Quick Write

Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois have different ideas about how to move forward in a post-slavery America. What do you think is the main difference in their approaches?

W.E.B. Du Bois 1868 – 1963

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most important African-American activists during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP and supported Pan-Africanism. (Biography.com)

dubois souls

Three Levels of Analysis

Most literary analysis explanations focus on the two levels of meaning; textual and metaphorical or rhetorical. What the text says and the meaning of the text. To understand a third level of meaning we use more modern theoretical approaches. The approach or lens we use to read a text affects the meaning of the text. A theoretical lens applied to a text will give new context and meaning to a text, giving a new reading to a text.

Textual Analysis – What the text is actually saying. Think of close reading of the text.

  • The Five Moves of Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis – Explain how the text creates a certain effect; how it is persuading, entertaining, or informing. The rhetorical work a text is making.

  • Rhetorical reading. Ethos, Logos, and Pathos.

Discourse Analysis (Discursive) – The social interaction level of the text. Looking at the conversation surrounding the what the text is saying and the texts it is responding to.  The text may have different meanings for people in diverse situations.

  • The conversation surrounding a topic or idea. What others are saying helps to give context to what is being said.

Discourse is a process of meaning-making through talk and text.

Discourse, as defined by Foucault, refers to:

ways of constituting knowledge, together with the social practices, forms of subjectivity and power relations which inhere in such knowledges and relations between them. Discourses are more than ways of thinking and producing meaning. They constitute the ‘nature’ of the body, unconscious and conscious mind and emotional life of the subjects they seek to govern (Weedon, 1987, p. 108).

… a form of power that circulates in the social field and can attach to strategies of domination as well as those of resistance ( Diamond and Quinby, 1988, p. 185).

(Discourse and Foucault)

The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folks

Double Consciousness 

It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. (Of Our Spiritual Strivings; par. 3)

Cultural Conflict Essay

Cultural Conflict Essay Prompt