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aseidman's picture

Transcript of the First Annual Bedroom Debates


Hello and welcome to the first annual 2010 Bedroom Debates! I’m Arielle Seidman, and I’ll be your host for a fascinating few pages of reclined repartee!

Paul Grobstein's picture

From evolving systems to world literature and back again?

The Facebook group "Rethinking World Literature" hosts a series of interdisciplinary discussions around the topic of what constitutes "world literature."  The Evolving Systems project on Serendip hosts a series of interdisciplinary discussions exploring the common usefulness in a wide array of contexts, academic and otherwise, of emergent and evolving systems ideas.  The conversation documented below is archived from a discussion on the Rethinking World Literature Facebook site and will be added to as that discussion continues. 

Molly's picture

Thoughts on blogging

 Jo(e)'s blog and the comments it inspired got me to think a bit more about blogging than I have in the past.  I've never really blogged myself (aside from now, I guess), but I do consider it an interesting hobby, one that no one can ignore these days. Most of the people who responded to Jo(e)'s posting, however, have taken a more active part in the blogging world, and their views provided points of interest for me.

Shayna S's picture

Literature as a Conversation: The WEblog says the definition of a database is "a comprehensive collection of related data organized for convenient access, generally in a computer."

The same site recognizes an archive as "any extensive record or collection of data."

aseidman's picture

Why so Deragatory?

That said, I'm writing my senior thesis on detective/mystery fiction, a category of what is often referred to as "genre fiction." After doing the readings for tomorrow's class, I'm starting to understand that "genre" is often used as a deragatory term, something that classifies unneccessarily and unreasonably when more maleable or indistinct classifications would be more appropriate. If genre refers to something which falls into a particular category, something which follows a certain series of guidelines and contains a certain number of recognizable features, then how can anything which has a defined "genre" be in any way original or innovative?

Molly's picture

Genres as Guidelines

When reading Wai Chee Dimock's article "Introduction: Genres as Fields of Knowledge," I found myself agreeing with the author's theorization that the concept of genre in literature is meant to be seen as a general guideline to categorize things rather than a way to, as Dimock said, "put things into a pigeonhole."  Branching off that same idea, Dimock also expressed the idea that genre should not limit a work of literature.  Just because it's categorized as epic or lyric doesn't mean that the work has to entirely fit a certain format, and there is room for change in all genres that inevitably comes with time and the gathering of new knowledge.

aseidman's picture

Genre Fiction - Why is that term deragatory?

Hiya! My name is Arielle, but you'll probably hear me referred to as Relle. It comes from the fact that if you spell out the letters R-E-L, it sounds a lot like "Arielle." (Say R-E-L out loud, letter by letter, you'll get it.)  Very old nickname, but it stuck.

I would like to start by apologizing for waiting only 48 hours before mentioning my thesis.


Herbie's picture

Browsing the Bookstore

Genre presents an interesting problem in categorization, but at the same time, genre is perhaps a bookstore's most useful marketing tool.

Genre allows publishers and bookstores to market books to target audiences: children, girls, boys, teenagers, men, women, and all of these categories subdivided by age, race, sexuality, and undoubtedly a host of other categories. 

jrf's picture

Discomfort with in-betweens

In thinking more about and sharing the images we read in class on Tuesday, I found that the in-between nature of the images seemed to cause discomfort to me and others. Why should the existence of in-between objects elicit disgust? Similarly, our readings mentioned historical attempts by Westerners to either make other cultures' literary works fit into Western genres or establish those other cultures as deficient for not matching the Western pattern closely. Why is maintaining the open mind to the evolution of genre that Dimock and Owen call for so difficult? Do we need computers to do this for us?

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