American History I

Response sheet 1, for class, Tuesday

1.  Adichie encountered a college roommate in the United States who, before meeting Adichie, had certain preconceptions about what she must be like. What were some of those preconceptions? Where do you think that those preconceptions could have come from?

2.  Adichie confesses to two times that she herself fell into the trap of having an inappropriate “single story,” once when she was growing up in Nigeria, and once when she was living in the United States. What had she misunderstood in each case?

3.  The TED talk audience appreciated the humor of Adichie’s mention of a well-known 1991 American novel, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Why did she mention the novel, for a laugh?

4.  Why did Columbus often write in terms of negatives — “these people practice no kind of idolatry”; “I did not see any monstrosity”? Do you see more of these negative descriptions? What does this reveal about his mode of evaluating new experiences?

5.  In the Requerimiento, what would be the supposedly rightful punishment if indigenous peoples resisted Spanish conquest and dominion over their lives and lands?