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

You are here

Finding Kin: Notes towards Week 2 Inside (Feb. 10)

Anne Dalke's picture

[bring in books, writing supplies, legal paper,
pick up more copies of Kindred]

I. Welcome/sign in/name tags

II. Introductions:
ask for names, pronouns
if you could travel any place or anytime, where would you go--
and (briefly) why there?

III. Review course plan for any new attenders:

* We are a group of Bryn Mawr/Haverford students (and 2 profs),
doing two linked courses: one in Ed, one in Engl,
focused on questions of literacy.

* Farida to introduce herself; and to explain about our writing process.

Last week we read and discussed a coupla poems,
worked on backing up our hunches/ initial reactions
by looking carefully @ the text; cf'ing our reactions
w/ one another's; really making sense together.

We also started on the first page of Octavia butler's novel Kindred
(handout copies for anyone new).
We will also read a play, a graphic narrative, some essays and articles.
Our focus is on how identities are shaped
and how they sometimes change in relationship with others.
We will also do some writing, including some short memoirs of our own;
we have an idea that the group might produce a short collection of our writing.

The course will be held every Friday from 1 to 3 pm until April 28;
(except on Friday, March 10, when students at Bryn Mawr College will be on spring break);
participants who attend at least 9 sessions will receive
a Bryn Mawr College Certificate of Course Completion.

IV. Reading Kindred
* people who have read the novel, describe your reading experience

* let's focus on what happens to you when you go to a different place and time!
for example: Dana's body doesn't change,
but the implications of being in her body change;
she's forced to become a new person in a new place,
in large part because of her interactions with others

* focus on her relationships with others on the plantation...

who else have we met so far--what do we know about 'em?
read two passages where she encounters one another woman:
pp. 37-38, from "I''m a friend, Alice" to "Thank you."
make it performative; assign parts:
Alice (the child)
Her mother
Discuss: what are we noticing about the women's relationships?
[introduce concept of intersectionality?]

Read another passage:
pp. 92-93,
from "After washing and watching Kevin.." to "made a nuisance of herself."
little dialogue, so let's take turns reading in paragraphs;
again, discuss.

V. Writing!
Remember our introductions: where and when would you time travel to?
Now please write the story behind where you are traveling back-or into:
why are going there, and where are you in relation to that?
Your writing could be truthful, fictional, some combination of both....

If possible; share these.

Ask if people would be willing to let us take these, to type up and return;
thinking we'd might like to create a book of your writings by the end of class.