Round table Discussion — Inquiry and Evidence: Textual Sites
Background: So far in our course, we’ve focused on what it means to ask really good,
critical questions. As we have learned, critical questions often guide our investigations, and
therefore they have important functions in scholarly research and writing. Now, we will
turn our attention to the ways that scholars in the humanities attempt to answer their
questions – through close analyses of texts and images and sometimes sounds.
For this assignment, we will be focusing on the ways humanities scholars analyze texts and
then use the results of their analyses as evidence, which helps them answer their questions.
Description: This assignment requires you to work in groups of three to identify, assess,
and interpret details from a set number of chapters from the novel we are reading this
term: Carry Snyder’s Girl Runner.
This assignment has two parts: a round table presentation and a paper.
Part one: you will present your work to your classmates in a round table discussion during
class. ( minutes)
Part two: After your round table discussion, you will use the discussion to further revise
your interpretation of the assigned chapters (the paper portion of the assignment) and
upload it to Canvas (900 words +/- 10%)
Part one: round table discussion
A. Getting ready for the round table presentation and paper
All members of the host group do this work together outside of class before the inclass round table session. Please consult the schedule for the chapters you are to
work on for this assignment and for your ‘hosting’ day.
1) Identify a set of ideas about the novel based on discussions we’ve had about the
novel in class, all four of the articles we’ve read so far in the course, the chapters
from the novel we’ve read so far, and the chapters you are assigned for this
2) Based on your discussion of these big ideas and your attempt to make connections
between readings, earlier chapters of the novel, and the chapters of the novel you’ve
been assigned, create a set of questions that a textual analysis of the chapters you’ve
been assigned will answer.
3) With your questions in mind, choose 3 or 4 passages from the chapters you’ve been
assigned. Each passage should be between 5-10 sentences long and should span the
chapters you are discussing (you cannot choose the passages from only one
chapter). The passages you choose should be good candidates for analysis – that is,
your analysis of them should help you answer your questions.
4) Conduct a textual analysis of these passages. Copy out the passages into a word
document and do the following:
a. Note any lower level details in the passages that seem important to you –
note aspects of images, symbols, word choice, characterization, plot
development, etc. These details will later become the evidence that supports
the answers to your questions.
b. Note mid-level patterns in these details. Do you notice that some images,
symbols or word choices, etc. are connected to a particular idea that recurs?
Is their recurrence significant, do you think? Identify one or two that could
become the motif and focus of your analysis.
c. Using higher-level words (abstractions), interpret these patterns. Does this
higher-level interpretation answer your question? If not, you might need to
look at other details/notice other patterns, or you might need to ask different
5) Draft up your assignment by doing the following:
a. Describe the issue/big ideas your analysis of the assigned chapters will
address. As you do this, refer to course readings and earlier chapters in the
novel (the ones we’ve already discussed). Here, you will be fleshing out the
issue you are describing by referring to related ideas in Warner’s “Women
Enter the Olympics” and possibly ideas from other readings, and definitely
ideas suggested in earlier chapters of the novel.
b. Articulate a couple of questions related to this issue. You should be able to
answer these questions with your textual analysis of the novel’s chapters.
c. Write up your textual analysis of the novel’s chapters (the one you did above,
described in #4). Here, you are focusing on the larger points you want to
make (the higher-level interpretations that answer your questions). As you
write up your textual analysis, make sure to include a mix of levels of
information (low level detail, mid-level patterns, high-level abstractions) so
that your reader understands your reasoning.
d. After you’ve finished drafting up your analysis into a paper, you will be ready
to host your round table presentation.
e. Have one member of your group post your draft textual analysis to the
Assignment: Draft textual analysis on Canvas at least one hour before your
group’s scheduled roundtable
B. Hosting the Round table
After you have completed the work described above as a group, each member of your
group must take one of the roles described below. These are ‘hosting’ roles for the round
Roles for ‘Hosts’ of Round Table:
Connector (5 minutes): This person reports on the process of developing the higher-level
ideas the group discussed in their early planning for this assignment. This person will
connect and explain the big ideas by referring to the course readings and ideas in earlier
chapters of the novel. Although all the preliminary work and final draft of the assignment
will be written collaboratively, this person is responsible for writing and bringing a pointform script that helps them take on this role during the round table.
Questioner (5 minutes): This person will explain the questions that guided the host group’s
textual analysis of the chapters. This person will also explain why the group thought these
were good questions. Although all the preliminary work and final draft of the assignment
will be done collaboratively, this person is responsible for writing and bringing a point-form
script that helps them take on this role during the round table.
Demonstrator (5 minutes): If there are 4 people in your group, 2 people will take on this role.
