For the classes, and maybe too the unlecture, let’s introduce the concept of the ‘take away idea’. Each of the readings, even where they seem to cover a lot of ideas, theories, arguments, and so on, are written around a basic idea, concept, or problem (that is three ways of describing the same sort of thing). They are writing directly to something that the author feels the need to think about and think through.
(Think of the readings not as explanations of something, but as people using writing to think about an idea. This is a much more productive way of approaching essays and chapters and other material than thinking their role as writing is merely to explain something to, or for, you. Their role, in the first instance, is to let the author think out something. Approach them in the same way, and they become invitations to think along with them, rather than road maps detailing what is already known.)
So, the ‘take away idea’. Each of the readings can be thought to revolve around and respond to some kernel that matters. The take away idea is, to begin with, not you figuring out what this might be (but by all means go for it), but is your take away idea. What is the one key thing that matters to you from what you read, or hear? Why?