For the first part of class on Thursday, you're going to be getting some quick initial feedback from your peers about what you're thinking about so far. What you have for tomorrow might be exactly what you end up writing about for the final piece, or it could be way off. It's paramount, though, that you have some idea what the hell you're thinking about in order to make what we do in class worth it. For that reason, I'm asking you to have at least a little bit of this idea on paper and in the room on Thursday:
a) A lens - a recent moment in which you think something in American culture made people think/feel something more than ordinary. In the last several years, students wrote about Kony 2012, Alec Baldwin getting kicked off an airplane for refusing to stop playing Words with Friends, Esperanza Spalding winning the Grammy for Best New Artist, Nina Davuluri winning Miss America, reaction to the Steubenville High School rape case and verdict, Conchita Wurst winning the Eurovision Song contest, Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut, and Aaron Swartz's suicide. If you don't know some of those people/moments, a quick Wikipedia search might give you an idea of why they might be worthy of a cultural critic's time.
b) A topic - the abstraction/big idea through which you want to view through that lens. This would something along the lines of the Summer Reading topics: being female, being poor, etc. It is fine if you choose the same topic you had for Summer Reading and/or the Trend Story.
c) Some beginning of an inkling of how one relates to the other.
The whole thing might just be five sentences. The point of having it on paper is that, as part of the activity tomorrow, you will be passing it to a few peers of my choosing and unable to do any in-person explaining. This is why having some idea in your head or having it in you computer won't quite work.
What else might be helpful for you?
That Slate.com piece so you can explore the links:
Beyoncé - Formation Super Bowl 2016 Halftime Show
(starts around 1:30)
Beyoncé - Formation (the video)
"The Day Beyoncé Turned Black" - SNL
Note #1 - Get a Folger Library edition of Hamlet. Get it ASAP.
Note #2 - Start thinking about a poem you're going to share for National Poetry Month.