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"Slipping into Something More (Un)Comfortable": Notes Towards Day 5 (Tues, 9/13)

Anne Dalke's picture

I. coursekeeping
* Amanda is placing us in the Harriton Family Graveyard!
Beatriz will "site" Thursday's class
(when a student who took this class last year, Angela Zhang,
will come to tell us about the writing center, where she is
a tutor--so don't pick
anything too  far-away or hard-to-find!)
there's a link @ the top of the left-hand sidebar on our course home page
which gives you instructions on how to do this,
and links so you can: before midnight tomorrow night,
* check the weather (there's a link to weatherunderground),
* select a site,
* email all of us to tell us where to meet and how to get there
(there's a link to a private page w/ all our e-mail addresses);
* after class, do a posting about why you picked that place
and what you noticed about our meeting there--how did
it change up the interactions among us?

* there's a workshop being held in the Writing Center, first floor Canaday Library,
this Wednesday, 4:15-5:15PM, which focuses on public speaking/speaking in
class/joining in class discussion/taking shared responsibility for this--
all welcome/encouraged!

* first step in joining in is naming one another--review? test?

* fall is coming; you'll start to fall sick :(
i ask that you let me know AHEAD OF TIME if you need to miss class,
that you read through my course notes for that day so you can keep
in step w/ the rest of us--AND that you do an extra posting
about "what you might have said," had you been here...(Morine)

* Your third 3-pp. web event, due this Friday by 5 p.m, should
use the notion of “slippage” from my essay to go back
and re-read one of the other texts we’ve discussed,
or the tour you took yourself on this weekend:
how can you re-interpret Jordan, Pratt, LeGuin, Butler or
Pusey & Kioko on the history of Bryn Mawr through the
lens of this new concept? You may want to begin with
a description of your understanding of what “slippage” is.

No new reading for Thursday: come to class with some notes
towards, or a first draft of a couple of paragraphs, of your paper...
we'll start class by sharing these notes w/ one another

II. I really appreciated the time we took last Thursday
to talk about ourselves as a contact zone, how each
of us felt shut out, what we might do to bring each other
into, this space (any space we might inhabit!);
was very moved by that sharing, and also struck by
some of the tensions: Princess, Melinda
feeling excluded by difficult reading/
when they do not understand the material;
Maia feeling not safe when she's asked
to bring personal experience to the readings

also liked the pattern we used of our calling on one another
(hard for me but good for us!)--don't just keep calling on
the same people (Princess, Toni): get others into the circle

and/but this good sharing meant that
our discussion of those two wierd short stories
was cut short...some of you wrote some hard,
exploratory papers about how these stories
relate to your own lives--how both of them are
about accommodation/acceptance
of what is distasteful/violent/disturbing...
and made you think about the way you are living,
accomodations you have made...

what's your relation to science fiction?
LeGuin described science fiction as a "heuristic device":
"One of [its] essential functions is question-asking:
a reversal of habitual ways of thinking...
experiments in imagination."

She credited the 19th c. philosopher William James
with the origin of her story; he wrote,
"[I]f the hypothesis were offered us of a world in which
... millions were kept permanently happy on the one
simple condition that a certain lost soul on the far-off edge of things
should lead a life of lonely torture...[would we not] immediately feel,
even though an impulse arose within us to clutch at the happiness so offered,
how hideous a thing would be its enjoyment when deliberately accepted
as the fruit of such a bargain?"

Butler said that "Bloodchild"
was a love story,
a coming-of-age story, her "pregnant man" story, and
"a story about paying the rent": an isolated colony of
human beings...have to make some kind of accommodation
with their...hosts."

III. much more to say, and/ we are @ one
of the sites of the
Black @ Bryn Mawr tour (thanks, Amanda!).
So, let's start with a few minutes of silent writing about
your experience taking this tour, either
the digital and/or the physical version.

What did you take away from this?
What questions did it raise for you?
What responses do you have?
What else do you want to know about this story?

Turn and share this with a partner.

IV. "Slipping": let's get definitional,
as we did re: "contact zones"--
what does it mean to slip?

get out the text, spend a few minutes trying
to find some writing/quotes that say what slipping is,
or that confuse you about what slipping is...

let's talk!
dig into this more on Thursday--
also don't forget to bring some
"writing towards"
your next paper....