6 March. Blazing World & Layout/Sentence Level

Part I. Your New Futures: Layout & Sentence Level

Take five or so minutes and freewrite in response to the following:
  • 1. Audience: Who is your audience and how does that determine word choice, explanation, detail, or tone?
  • 2. Layout: Remember to incorporate both your brochure/Advertisement, as well as the “blueprint.” What’s the relationship between text and image in your story? What’s the relationship between text and image in Utopia? In Blazing World?
  • 3. Transitions: how do you move from section to section? Do you use headings? What sort of work do you topic sentences need to do? How do you move from sentence to sentence?

Known-New Contract (Tips for Sentence Cohesion)

  • Take a look at the following sentence:

    (a) Some astonishing questions about the nature of the universe have been raised by       scientists exploring the nature of black holes in space.

  • Which of the sentences below should follow the one above?

    (b) The collapse of a dead star into a point perhaps no larger than a marble creates a black hole.

    (c) A black hole is created by the collapse of a dead star into a point perhaps no larger than a marble.







  • Sentence (c) begins where sentence (a) left off: with black holes. While reading, often we feel that sentences are more cohesive if they begin with what is known to the reader (e.g., “black holes” from the previous sentence) and end with what is new (e.g., “the collapse of a dead star”). This “known-new” contract gives us a sense of flow in our writing.
  • Draft: Write one declarative sentence that responds to the project prompt, i.e “how has the future you imagine solved the most pressing threat to life on Earth?” THEN…draft 1-2 developmental sentences using the known-new contract.

Class Leads

  • Give us a quick overview of the main highlights from our final discussion of the first part of Cavendish’s The Blazing World and then write your discussion questions on the board

Class Section Students
1102.F3 Thiago, Le Thein, & Baijing
1102.HP2 Mael-Sanh & Felipe 
1102.D3 Dylan, Uti, & Justin

Part II. Blazing World Discussion

Let’s chat about the following:
  • 1.What are some experiments performed at the Empress’s schools and “several Societies” (26), and what sorts of knowledge do they produce?
  • 2.Why do the telescopes cause differences and divisions among the Bear-men? How does the Empress resolve the disputes?
  • 3.What prompts the Empress to stop listening to the Animal-men and speak about natural philosophy? Does she know the answers to the questions she asks all along, and if yes, why does she task the Animal-men with answering her questions?
  • 4.How does the Empress convert the whole of the Blazing World to her religion without causing all sorts of discord and destruction?

Part III. Panel 2 Presenters

Class Section Presentors
1102.F3 Luke, Le Thien, Anna, Nicolas, Siddarth, Morgan, Thomas, Catherine, Gabriel
1102.HP2 Nicholas, Mohan, Joshua, Azhar, Hyungjun, & Alahna
1102.D3 Anu, Dylan, Nikhil, Lilyanne, Andrew, Brian, Jennifer, Shachi, Siddartha

Presentation II. Discussion

If you are scheduled to present at next Tuesday’s workshop, please stick around for a discussion of the following questions. Please note I will update the Presentation Perimeters on the Presentation Assignment page following our discussion today:
  • 1. Does anyone have any lingering questions (or suggestions) about the requirements for the final version of the assignment?
  • 2.How far along are each of you in your drafting process? If you were in the audience, what sorts of examples or advice would be most helpful for you?
  • 3.Does the New Futures Project address the situation (and assignment) completely? Does it diagnose a contemporary threat to continued existence of life on earth and then invent a future that solves for that problem? Does the New Futures Project include a short introduction that sets up the future world and how it responds to the contemporary problem?
  • 4.Does the New Futures Project describe at least five least five topics/elements of the future world? Does the Project explain how those elements are intertwined or related to one another?




5 March. Blazing World and Future Tech/Artifacts

Featured Images:A replica of a microscope by van Leeuwenhoek

Part I: Your Future Tech/Artifacts

Please freewrite for a few minutes in response to prompts one and two, and then complete prompt 3.
  • 1.What sort of object, technology, curiosity, or artifact, do you plan to render from your world?
  • 2. Briefly describe you object:general description of your object, i.e. if you are rendering technology from your future world, what does that tech do/what problems does it solve? If you are rendering a curiosity, what portion of your world does that object represent? If you are rendering an artifact, what purpose does that artifact serve?
  • 3. Finally: draw the “blueprint” of your object on the board. Once everyone has drawn his/her prompt on the board, we’ll take 10 minutes to circulate and examine one another’s drawings. Which of the objects are most successful and why?

van Leeuwenhoek’s microscopes by Henry Baker

English Civil War

Class Leads

  • Give us a quick overview of the main highlights from our final discussion of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and and then write your discussion questions for Cavendish’s The Blazing World on the board

Class Section Students
1102.F3 Dalila, Anish & George
1102.HP2 Matthew & Michael
1102.D3 Kia, Jami, & Lama

Part I: Blazing World (1666)

Get into groups and respond to question assigned to you below.
  • Group One:Where does The Blazing World Overlap or seem to respond to More’s Utopia and/or Shakespeare’s Tempest? Compared to More and Shakespeare: how does Cavendish deal with one or more of the following: empire, money, hierarchy, education, religion, etc.?
  • Group Two: Just as the fictional futures you are creating solve potential threats to continued existence of life on earth, what sorts of threats or problems has Cavendish solved in the world she imagines? And then how does she use the discourse of world building OR future promise of impinging worlds to come as a means to redress the inequity she experiences in her real life?
  • Group Three: How does Cavendish organize and classify the inhabitants of the Blazing World? Does she rely on “scientific” and/or narrative techniques? Can you tell the difference? Implications?Are there any political elements at odds in this text, i.e. rigid hierarchy and not traditional gender roles?
  • Group Four: On what sorts of technology do the inhabitants of the Blazing World rely? For example, what role do machines that enhance perspective play? Is technology/science in part responsible for the peaceful lives the characters lead?