Monday, December 4th, 2017...8:25 pmAlexis Wiggins

Intro and Thesis

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To avoid the risk of confusion that I have come to expect from others when associating the Celtic Revival and the Harlem Renaissance, I will begin this anthology by listing some of the similarities between the two. Both the Harlem Renaissance and the Celtic Revival were movements that developed in the face of oppression. They both centered on education and the creation of a new type of art that gave identity to the people taking part in as well as the movements themselves. Questions of race and class were complicating factors in each.

While I was in the process of thinking about the pieces we had read in class for the Celtic Revival and the Harlem Renaissance and what other types of works could be included, I realized I wanted to find ones that could give a little more. Poems are beautiful and distinguished, but I’m the kind of person who is interested in people and character development and stories that give readers a peek into someone’s life, real or imaginary. Short stories have the ability to illustrate overarching and general ideas and atmospheres while at the same time focusing on the individual character and how they are effected.


Thesis: short stories from the Celtic Revival and Harlem Renaissance provide a deeper historical understanding that shows that, though these were times of a changing status quo socially and politically, the hidden underlying institutional factors of class and race that are exposed through the narratives remained ultimately unchanged.


Question: Does my introduction seem too juvenile? Should it be written in a more sophisticated way?


  • I don’t think your topic of short stories is juvenile, but I do think the introduction could be improved. I found myself asking, “Why does this matter?” and “‘Give a little more’ what?” What I would work on more than the introduction is the thesis statement. Are you meaning to say something along the lines of, “The shorter narratives of the Celtic Revival and Harlem Renaissance provide a timelessness to both movements outside their other literature and are thus indispensable in helping us understand the culture of the time”? Because it seems like your thesis is trying to say something like that, but it instead reads that race and class are unchanged, when I would ask where they are changed in the first place and why this matters. I recommend honing your thesis down to something simpler, then drafting the intro from there.

  •   Professor Seiler
    December 8th, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Lexie–I know the specificity of your interest in short stories of the CR/HR has come into much sharper focus now, so just acknowledging your post here. You’re on a great track.

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