Friday, February 6, 2015

Online "Session" on the Nature of Stories and the Discipline of Literary Criticism

As some of you may know, is a social networking site for thinkers. It’s central function is to serve as a repository for papers, whatever you want to upload. You can classify each paper however you wish, and receive notice of uploads in whatever categories interest you. And so forth.

They’ve recently added a "session" function. You upload a paper you want to discuss with others and notifies your mutual followers, that is people whose work you follow and who also follow your work. You can also tweet word of the seminar, Facebook it, and otherwise get the word out, which is what I’m doing here. You then have 20 days to discuss the paper.

The paper displays on the left of the screen and comments display on the right. Some comments, annotations, are tied to specific points in the text:

seminar screen

That’s a shot from a session I’ve convened around an open letter I posted to Steven Pinker some years ago. It’s about the nature of stories, using the Winnebago Trickster cycle as an example, and also includes a capsule history of academic literary criticism from just after WWII to more or less the present. Pinker made a short reply.

You can join the session here:

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