Kacie's Blog Entries

Week 1

We were given the topic of "Italian Commedia dell'Arte" and began researching immediately. In the beginning, we discovered a plethora of information on various troupes, the creation of "stock characters," the advent of the actress on stage, and the seeming invention of improvisation on a stage. We have located numerous topics and will be researching them outside of class and then bringing them back with summaries to help narrow the scope a bit.

Week 2

After our research, we decided that narrowing our scope meant focusing on one specific topic, city, etc. We have chosen focusing on the Gelosi troupe, the introduction of women on stage, and the politics of women in society, specifically in Venice. We discovered that the Gelosi was one of the first commedia troupes to put women on stage and will be a great focal point for our presentation.
Katie has found a lot of information on women, especially specific actrsses, and the politics of them being on stage.
Aaron has found a lot about how Commedia relates to Roman comedy which will give a reference point to further understand the art form itself. He also found specific staging regarding women and how they were physically placed on stage.
Brooke will be focusing on the specifics of the Gelosi Troupe itself, focusing on the formation, the politics, and structure with which they worked to create their shows.
I will be focusing on the city of Venice, how its cultural influences helped to inspire the entry of women onto the commedia stage, and in turn, what women on stage did for culture during that time.

This weekend, we will be further digging into our sources as we annotate them and will come together on Tuesday to see how they all fit together and what we still need to research to fill in any gaps that might be there.

Week 3

Our group has decided to split up the focus in 4 ways, which are listed in the latest group entry. I found a wonderful book and a few online journal sources with specific information regarding the Gelosi's financial strategies and how that directly correlates with the political situation surrounding the cities that they traveled to for performances. I will be using my research to strengthen our argument that the Gelosi was one of the first to incorporate women in the public sphere, leading to the journey of women empowerment that is still going on today. From the right to divorce, Women's Suffrage, to battles for equal pay, women have struggled to gain independence, to gain the same rights that men have. It is our hope that we will be able to create a presentation which will genuinely create a link between the empowerment of women, with which we are all familiar, to the ground-breaking efforts of the Gelosi to include women not only on the stage, but as stars of their shows. We've also talked about the specifics of what we want to incorporate in our presentation, such as video clips, pictures, etc. which will hopefully help get our message across to the class.

Final Reflection

Overall, I think our presentation went fairly well. I feel like the overall process we had worked out very well with splitting up the research, doing some deductive reasoning, and coming up with a topic we could all identify with and do research on. Thankfully, we all had a similar grasp on Commedia dell'Arte before beginning our research so we all started on a similar page. Our journey to get to the argument of the Gelosi being responsible for women on stage took some time, but we all gradually got there at the same time, which shows how well we were researching together. Each of us was also able to bring our specific research skills and experience to the project which helped it become as well-rounded as it ended up being. We each were able to find unique sources and bring them together to form an argument, which was precisely our goal. It opened my eyes to how to pursue paper writing the future and instead of starting with an argument and finding the research, but doing lots of research and then forming an argument from there.
After seeing the other projects and comparing the various styles, strategies, etc. I do know that I would have liked to change a few things. I enjoyed the presentations that introduced their argument relatively soon in the process which would give us the right lens to view the rest of the presentation with. I think we were successful in giving the class a contemporary example to help with understanding in our inclusion of the Arrested Development slides. Granted, our visuals didn't work, but I feel like our message was there. I feel like it was overall a good presentation and we were clear in our transition from slide to slide and from each presenter to another. I'm happy that our project went so well as I don't normally enjoy group projects. However, all of us working together for the same goal and each putting our efforts together to create the final presentation was enjoyable and I wish I had had more group projects like this during my college career.


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Re: Blog #1
A great idea for focusing your journal entries is to locate an argument or idea in a book or article and then unpack it/work through it/ask questions about it. In other words, in your future entries, I'd like to see some more specificity. What particular information from the summaries has helped you to focus?

Re: Blog #2
I have the same comment for this entry as for the previous one. Really think about grabbing one line from an article and writing about how that line challenges you to think about your topic. Doing this will raise your blog grades.

GRADE for this check-in: 85%

Re: Blog #3
These are interesting thoughts that go a bit further toward wrestling with the specific information you've dug up through research. For the final entry, I'd like to see you engage with thoroughly with some of the ideas that were brought up in the post-presentation debrief at the end of class. I think you're doing a good job wrestling the difficulties of research. Your comments are most insightful when you ground them in a particular source or idea. Try not to spiral off into general comments. Instead, grapple with the material you have just read, the questions that came up through the doing of the presentation, and/or the ways in which you'd continue to pursue your research if there was more time.

Grade for this blog: 88%

Re: Final Blog Entry
I like your final entry very much. You establish a connection between the process and the product, thereby revealing how entwined those two things are. Over the last two years, I've noticed that you undertake a lot of research in your schoolwork. I hope you keep doing that as you continue with your career, whatever it may be.

I agree with many of your comments, as you'll see when you get the final presentation comments soon.

Grade for this blog: 100%
Final Individual Blog Grade: 90%

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