Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories: EvoLit

Syndicate content
Anne Dalke's picture

Welcome to The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories, offered in Spring 2011 @ Bryn Mawr College. This is an interestingly different kind of place for writing, and may take some getting used to. The first thing to keep in mind is that this is not a place for "formal writing" or "finished thoughts." It's a place for thoughts-in-progress, for what you're thinking (whether you know it or not) on your way to what you think next. Imagine that you're not worrying about "writing" but instead that you're just talking to some people you've met. This is a "conversation" place, a place to find out what you're thinking yourself, and what other people are thinking, so you can help them think and they can help you think. The idea is that your "thoughts in progress" can help others with their thinking, and theirs can help you with yours.

We're glad you're here, and hope you'll come both to enjoy and value our shared imagining of the future evolution of ourselves as individuals and of our gendered, scientific, technological world. Feel free to comment on any post below, or to POST YOUR THOUGHTS HERE....

bhealy's picture


 Hi there! My name's Brenna and I'm a sophomore at Bryn Mawr. I just transferred here this past fall so I'm still a bit of a newbie, but I've really loved it so far. I'm planning on pursuing elementary certification for teaching through Swarthmore and I'm leaning towards anthropology for a major. I've always really loved to write but science classes have never really been my strong suit. Movies and music are both extremely important to me and I love trying new foods and dreaming of traveling. I look forward to our class discussions! 

KT's picture

Hi Everyone!

Hello to all, my name is Kristin and I am a Continuing Education Student.  I graduated from Bryn Mawr a number of years ago (yes, I'm being vague here ;-) with a major in philosophy and a minor in math.  I then promptly moved to LA and became a Page on the "Price is Right," then a personal assistant to a comedian/talk show host, then worked my way up the corporate ladder at CBS to an executive position.  After many years in that field and in that environment, I find that my interests, my focus and what I find to be meaningful in life has changed.  I want to do something more purposeful and challenging with my life... so I've decided to go to Med School.

hlehman's picture


 Hi Everyone! My name is Hannah and I am a sophomore at Bryn Mawr.  I am majoring in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Studies and I'm Pre Med.  I'm really excited for this semester because I love Bryn Mawr traditions and can't wait for Hell Week and May Day, and I also play lacrosse and our season starts next week!  I love meeting new people, traveling, and outdoor activities such as mountain biking and rock climbing.  I also love running, reading, watching reality TV, and listening to music.  I am really looking forward to this class and think we are going to have a great few months together!  

mgz24's picture


 I'm a junior Spanish major and Chemistry minor at Bryn Mawr with plans to attend medical school after graduation.  Although from my Spanish classes I have experience with literary analysis, I would definitely classify myself as a science person above other things.  I just returned from a semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and absolutely loved it there.  I play soccer and lacrosse here and Bryn Mawr.  I also just love sports in general, especially football and lacrosse, but I have an interest in most sports.  I'm really excited for this class, and especially to get a better idea of how non science people look at scientific ideas and apply them to the world around us.

Poppyflower's picture

Nice to Meet you...


I am a sophomore at Bryn Mawr College majoring in Art History and contemplating a minor in English. I am a member of the crew team, though I also enjoy dancing occasionally. To be honest, this class was not my first choice, but after attending the first session, I must admit that I am looking forward to it. See you all in class, or is it the edge of the universe?

dfishervan's picture


I am a senior at Bryn Mawr College majoring in biology and minoring in classical studies. After studying abroad last year, I have fallen in love with traveling and have developed a minor obsession with anything related to New Zealand. I have strong interests both in the humanities and sciences and have always wanted to see what a class combining these two areas would look like.

Dawn's picture

Hi! I'm Dawn.

Academically, I am a senior English major, cities minor and environmental studies concentrator at Bryn Mawr. Why choose between science and humanities when you don’t have to? They work together quite nicely, combining and talking to one another in fascinating ways. Non-academically, I am a sabre and foil fencer, a Scottish dancer and a creative writer. In terms of both spheres, I have a bit of an obsession with Sherlock Holmes and some aspect or another ends up in conversation academic or otherwise (including my thesis).

Dawn's picture

Hi! I'm Dawn.

