Book Analysis

This assignment is designed both to facilitate our group analysis of Ngai’s Impossible Subjects, and the diffusion of our overview of this important work to a wider public.  In addition, this assignment will help strengthen your skills of historical reading, writing, and analysis.

Part 1: Working in teams, you’ll be responsible for leading our discussions of a chapter of Ngai’s work.  Students will circulate discussion questions 24 hours before class, and then help guide our analysis.

Part 2: To help address Wikipedia’s under-representation of topics highlighting the contributions of women and people of color, we’re going to work collaboratively to create a new Wikipedia entry for Mae Ngai‘s award winning Impossible Subjects.

Your section must follow the conventions of Wikipedia, including tone, standards of proof, and digital communication.  Our new page will evaluate Ngai’s purpose, methodology, sources employed, argument made, and contributions to the historiography.

Each group is responsible for writing a 2-3 sentences summarizing their assigned chapter under the “Content” heading.

Sign up for your team on Moodle:

Student Teams

Group 1: Leading Discussion on February 27

  • Chapter: “Introduction”
  • Wikipedia Responsibility: Synopsis & Summary of Introduction
  • Team Members: Robin, Jeremy, Brian

Group 2: Leading Discussion on March 1

  • Chapter: “The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924”
  • Wikipedia Responsibility: Methodology & Sources, Summary of Chapter 1 “The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924”
  • Team Members: Spencer, Natalie, Warren, Alex

Group 3: Leading Discussion on Monday, March 6

  • Chapter:”Deportation Policy”
  • Wikipedia Responsibility: Background & Summary of Your Chapter
  • Team Members: Jordan, Sara, Rachel, Preston

Group 4: Leading Discussion on Wednesday, March 8

  • Chapter: “From Colonial Subject to Undesirable Alien”
  • Wikipedia Responsibility: Content Time Line of Key Legislation / Court Cases & Summary of Your Chapter
  • Team Members: Elyse, Maite, Shana, Alberto

Group 5: Leading Discussion on Friday, March 10

  • Chapter 4: “Braceros, ‘Wetbacks’, and the National Boundaries of Class”
  • Wikipedia Responsibility: Scholarly Reception/Impact & Summary of Your Chapter
  • Team Members: Ian, Olivia, Romina
  • Note: this group can have an extra day to upload their project memos!

Upload your individual project memo to Moodle, describing your contributions to your team’s success before class on Friday, March 10.  You will be graded both on the quality of your work and how effectively you worked as a team. This assignment is worth 10% of your grade.

Project Memo Guidelines: In addition to the collaborative Wikipedia editing, you will each write a short project memo essay (1-2 pages) that addresses the following questions:

  1. What Wikipedia section did you compose, and how did you decide what to present?
  2. How did you shape your content to meet the Wikipedia community guidelines (5 Pillars)
  3. What interactions did you have with other Wikipedia editors?
  4. How did your group work together?  What contributions did you make to the success of your team?

The header for your memo should include your name, the date, and the name of your group.


Guidelines for Leading Class Discussions” & “What Makes a Question Good

Wikipedia  WIkiProject: Books “Guidelines for Article Structure

Here are some examples of Wikipedia entries for books: