Tag Archives: research

Historical Term: Billeting

[Given the post immediately below this on, it’s worth mentioning that the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution–i.e. the third of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, guaranteed this freedom: “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”]

“Billeting The custom of requiring householders to provide accommodation for members of the armed forces. The system was widely abused in the 17th century under Charles I and protests against it were included in the Petition of Right (1628). Despite the forbidding of forced billeting in 1679, it continued under Charles II and James II, ending only when parliament agreed to the building of permanent barracks in 1792.”

Excerpted from: Cook, Chris. Dictionary of Historical Terms. New York: Gramercy, 1998.

Book of Answers: Emile Zola and the Dreyfus Affair

“Of what crime was Emile Zola convicted? In 1898-99, he was convicted of libel in France for his letter “J’Accuse.” The open letter to the French president defended Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer accused of treason. After the conviction, Zola fled to exile in England for a year, before returning to France as a hero.”

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Zapotec

“Zapotec: The main territory of the Zapotecs was the valley of Oaxaca (Mexico) with its great center at Monte Alban. It is still uncertain when these people first came to Oaxaca, but by c. AD 300 a distinctively Zapotec culture can be recognized. In c. 1400 the area was infiltrated by Mixtecs who came from the mountains from the north and west and occupied most of the Zapotec sites. Part of the region was never conquered by the Aztecs, and the Zapotecan language has persisted to the present day.”

Excerpted from: Bray, Warwick, and David Trump. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology. New York: Penguin, 1984.

Silk Screen

“Silk Screen: A stencil process of color reproduction, often used commercially to reproduce posters, etc. The design is divided according to color areas. For each color, a stencil is prepared on silk stretched over a frame. Paint is the squeezed through the respective screens. Andy Warhol used this technique extensively. Also called serigraphy.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Book of Answers: Alice in Wonderland

“Who was the model for Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? Alice Liddell, daughter of Henry George Liddell, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.”

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Modernismo

“Modernismo: A literary movement that arose in Spanish America in the late 19th century and was subsequently transmitted to Spain, In their quest for pure poetry, the modernists displayed a dazzling technical virtuosity and technical perfection that revolutionized Spanish literature.

According to some critics, the publication of Jose Marti’s Ismaelillo (1882) marks the beginning of the movement. Others assert that, while Marti exerted enormous influence on Spanish-American writing and thought, his poetry is so individual that he cannot be considered even a precursor of modernism. There is no disagreement, however, as to the dominant role of Ruben Dario, whose work defined and stimulated modernism in America and in Spain. The publication of his Azul (1888) is sometimes said to signify the birth of modernism, and Prosas profanas (1896) is held to show modernism at its zenith. Other early modernist poets (often considered precursors of this movement) were Manuel Gutierrez Najera, Jose Ascuncion Silva, and Julian del Casal, the Cuban. Modernists of the later, post-1896 phase include Leopoldo Lugones, Jose Enrique Rodo, Julio Herrera y Reissig, Jose Santo Chocano, Amado Nervo, and Rufino Blanco Fombona.

In rebellion against romanticism, from which, however, they were not always able to free themselves, the modernists drew their initial inspiration and technique from European, particularly French, sources. From French Parnassians and symbolists, such as Gautier, Coppee, and Verlaine, came their pessimism and melancholy, their belief in art for art’s sake, their zeal for technical excellence and musicality, their love of exotic imagery and a vocabulary in which swans (one of Dario’s favorite symbols), peacocks, gems, and palaces abound. Another distinctive characteristic of the modernists was their unceasing experimentation with old and new verse forms, In their desire to escape from the sordidness of reality, the early modernists usually shunned political and native themes. Their successors, however, inspired no doubt by impassioned verses that Dario hurled at Theodore Roosevelt in his ode to Argentina, turned increasingly to American subjects, as exemplified by Chocano’s Alma America (1906). In prose writing, particularly the essay, modernismo fostered a new simplicity and elegance, the finest examples of which are to be found in the works of Rodo.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Mozarabe Style

“Mozarabe Style: Describes a tradition of art developed by the Christians (mozarabes) who lived in those parts of Spain under Muslim rule from the 8th to the 15th centuries. The Mozarabe style was primarily associated with church architecture and was often characterized by the horseshoe arch, a holdover from Visigothic times.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Cultural Literacy: Allies

Given the rise of tyranny around the world, and given the dismal state of United States’ foreign policy, I think now is the time to post this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Allies in both World War I (opposed, in that conflict, to the Central Powers that arose in turn out of the Triple Alliance in Europe) and World War II (opposed, in that global war, to the Axis powers).

This might make a handy learning support for students with less than adequate funds of memory. Questions about the members of alliances are the kinds things that pop up on standardized tests.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Two Independent Research Projects on the Bloods and the Crips

Some time ago, I put up a series of independent research assignments I’d developed for students whom I sought to reach with differentiated instruction. This work had everything to do with motivating students by supplying them with high interest material.

However, I held back two from that original release of documents, to wit this independent research assignment on the Bloods as well as this one on the Crips. I can’t remember now why I didn’t throw them up with the rest, and that leads me to believe I had some misguided notions of propriety. So, let me say that one of the things that animated the development of these documents was the 2008 Independent Lens documentary Crips and Bloods: Made in America. The film does an excellent job of tracing the history of the Crips and the Bloods, explaining along the way the complex sociological and economic forces that move young men to join gangs.

These assignments are structured to follow closely the Wikipedia articles about the Bloods and about the Crips.

Another thing that moved the creation of these documents was the fact that I was working with some students who were themselves either considering joining either the Crips or the Bloods, were already involved, or had family members involved in either group. In any case, if one lives or works (or both) in a tough neighborhood in one of New York City’s Five Boroughs, there is a good chance one sees members of the Crips or Bloods operating daily in one’s neighborhood.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Arawak

Arawak: At the time of Columbus, Arawak speakers inhabited the Greater Antilles and parts of mainland South America. Since languages of the Arawakan family are not found in North or Mesoamerica, it is likely that these people reached the islands from the south. In support of this view, pottery of the Saladoid type is found in a great arc from western Venezuela to the West Indies, and in the northern islands there seems to be a ceramic continuity from Saladoid ware to insular Arawak. Spanish sources describe the island Arawaks as settled farmers with an elaborate religion based on a Zemi cult.”

Excerpted from: Bray, Warwick, and David Trump. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology. New York: Penguin, 1984.