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Anne Dalke's picture

Evolit: Week 11--Convergence? Divergence?

Paul and I are glad you're here, to share thoughts about the story of evolution and the evolution of stories. This isn't a place for polished writing or final words. It's a place for thoughts in progress: questions, ideas you had before, in or after class, things you've heard or read or seen that you think others might find interesting. Think of it as a public conversation, a place to put things from your mind or brain that others might find useful and to find things from others (in our class and elsewhere) that you might find useful. And a place we can always go back to to see what we were thinking before and how our class conversations have affected that. We are looking forward to seeing where we go, and hoping you are too.

As always, you're free to write about whatever you're thinking about--but here are two possibilities for this week:
  • Think some more about the task I gave you (but didn't give you enough time for) in class: how can you imagine playing out the theory of cultural evolution in the design of a course of study, or in a course, or in just a module of one? How might you illustrate (or test) the ideas of cultural divergence and convergence with a particular selection of cultural-and-or biological artifacts?

  • Out of all the possibilities (evoked above!) in the cultural landscape: why Hustvedt? How might her novel in particular contribute to our story of cultural evolution? What "convergence" or "divergence" does she represent in the story we are telling together here? How, specifically, do you understand the relationship of her text to Whitman's?


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