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tangerines' Final Performance description: Look How Far We've Come!

tangerines's picture

Below are my notes for my final performance. I’ve also attached the images I used, in the order that I mention them.

As I tried to figure out how to “perform” what I’ve learned, I realized that I can’t show what I’ve learned without showing what we have learned together as a class. This is because everything that I’ve learned has been affected by every other member of this class, whether through discussion, online posts, or web events. So, I thought the best place to begin was with Anne, on the first day of class (after shopping period).

What ideas were on our minds at the beginning of the semester?

1st image, Anne’s notes on the first day. Reactions…?

I thought it was interesting that literature was even bigger than evolution and that “THINK” was so important… perhaps we were closer to the literature side of the spectrum?

I certainly was: 2nd image, my notes from the first day.

I was very concerned with interpreting Darwin through my preferred lens of the humanities. Although I consider myself both a scientist and a writer, I was reluctant to surrender the binary between the sciences and the humanities. I know someone who shopped this class and decided to drop it because, in her words, “there’s a difference between science and English for a reason. Merging them is bull”. I also think that some those of us who stayed probably had similar feelings at the beginning… but perhaps this wasn’t true of everyone?

3rd image: Notes from our posts from the first week, minus intros.

Reactions? If you think back to your initial reaction to the course, what were you most worried about or most looking forward to? There’s certainly a preoccupation with science and evolution here, and less of a focus on literature or the humanities… Moving on to how far we’ve come, here are…

4th image: Anne’s notes from our last day of class:

Reactions? Interestingly, in this image, evolution is slightly larger than literature – but to me there’s a definite balance of science and lit here – perhaps this demonstrates the merging of the two that’s happened over the semester?

5th image: our posts from the last week of class, before the performances: thoughts!

Our thoughts were pretty evenly spread out in terms of science vs literature, and I think that’s because we’ve been reflecting a lot in the last couple of weeks.

6th image: My notes from the last day of class.

As for me, my thoughts have been surrounding ideas of truth, agency, purpose, interpretation – within the context of evolutionary lit/bio. In the first day, in describing what was expected of us as students, Anne repeatedly mentioned that she wanted us to “wander through the woods” in both our posts and web papers. Last week, Paul introduced the term “vacilando” and that, too, connotes “wandering,” though perhaps through the fictional woods of the Library of Babel. Our discussion of vacilando has been especially generative for me, and I think “vacilando” serves as the overarching theme of the course – we have wandered through questions controversial and compelling, and I think as a class – or maybe this is just true for me – we have found a few answers but mostly just more questions. It’s been fun!


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EvoLit Performance Image 6.png384.64 KB


Anne Dalke's picture

Reading Reductively

Don't miss the intriguing analysis of this methodology that merlin performed in Word Cloud Analysis, a project she completed for our "other" shared class this semester.

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