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Convergences : Themes, Texts, and Images for Composition,9780312467340

Convergences : Themes, Texts, and Images for Composition

Edition: 3rd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 12/24/2008
Publisher(s): Bedford/St. Martin's


By pairing essays with other kinds of compositions a TV show, a news report, a photo, an ad, a cast-off grocery list Convergencesasks students to respond to all kinds of visual and verbal texts. Its organization into six broad thematic chapters each of which is broken out into six clusters presents the materials in a way that is compelling and teachable.Convergencesurges students to ask: Why did that author write that essay? Where was it published, and for what audience? What is the message of that poem? Why is that image on that Web site? Who thinks that joke is funny? How is that ad getting me to buy things I don't need? And, most importantly how do I make meaning of it all? With its full-color design, varied themes and texts, and helpful reading and writing support,Convergencesinspires students to read the world in new ways and to respond thoughtfully in their own compositions.

Author Biography

Robert Atwan is director of The Blue Hills Writing Institute at Curry College and the series editor of the annual Best American Essays, which he founded in 1985. His essays, reviews, and critical articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Iowa Review, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review, River Teeth, and many other publications. For Bedford/St. Martin's, he has also edited Ten on Ten: Major Essayists on Recurring Themes (1992), Our Times (1998), and America Now (2007). He has coedited (with Jon Roberts) Left, Right, and Center: Voices from Across the Political Spectrum (1996), and is coeditor with Donald McQuade of The Writer's Presence (2006).

Table of Contents

*Understanding Message, Method, Medium
Understanding Texts: Audience, Purpose, and Context
Reading and Writing about Texts

Annotated essay: Stephen Jay Gould, A Time of Gifts

Annotated photograph: Lauren Greenfield, Sara, 19

Annotated advertisement: Negative Population Growth, Remember when this was heavy
*Annotated comic strip: Art Spiegelman, A Father’s Guiding Hand, "Portrait of the Artist as a
Young %@?*!"

*An Annotated Student Essay
*Annotated student essay: Milos Kosic (Northwest College), It’s Not the Name that Matters

How to Use this Book

1. Depicting Identities

Home Movies

(memoir) Judith Ortiz Cofer, Silent Dancing
(photo & book cover) Judith Ortiz Cover; Silent Dancing

(poem) Judith Ortiz Cofer, Lessons of the Past

Our Stuff, Our Selves

(personal essay) John Freyer, All My Life for Sale
(objects) John Freyer, Objects for Sale

(webscreen) eBay

* You Are What You Eat

*(essay) Amanda Hesser, Shop Write

*(lists), shopping lists

*(photo essay) Leigh Belanger, What’s in Your Fridge?

(photo essay) Lauren Greenfield, The Food Court

*(brief argument) Michael Pollan, We Are What We Eat

* What’s in a Name?

*(personal essay) Manuel Munoz, Leave Your Name at the Border

*(illustrations) David Heatley, Luis; Greg Klee, William, Bill, Billy

*(persuasive essay) Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, Trading Up: Where Baby Names Come From?
*(maps & charts) National Geographic, Top Baby Names

*(sidebar) The New York Times, What Happens to Hurricane Names?

(essay) Maya Lin, Between Art and Architecture

(photo) Todd Gipstein, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Family Photos

(essay) Janet Malcolm, The Family of Mann
(photo) Sally Mann, Jessie Bites
(photo) Sally Mann, Blowing Bubbles

(photo) Sally Mann, Emmet, Jessie, and Virginia

(photo) Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette

(essay/interview) Melissa Harris and Jessie Mann, On Being Photographed

The Mona Lisa

(portrait) Leonardo DaVinci, The Mona Lisa

(essay) Joseph A. Harriss, Seeking Mona Lisa

(portrait) Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q

*(object) Constantin Boym, Mona Lisa Clock

portrait: Andy Warhol, Mona Lisa: 1963
*(ad) Breathe Right, Mona Lisa
(portraits) Lillian Schwartz, Mona/Leo; Da Vinci Timeline

2. Telling Stories

* Fairytales and Urban Legends

*(fairytale) Charles Perrault, Little Red Riding Hood (Le Petit Chaperon Rouge), 1697

*(fairytale) unknown author, Little Red Riding Hood, 1908

*(illustrations) Charles Perrault edition, Gustave Dore: Little Red Riding Hood

*(essay) Catherine Orenstein, Little Red Riding Hood: Dances with Wolves

*(urban legend) David Emery, The Hook

*(comic strip) Jan Harold Brunvand (writer) and DC Comics (artists), The Hook
*(movie poster) I Always Know What You Did Last Summer

* Mini-Narratives

*(images, narratives) Wired magazine, Very Short Stories
*(found artifacts) FOUND magazine, Action! List!; Stupid x 3,

*(found photo) SCIENCE

*(cartoon / magazine cover) Chris Ware / The New Yorker, Family

Imagined Narratives: Stories without Words
*(painting) Edward Hopper, Office at Night
*(essay) Kathryn Shattuck, Edward Hopper’s Office at Night: A Close Reading

*(annotated painting and sketches) Kathryn Shattuck, On Edward Hopper’s Office at Night

(photo) Jeff Wall, Man with a Rifle

*(analytical essay) Philip Gefter, Photographic Icons: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

*(photo essay) Mathew Brady, Ruth Orkin, Joe Rosenthal, United Press International, The New York Times, Edward Keating, Iconic Images

* Stories on Film: What Makes a Cult Classic?