Academically, I am a senior English major, cities minor and environmental studies concentrator at Bryn Mawr. Why choose between science and humanities when you don’t have to? They work together quite nicely, combining and talking to one another in fascinating ways. Non-academically, I am a sabre and foil fencer, a Scottish dancer and a creative writer. In terms of both spheres, I have a bit of an obsession with Sherlock Holmes and some aspect or another ends up in conversation academic or otherwise (including my thesis).

alexandrakg's picture

Introducing Alexandra

My name is Alexandra, and I am a Bryn Mawr sophomore.  I am a Political Science major with intended minors in Chinese and French.  I am still very interested in English and literature.  I love to read, and I regret that I have not had more time to take literature classes.  I am also very interested in the sciences, though they are not my strong point.  I have discussed evolution in a few classes, but I haven't really thought about how the concepts could be applied to literature.  I am very interested to see where our discussions take us.

tangerines's picture

Introducing Sadie

Hello everyone! I'm Sadie, a sophomore biology major (with a possible English minor). Although I love science, I'm also quite passionate about literature, English, and language arts. I enjoy reading, dance, writing fiction, and listening to music. I'm really interested in participating in our discussions this semester as I think we'll generate a lot of fascinating ideas.

AnnaP's picture

Anna's Introduction

On paper, I am a Haverford senior comparative literature major with a minor in French and a concentration in gender and sexuality studies. In real life, I love studying languages (French, Spanish and also teaching English as a second language), traveling, eating, and running. I studied abroad in Paris for my junior year, which only increased my interest in traveling, language learning, and teaching (not to mention my interest in eating, which probably increased most of all).

phyllobates's picture


 Hello!  For those of you out there wondering I am not a poison dart frog (user name), but rather a Junior chemistry major with a biology concentration and a psychology minor.   In addition, to my love of poison dart frogs (which has yet to result in an actual purchase) I have a beautiful beta fish who has almost managed to survive for an entire year (this is a HUGE accomplishment for me).  While I have always understood biology, particularly evolution, I cannot say the same for the English language or literature.  I am excited to take this class and use my love of biology to help cultivate a better understanding and appreciation for English.

Vivien Chen's picture

Introducing Vivien

      My Name is Vivien Chen and I am currently a Freshman at Bryn Mawr. I am thinking of becoming an English Major and am still currently deciding on a minor. Even though science was never necessarily one of my "strengths" in high school, I absolutely love Biology and think it is really fascinating. So, this class really makes it easy for me to enjoy by combining the two subjects together. Questions about evolution and existence are topics that particularly interest me because they raise so many questions and also don't have any right or wrong answers. I would like to learn if evolution is a random process and if the genetic variation of the "fit species" is a random, kind of trial and error process of natural selection.

katlittrell's picture

Kat's Introduction

I'm Katherine, and I am an undeclared freshwoman at BMC. Outside of class, I like to play soccer, write and I'm involved in Shakespeare Performance Troupe. I'm a dual Australian-American citizen who finds the weather pretty challenging at the moment, and wears two coats most of the time. I went to three high schools, two Australian and one American, and two colleges so far, both American, so I'm pretty used to being the new (foreign-ish) kid. I would like to major in English and evolution was my favourite topic in high school biology so I'm really psyched for this class because I hope that it will expand my way of thinking.

ckosarek's picture

ckosarek's introduction

 I'm a junior English major and psychology minor at BMC, headed toward a post-bac program upon graduation. I run XC in the fall and live for skiing and ski racing in the winter. I like to say that I'm a fact-based English major in that most of my English papers involve a lot of outside research (usually of a psychological nature), which I combine with whatever we're reading or doing in class. I also like to say that I'm on a "need to know" basis with the world; I'm constantly curious, always intrigued, always looking for a good conversation.

ewashburn's picture

Introducing Erin

 My name is Erin Washburn (obviously). I'm a sophomore English major at Bryn Mawr College, working on declaring a theater and classics double-minor. Classes that I've taken and enjoyed during my time in the Tri-Co include Culture and Crisis in the Golden Age of Athens (at Haverford); Tolkein, Pullman and their Literary Roots (at Swarthmore); and Women Poets: Giving Eurydice a Voice (at Bryn Mawr). Though these course listings may seem like I've used my college experience to reject all science-y things, I've always had an interest in biological evolution, and have been interested in taking this class since I was a senior in high school. With regards to what questions I bring to this class, I am most interested in the interplay between evolutionary imperatives and our personalities.

Anne Dalke's picture

Introducing Anne

I add a warm personal welcome to the "voice of the course," above--along w/ the invitation to find out more about me on my college homepage. Lessee, short version: I'm a Quaker in a secular culture; a 4x mom (and just this fall a 2x mother-in-law, and this spring upcoming: a GRANDMOTHER!!!) here amongst 20-somethings; a commuter from midtown Philly who lives a good deal of the time on a farm in Virginia (when I'm not living in some fictional world or another, which is where I actually spend most of my time).