This person explains and demonstrates key components of the group’s textual analysis.
This person will articulate the group’s higher-level points (the ones that ‘answer’ the
group’s questions) and will discuss the evidence that supports these points by discussing
the lower-level details from the chapters that support the higher-level points. This person
will refer to the mid-level motif and directly to specific passages from the assigned chapters
as they present their analysis. Although all the preliminary work and final draft of the
assignment will be done collaboratively, this person is responsible for writing and bringing
a point-form script that helps them take on this role during the round table.
So, it is expected that all members of the hosting/presenting group will work together on
the above tasks but that during the presentation, each one of the three takes a ‘role’ and
writes up their part of the roundtable presentation. Hosts bring the scripts that they
prepare in advance; in other words, they come prepared to host the discussion.
C. During the round table
Round table participants who are not hosting/presenting will be required to produce at
least 1 question each as they listen to what the hosts say. After the hosts are finished
presenting, the participants (non-hosts) will begin the discussion with their questions. The
round table hosts are expected to discuss the questions and the participants are expected
to contribute to keeping the discussion going. Discussion lasts 20 minutes.
D. After the round table
Participants who are not presenting will post the question they produced during the round
table on the Canvas discussion forum in the discussion space/thread provided immediately
after the round table.
The hosts will use the round table discussion to revise their draft (see item #5 above). This
paper should be 900 words. Students will then submit this document (only 1, prepared
collaboratively by all three in the hosting group) to Canvas, along with a short reflection of
200 words that discusses the group’s reflections on the process of selecting, assessing, and
analyzing textual details in the chapters. You can add this 200-word reflection at the end of
your paper (the 900 words described above), after your works cited or bibliography
entries. Make sure you provide a subtitle for this portion; call it “Reflections.”
Deadline to submit roundtable presentation paper: 48 hours after roundtable
High level: women status（Women’s social status）
midlevel: loneliness, relationship
In the “Girl runner”, the author uses time sequence to tell the story of the life of the first Canadian woman runner in the 800-meter race at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics called aggie. However, this is not what it looks like on the surface, here we reveal the discrimination against gender in the society at that time. The novel shows us the complicated family relationships and lies. (….) “…”
relationship:( chapter 13)
Aggie had been hiding her true thoughts in the relationship with Johnny
and was afraid to show Johnny her true self.
When Johnny said he might marry aggie, aggie’s reaction was strange. “[she] almost hold [her] breath”. ( )She seemed to be trying to hide what she really wanted. She really wanted to get married, but she was afraid of showing her true feelings and emotions.
While Aggie and Johnny were playing dominoes in bed, the room is warm, him not wanting to go to the cold room. He still wants to stay with Aggie, however, Aggie said “ go home”（ ）to Jonny. However, when Jonny offered to stay at Aggie’s, Aggie’s face turned red. That means Aggie wanted Jonny to stay but she let him go. That meant she did not want Jonny to know what was on his mind.
loneliness: (Chapter 11, 12)
In Girls Runner, Aggie is an introvert person, and she always feels very depressive in her life. She thinks that her “body” seems like the “body of the house” (101). This house is hollow because there is more and more people are leaving day by day, such as Fennie and Geroge. Moreover, she feels ‘a long slow leak of sadness spilling between my ribs’ (101). These imply the loneliness in Aggie’s heart, and her sadness about her relatives left.
In addition, Aggie’s mother treats her and Olive as a guest: “You and Olive are our guests, of course” says mother (117). However, Aggie and Olive are her daughters. Then, Aggie feels “an ache in ‘her’ throat, the hollow where sadness fits” (117). From here, readers can see that the distance between Aggie and her mother is very big because her mother does not care about her. It also shows that Aggie is lack of love in her life, and it makes her loneliness.
The social stereotype of women should stay at home and take care of the children, however, Aggie’s mom is different from the other women. The reason behind why Aggie can be the first girl runner and win the Olympic game is because Aggie’s mother is a midwife, in that era, most of the women choose to give birth at home, therefore, midwife is a special job in that time, based on this factor, Aggie’s mother encouraged her to become a female athlete which is also unusual in that era. In 19 century there’s big division between male and female. “Canada’s 1928 Olympic team, with its large contingent of young men, and much smaller, special group of girls.(138)” in this sentence,This shows the gender inequality when Aggie joined the 1928 olympic team, she realized how small the female athlete group is compared to the male athlete.
Inaddition,there’s one time Aggie witnessed her mother helping a woman to have an abortion. In 19 centruy, abortion were prohibited, this explain why the yound woman will come and ask for help. When aggie sees the young woman, she saw the fear in her eyes. “Can you help me?” the girl asked.This explain how inequality for women in society, and how weak woman is in this society