*(essay) Salman Rushdie, Out of Kansas

(movie poster) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, The Wizard of Oz, 1939

*(movie stills) The Wizard of Oz
*(analytical essay) Joe Morgenstern, Little Miss Sunshine: How One Scene Can Say Everything
*(movie still) Little Miss Sunshine: Abigail Breslin and Paul Dano

*(personal essay) Roger Ebert, Star Wars
*(movie stills) Star Wars
*(brief interview) Joseph Campbell, On the Mythology of Star Wars


(analytical essay) Wendy Lesser, Weegee

(photos) Weegee, Newsboy; Mulberry Street Café; Dancing; Car Crash Upper Fifth Ave
(analytical essay) Nora Ephron, The Boston Photographs
(photos) Stanley Forman, The Boston Photographs
(photos) Bronston Jones, Missing; Contact Sheet


*(graphic memoir) Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: Old Father, Old Artificer
(myth) Thomas Bullfinch, Daedalus

(painting) Peter Paul Rubens, The Fall of Icarus

3. Shaping Spaces

(personal essay) Nicole Lamy, Life in Motion
(photo journal) Nicole Lamy, Homes

(photos) Bill Bamberger, Photos of Home

The Basketball Court
(personal essay) John Edgar Wideman, First Shot

*(photos) John Edgar Wideman, Playing at U Penn.
*(magazine cover) Sports Illustrated, John Edgar Wideman and Daughter Jamila
(photos) Dana Lixemberg, Brad Richman, and Paul D’Amato, Basketball Photos

Sacred Spaces

(personal essay) N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain

(poem) Stephen Dunn, The Sacred

(photo) Jesse DeMartino, Jason and Mike at the Cabin Near Huntsville, Texas

(photo) Mitch Epstein, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Public Space

(essay) Pico Iyer, Nowhere Man

(photos) Sylvia Otte, Airport Lounges

*(personal essay) Brent Staples, Just Walk on By

*(book cover) Brent Staples, Parallel Time

* Mental Space: The Human Imagination
*(mixed media) Lynda Barry, When Images Come to Us…Where Do They Come From?

*(brief interview) Elissa Schappell, A Conversation with Lynda Barry

*(analytical essay) Will Wright, Dream Machines

(game screens) *The Sims, SimCity, and *Spore

Cyber Space

(billboard) Yahoo, "A Nice Place to Stay on the Internet"

*(map) The Opte Project, Mapping the Internet
(persuasive essay) Jonathan G. S. Koppell, No "There" There

(persuasive essay) Noah D. Zatz, Sidewalks in Cyberspace

*(webscreen): Linden Lab, Second Life
*(analytical essay) The Week Editorial Board, Living in a Virtual World

4. Making History

Composing America

(documents) U.S. Congress, The Declaration: draft; print/typeset version; calligraphy version.

(analytical essay) Thomas Starr, The Real Declaration
(analytical essay) John Munves, Going to Press

*(photo) Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863

*(documents) Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, Nicolay Draft; draft transcript;
calligraphy version

(slides) Peter Norvig, A PowerPoint Presentation for the Gettysburg Address

* Preserving the Past

*(postcard) Helen Simpson, Lowell House: To Miss Ann Holliday, October 20, 1944
*(essay) Jessica Helfand, What We Saved
*(scrapbook images) Jessica Helfand, Pages of What We Saved

Indian Ground

(movie poster) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

(poem) Sherman Alexie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(analytical essay) Verlyn Klinkenborg: Sand Creek
(photos) The Denver Public Library, Colonel John M. Chivington; Cheyenne and Arapaho Chiefs
(drawing) The Denver Public Library, Troops storming the Sand Creek

(map) Brian Callahan, Map of Sand Creek

Chicago’s Tenements

(photos) Wayne F. Miller, Rabbits for Sale, 1948; Two Girls Waiting Outside a Tavern; One-Room Kitchenette; Three Teenagers in Kitchenette Apartment

(poem) Gwendolyn Brooks, Kitchenette Building
(personal essay) Gordon Parks, Speaking for the Past

* Religion in America: The Scopes Monkey Trial

*(transcript) William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, from The Scopes Monkey Trial
*(photos) John Scopes, Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan; The Anti-Evolution League
*(play script): Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, From Inherit the Wind
*(photo) Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy in Inherit the Wind
*(persuasive essay) The Rev. John Roach Straton, "The Most Sinister Movement in the United
States," December 26, 1925

