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Literary Kinds

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Anne Dalke's picture
Anne Dalke's picture


    Welcome! to Literary Kinds, a spring 2010 course @ Bryn Mawr College, where we are exploring the literary categories we call "genres," thinking about the ways new ones evolve, and asking what aesthetic, cultural and political purposes those transformations may serve. Our first imaginative test case will be that blogs; who knows where we'll turn thereafter?

We're glad you are here, and hope you'll come both to enjoy and value our shared exploration of category-making. Why do we do it, and what does it get us? What's it keep us from getting? Feel free to comment on any post below, or to POST YOUR THOUGHTS HERE....

Molly's picture

Final Performance Write Up

 For my final performance, I focused on the idea of a house.  Since Literary Kinds was all about genre, I called the house "A House Built on Genre."  The house was made out of clay, and on the foundation of the house I wrote the names of genres, each one in a different color.  Then, on the surrounding walls of the house, I wrote titles of different books or other works that fit into the genre.  Through my performance, I meant to give the idea that genres act as foundations that authors build on with their work.

aybala50's picture

Labeling to Framing

skindeep, rachelr and I decided to do our final presentation on moving from labels to framing. At the start of this class we spent a considerable amount of time discussing labels. Then we related labeling to genres and after long discussions on genre we have landed on discussing framing.

In class, we handed out a piece of paper to each member of the classroom and asked them to put down a word that either they label themselves with or a label that they have been labeled with. Then, everyone held up their label. Using our hands, all of us created frames and looked at others holding up labels.

skindeep's picture

report on presentation - link


heres the link to my report on our class presentation

rachelr's picture

Framing Life

 For our final performance, aybala50, skindeep, and I wanted to talk about two overarching themes of the class- labeling (or genres) and framing. First we gave everyone a strip of paper and had them write a word on it that they had been labeled with or would label themselves with. We then had the class hold up their labels at the same time and to look around at everyone else's labels. We wanted the class to discuss how seeing these labels affected how they now saw each other, but there was little participation. We then asked half the class to hold up their labels while the other half made blinders with their hands so that they had a limited view of the class.

jrlewis's picture

class notes from day 9 (remember when...)

Instructions for submitting papers
Visit with Paul Grobstein
    Thinking about what came before blogging
    Going hi-tech with a blackboard
Why do we talk?
    Go crazy if didn’t
    Get point across
    Need help
    To try to express oneself to others
    Figure out what you yourself think
    Be understood
    To cause trouble
    Be powerful
    Validate/support others
Why do others talk?

Herbie's picture

Technophobic vs. Technophilic

For our project, sweetp and I made a presentation on our evolution in this class as it pertains to technology.  We made a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the differences between our approaches to computers and the internet, adding humorous pictures to our slides to make them visually engaging.  Sweetp talked about being a technophobe in a class where much of the assigned work was done on the internet and how she has learned to use the internet much more usefully and efficiently since the beginning of the semester.  I focused more on how this class helped me to focus on the reasons why I liked the internet and spent so much of my time on it.

Anne Dalke's picture

Images: Performing Literary Kinds


skindeep's picture

step into life


Anne Dalke's picture

Finale: Performing Literary Kinds!

jrlewis, BookCake and aseidman, Commentary
ShaynaS, jrf, spleenfiend, House M.D. Down the Rabbit Hole
teal, rmeyers and sgb90, The Genre Monkey
Herbie and sweetp, Technophobic and Technophilic
TBP1988 and nk0825, Alice in Bryn Mawr
mkarol and xhan, A Doctor's "Genre-fication"

Shayna S's picture

House M.D. :Down the Rabbit Hole

Play House Bingo while reading our script!

House Bingo


Here is the script for our performance today of House M.D.


mkarol's picture

A Doctor's "Genre-fication"

by mkarol and xhan

We want to start this off with an exercise.

Jessica Watkins's picture

Final Performance--The Genre Monkey

Below is the script for our (teal, rmeyers and sgb90) final performance entitled "The Genre Monkey." Again, this was only possible because of all of you and all your wonderful posts! If we can create a dialogue out of a collage of posts from this class, imagine what we can do with the dialogue taking place across the globe. It's been great having class with all of you! Best of luck and have a wonderful summer.




The Genre Monkey: A Collective Dialogue in 3 Acts




TPB1988's picture

Alice in Bryn Mawr Final Performance

Alice in Bryn Mawr Script
#Rabbit passes by in a hurry

Alice: Hey White Rabbit! Aren't you going to say hello to me?

Rabbit: Alice is that you? I barely recognized you.

Alice: I know what you mean. Ever since all these movie adaptations came out I feel like everyone expects me to still be a little seven year old . I'm a college student now. One who works very hard I'll say (wink  lol) You should stay and talk with me for a bit.

sweetp's picture

house: complete takeover

 the conversation yesterday got me thinking about how the format of the t.v. show "House M.D." is really made to make the viewer feel as if they are in House's head. Now that I reflect on it, my watching experience of the show had me believing that I was with House for the 45 minute span of the show. Part of that sense was created by the camera never zooming out to take in the expanse of characters and places in the show. The show features House's viewing perspective.

sweetp's picture

class summary from yesterday 4/27

 We started class with Anne mentioning that her comments to all our papers had been posted.  She said they ranged across the board in how good they were.  Then, she shared 3 student papers on framed and unframed states that particularly interested her.  At this point I zoned out a bit, and forgot about my note-taking task and got into the discussion.  I came back to my notes when the class was discussing how the character of House involves the viewer in his dream state.  While some students felt this way, others felt like a viewer and not a participant.

jrf's picture


As was (I think) suggested in class today, I watched the last episode of Season 5 of House ("Both Sides Now"), in which House overdoses on Vicodin, hallucinates most of the episode's events, and is finally checked into a psychiatric hospital, and moved on to the first episode of Season 6 ("Broken"), which follows House's adventures in detox and then in the long-term psychiatric ward.

skindeep's picture


the conversations we had in class today really appealed to me. two concepts/ideas/comments really stood out in my mind and i find myself still playing with them.

mkarol's picture

Facebook owns my life

 This may seem completely random, but looking back at the amount of time I've spent on Serendip, both reading other people's posts and blogging myself, I really wish there was some version of a "like" button on posts. Sure, maybe that's an indication that I spend far too much time on Facebook, and it could cut down on comments. But for the rest of us who want to acknowledge what a user has to say, but don't want to repeat what other commenters have written, have a "like"button would be a really useful tool. Also, the poster themselves could get much more feedback, because they know that what they wrote is actually being read.

Maybe something to think about in the future?

xhan's picture

House-Season 4, Ep 15-16

 I really find myself wishing that House would put aside his stubborn nature-just once. Even though I remain hopeful that House will one day expose his warm nature, I know that it could never happen. Perhaps one of the reasons this show is so alluring, is the way the audience is drawn to the characters- at least for me, when House confronts people and situations with his usual aloof, and sarcastic demeanor, i keep hoping that the next episode will bring out the warm, gentle qualities in him. However, my wishes are fruitless since this does not actually happen-but my expectation that it eventually will leads me to watch episode after episode.