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The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories:
Exploring the Significance of Diversity

Welcome to the home page of a Biology, English, and College Seminar course at Bryn Mawr College (Spring 2004).

Evolving Images
Contraction, Expansion, Evolution
Photo Gallery: Our Final Performances
Final Course Evaluation
Syllabus
Course Forum Area
Forum Archive
Student Web Papers 1: Thinking about Biological Evolution
Student Web Papers 2: Thinking About Evolution Beyond Biology
Student Web Papers 3: Thinking About the Evolution of Literary Stories
Paper Preparation and Submission
Instructions for Preparing Your Final Portfolio
Web Resources
A Hands-On, Interactive Approach to HTML
Origin of Images
Class Roster

  We will experiment, in this course, with two interrelated and reciprocal inquiries: whether the biological concept of evolution is a useful one in understanding the phenomena of literature (in particular: the generation of new stories), and whether literature contributes to a deeper understanding of evolution. We will begin with an exploration of the basis for the "story" of evolution as developed by biologists, move on to a consideration of the relevance of the concept of evolution for making sense of other bodies of information and observations, and then turn to a consideration of one literary story growing out of another. We will ask repeatedly: Where do stories (scientific and literary) come from? Why do new ones emerge? What causes them to change? Why do (must?) some of them disappear? We will consider the parallels between diversity of stories and diversity of living organisms, and think about what new insights into evolution and literature emerge from such considerations.

Discussion Notes

Forum Archive (emerging ...)

The images on these pages are reproduced with permission of Rieko Nakamura and Toshihiro Anzai; you can see a complete display of their work at http://www.renga.com which also explains that "Renga, or Linked Image, is a new methodology of image creation in the digital era. It was given birth at the intersection of art, telecommunication network and multimedia. Renga artists share and exchange computer graphics art works on telecommunication network. An image will turn into a new piece by going through modification and transformation applied by a different artist, thus creating a series of growing imagery."


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