Exposing War

(persuasive essay) Susan Sontag: Watching Suffering from a Distance
(photos) Ronald L. Haeberle: My Lai Villagers before and after being shot by U.S. Soldiers (journal) Thomas R. Partsch: (My Lai) March 16-18, 1968
(transcript) William L. Calley, (My Lai) Court Martial Transcript
(ad) Physicians Against Land Mines, Emina’s Story
*(op-art/comic) Marjane Satrapi, When I Was Invited to Speak at West Point

5. Dividing Lines


(photo) Roger Ressmeyer, Crying Infants

*(comic strip) Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, Zits
(personal essay) Penelope Scambly Schott, Report on the Difference between Men and Women
(short story) Melanie Sumner, Marriage

(photo) Eric James, School Bus
(memoir) Jan Morris, Herstory

Color Lines

(persuasive essay) Orlando Patterson, Race Over
(photo) Derek Jeter
(photo) Jessica Alba
(photo) Christina Aguilera

(photo) Vin Diesel

* Us and Them: The New Immigration

*(memoir) Jhumpa Lahiri, My Two Lives

*(op-art/comic) Nathan Huang, A Red-Envelope Day
*(poem) Alberto Ríos, Lineas Fronterizas/Border Lines
*(comic) Ross MacDonald’s Dead Eye Comics: Borderline Loco!

*(poem) Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus
*(drawing) Paul Vitello and Tamara Shopsin, The Uncitizens

Who Wants Diversity?

(photo) Dennis McDonald, Burlington County Times, Berkeley, NJ

(photo) Kurt Wilson, St. Ignatius, Montana

(photo) Danielle P. Richards, Teaneck, NJ
(persuasive essay) David Brooks, People Like Us

(ad) Council on American Islamic Relations, We’re All Americans
(photo) Gary Fandel, West Des Moines, Iowa

*(cartoon) Roz Chast, Adam

Turf War
(analytical essay) Richard Rodriguez, Gangstas
(photo) Joseph Rodriguez, Chivo
(photo) Joseph Rodriguez, Members of Florencia 13 Gang Outside School
(photo) Joseph Rodriguez, Mike Estrada Holds a Photo of his Father Who is in Prison
(photo) Joseph Rodriguez, Funeral of Two-and-a-half-year-old Thomas Regalado III

On the Margins

(photo) Jacob Riis, Homeless Boys
(memoir) Lars Eighner, On Dumpster Diving

(photo) Mary Ellen Mark, The Damm Family in their Car
(photo) Mary Ellen Mark, Chrissy Damm and Adam Johnson
(photo essay) Margaret Morton, Mr. Lee

6. Packaging Culture

How to Make an Ad

(directions) Adbusters, How to Create Your Own Print Ad

(analytical essay) James Twitchell, How to Advertise a Dangerous Product

(ad) Shirley Polykoff and Miss Clairol, Does She…or Doesn’t She?

*(ad) and The Martin Agency, "So Easy a Caveman Can Do It"

* A New Ethics of Consumption

*(persuasive essay) Bill McKibben, SkyMall: Pie in the Sky

*(spoof ad) Kasper Hauser, SkyMaul

*(poster) Adbusters, Buy Nothing Day: Participate by Not Participating

*(ad) Amnesty International, What Price for Those Diamonds?
*(persuasive essay) Tom Standage, Our Thirst for Bottled Water

*(graph & chart) The New York Times, "Satisfying the National Thirst…With Lots of Bottles"

The Mall

(mixed media) Barbara Kruger, I Shop, Therefore I Am

*(essay) Matt Snyders, The Full MoA (Mall of America)

*(photo) The Mall of America
*(photo essay) Matt Synders at the MoA

(memoir) Dorothy Allison, What Did You Expect?
*(photos) Dorothy Allison

(book cover & film still) Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina
*(analytical essay) Josh Tyrangiel, Andy Was Right
*(portrait) Andy Warhol, Self Portrait
(magazine cover) Time, "Person of the Year: You";

*(persuasive essay) Evan Lushing, On YouTube, Everyone’s an Anti-Star
*(video still) YouTube: The History of the Dance Guy

The Body
*(persuasive essay) Camille Paglia, The Pitfalls of Plastic Surgery
(ad) Charles Atlas, Fame Instead of Shame

(researched essay) Eric Tyrone McLeod, Selling Out: Consumer Culture and the Commodification of the Male Body

* Selling Cool

*(analytical essay) Malcolm Gladwell, The Coolhunt

*(artifact) Converse, The Converse One Star
(spoof ad) Adbusters, You’re Running Because You Want That Raise

*(analytical essay) Dennis Wilson, A Look Under the Hoodie

*(move still) Chartoff-Winkler Productions, Sylvester Stallone in Rocky

*(photo) Mos Def

*(persuasive essay) Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool

* new to this edition

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