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Literary Kinds

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Anne Dalke's picture
skindeep's picture

halfway gone

this class surprised me, having been in a class with anne last semester, i was expecting something similar to the gender studies class i was in. needless to say, this class was not it. and having seen that, i was reminded, once again of how much of the class is in our hands - anne lets us structure each class, theres no flow on thoughts, ideas or even ways in which to express them. and so, each class is invariably different, and i love it.

mkarol's picture

half way done

The first half of Literary Kinds definitely went way beyond my expectations. I was expecting to like the class, but I've found that I really love it. The free discussion and lack of raised hands, while it may have taken some getting used to, is at this point proving beneficial to the flow of ideas. The fact that class is a conversation has made me much more receptive to everything that's being said, which in turn makes it easier to learn. 

Molly's picture

Even though we're finished with blogs...


This is a really interesting article about a famous Chinese blogger, his blog, and censorship.  I think it's worth reading, and it goes with what we did during the first half of the semester.

rachelr's picture

Minor detail...

 I have really been enjoying this course; I love how free and open our conversations are, and how Anne does not facilitate them in a "traditional" way. We just let our thoughts carry the conversation, and we are not constricted to as ridged a structure as I usually am in my courses. One thing that I am struggling with is writing a paper in a voice that is not as formal and directed as I have been writing. My high school was very strict about format and paper tone, so it will take me some time to get used to transitioning into a less formal writing style. 

spleenfiend's picture

different is good

I came into Literary Kinds with a cynical view of the internet.  I loved it and spent a lot of my time on it, but I mostly saw it as my time-waster.  I also didn't see too much benefit to blogging as I thought it was simply self-centered.  This class has really helped me to understand the full potential of information-sharing on the web, and now I also see how it can be used in the academic world.

Anne Dalke's picture

Bingo! Algebra in Wonderland

Yesterday, The New York Times provided a great kick-off to our study of parody;
see at! once! Algebra in Wonderland.

Molly's picture


 I think Literary Kinds has been a great class so far.  Some of the highlights have been the visitors, and I especially enjoyed Paul Grobstein's visit.  I love that we decided as a class what to study for the rest of the semester, and I think that's a method that professors should use more often-that way, students might be more excited about their work because they are the ones who chose what to study.  All in all, this has been a great class, and I'm looking forward to the rest of it.

nk0825's picture

Evaluating Literary Kinds

 I think it is safe to say that the majority of us are aware that this class is unlike anything we've been given an opportunity to study before. Personally, at first I was a bit leery of studying blogs. I mean, for one I have never been a blogger myself and I didn't quite understand the culture that came along with it--I simply thought it was a past-time that some enjoyed. However, this class has taught me that there is more to blogging than meets the eye;I have learned that blogs in a less conventional way can possibly be considered a genre. This class has forced me to think in terms outside of what my high school education taught me to do, and I loved that I was encouraged to explore topics and forge my own lines of thought.

Jessica Watkins's picture

Class Evaluation

Literary Kinds has brought with it myriad new ideas in a new (for me at least) format--blogging.  My high school career was marked by very little technology use, so the transition to this class was a bit abrupt.  However, I have grown to love our online discussion and hope that it has proven useful to those outside of our class as well--after all, knowledge and ideas are not things that are supposed to be limited to just one room or one group of people when they could be spread and put to good use.  I also find the format of Serendip very easy to use, especially for those like myself who have never blogged or posted on a group forum before.  And even though the recent process of building our "sy

sweetp's picture

mid semester evaluation

So far, this class has been wonderful.  

sgb90's picture

thoughts on the course

So far I have found this class to be highly engaging, unusual, and flexible. I especially appreciate the online component of the class, as it has given me a  platform to develop my thoughts and see how they evolve, a process often lost when I do not have such an open space in which to think and wonder. I initially struggled with the informality of the class discussions, but at this point I would not suggest a restructuring of class discussion as I find I am pushing myself to adapt to the openness of the class and in the process am growing in unexpected ways.

rmeyers's picture


So far this class has been formatted mainly around the internet and the study of the genre/platform of blogs. Our weekly web-posting-blogs have been a helpful way to organize ongoing thoughts in a public way so that we can continue discussions outside of class and in a format relevant to our studies. Posting our papers online also allowed for us to reply to our instructor's comments (I am not sure what percentage of us did this, but it was definitely possible). Although I was at first overwhelmed by the theory (on a topic I didn't quite understand to begin with), looking back I can connect the articles with later self-discoveries that our class made (so helpful indeed).

Molly's picture

Class Summary-March 4

 Anne mentioned at the beginning of class that last week we got stuck talking about specific works we might read for the rest of the semester, so today we broke up into small groups again and discussed possibilities for the rest of the semester's syllabus.  I was in a group with jrf, rachelr, and aseidman.  The four of us discussed the possibility of focusing on parody through mystery.  At the beginning of class, Anne had also mentioned what a brilliant idea she thought focusing on parody would be, and two groups in addition to ours brought up the idea of parody as well in their proposed syllabi.  The fourth group was interested in focusing on the idea of the self as viewed through identity, memory, and reality.

mkarol's picture

for the second syllabus

I really like the idea of  following a theme of villains. It definitely offers a lot of possibilities for things that we can read/watch. I don't know if anyone would be interested in reading East of Eden as the novel, since a majority of the class probably has in high school, but its antagonist was meant by Steinbeck to be "pure evil" (she was modeled after his ex wife haha). 

Anne Dalke's picture

Notes Towards Day 13: Selection!

rachelr's picture

I second the motion

 So I don't know which way our course ideas will take us, but I just wanted to say that I LOVE The Great Mouse Detective and its fairly short, so I think that it would be really fun to get that into our syllabus (or ship…). That and The Butterfly Effect.

Shayna S's picture

Suggestions for Our Many Themes

  In class I was personally struck by the suggestion of Anne Dalke to follow parodies of genres. Not only does it sound interesting, but, in studying parodies I feel that one can better understand the "parodied."

TPB1988's picture

My evaluation of the class so far

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