations adjacent to the throne room?

Part III. Review

Review your initial freewrite and then respond to the following:
By what right does Lear divide and dispense land? In other words, XX.

14 Sept. Ecological Thought.

Featured Image

Part I: Tools

  • How are the Renderings coming?

    If anyone is struggling with the design tools, may want to check out this helpful video series in on Canva in Lynda. 

    How to export your draft from the tool to WP

  • How to publish your Rendering drafts to the course blog

    1. click on your class section in the top menu of the course site; 2. go up to “+New” in the menu and then down to “Post”; 3. Once in the Post, add a title, cut and paste your text in the text box, and paste the HTML code, generated by the graphic tool you used, into the post’s “text” view; 4. Make sure you choose your course section and the name of the post from the “Categories” list on the right.

Part II: Morton Discussion

Organize yourselves into groups according to the first few letters of your last name, and answer the question below that corresponds with your group number:

1. A-Fol 1. A-Be 1. A-Ho
2. For-Kel 2. Bo-F 2. Hu-M
3. K1-Mo 3. H-Mc 3. O-Q
4. Mu-Pl 4. Mi-S 4. R-Se
5. Po-W 5. T-W 5. Sm-Z

Take 10-15 minutes to discuss your answer in your group & be prepared to cite evidence when you respond to your question.
  • Group One: What are some ways Morton defines the ecological thought? Are you ever satisfied with his definition? Is he?

  • Group Two: Describe the rhetorical strategy of this chapter. List some of Morton’s rhetorical choices an compare them to Nixon and Clark’s chapters? Is one author more successful than the others, why/why not?

  • Group Three: What does the term “Nature” describe according to Morton? Why do we have to let go of “Nature” to have ecology? Do you agree, why/why not?

  • Group Four: What happens to the concept of person-hood or human when it expands under the ecological thought? For instance, what do you think Morton means when he says that “The ecological thought fans out into questions concerning cyborgs, artificial intelligence, and the irreducible uncertainty over what counts as a person” (8)?Do you agree, why/why not? 

  • Group Five: What sorts of artworks best demonstrate the ecological thought? To respond to this question, examine at least one movie, book, etc. that he talks about as an example of the ecological thought. Can you think of your own example(s)? Do you agree with his assessment, why/why not?


Part III: Quiz

Please clear your desk and then complete the following:
I’ll pass around the quizzes and then you will have the remainder of the class to complete them. All the questions are short answer. Your answers do not need to be in complete sentences, and you do not need to include direct citations from the text for full credit. Bring your completed quiz up to me when you are finished, and then you may leave.

RQ: Morton, “Critical Thinking,” 1-14


Keep the following questions in mind as you read Timothy Morton’s “1-14. The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

  • 1. What’s ecology according to Morton?
  • 2. What does Morton mean by the “Ecological Thought”? What are some ways he defines the term? Are you ever satisfied with definition?
  • 3. Describe the organizational strategy of this chapter? How does it differ from the way Nixon and Clark set up their chapters?
  • 4. How/why does what Morton calls the ecological though disrupt time? What does he mean when he says things such as, “In some strong sense, the ecological thought rigorously comes afterward–it is always to come, somewhere in the future. In its fullest scope, it will have been thought at some undefined point” (3)?
  • 5. Why do we have to let go of “Nature” to have ecology?
  • 6. What does the term “Nature” describe according to Morton? Why is “Nature” a problem in his estimation?  
  • 7. What happens to the concept of personhood (or even species) when it expands under the ecological though? OR, what does Morton mean when he says that “The ecological though fans out into questions concerning cyborgs, artificial intelligence, and the irreducible uncertainty over what counts as a person” (8)?
  • 8. Why do “all artworks…have an irreducibly ecological form” (11)?
  • 9. What sort of interaction between the sciences and the humanities does Morton propose and why?
  • 10. Why doesn’t Morton talk abut “theory” more explicitly? Or, what choices do think he has made in this chapter to be more accessible to non-specialists?