Proposed Changes to NFA Events

I never hesitate to extol the value of participation in competitive forensics. It was a life-changing experience for me, and I can say with confidence that I learned more in eight years of competition than I did the rest of my educational career combined. I’m not as active in the community as I once was, but forensics is never far from my heart.

Over the past several days, I’ve seen several of my former teammates posting about proposed changes to the way interp events are conducted. Upon getting my hands on the proposal itself, it was clear that some of the changes presented cause for concern.

To start with, the proposal is justified by saying, “As the NFA continues to evolve and grow, changes are needed to ensure that the students participating in the organization are growing as communicators. The only way to objectively measure such growth comes from tangible learning outcomes.”

The problem? Not only do they never define what a tangible learning outcome is, there is also not a single part of this proposal which analyzes past tangible learning outcomes. The authors assert that the current constructs do not produce these outcomes, or do not produce them at the frequency they would prefer. Absent any kind of data on the subject, that sounds like the kind of unwarranted claim that loses debate rounds to me. I expect much better out of a committee of communication scholars.

That’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

Now, I am acutely aware of the fact that forensics is a fluid activity – constantly evolving and growing, with accepted performance standards often determined by trends in the community. My distance from the forensics community may make me a less than ideal candidate for opining on these changes, but their potential impact is enough that further examination of the subject is more than necessary.

To help facilitate discussion of these changes among individuals better suited to provide insight than I, please find the full text of the proposal below. Forgive the formatting. For reasons beyond my understanding, the proposal was distributed in a .txt file, and I really didn’t feel like going through the whole thing to make it look pretty on their behalf.

In any case, here’s to a robust debate, and the continued health of what is truly one of the most exceptional communities of advocates, educators and performers the world has ever seen.

_____________________________
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Rationale

In the summer of 2011, the NFA Executive Council met at Berry College to update
the constitution and by-laws of the organization. Part of this process was to work
through the event descriptions to create consistency in structure and wording and to
ensure that those descriptions were grounded in clear learning objectives all with an
eye to external audiences.

As the NFA continues to evolve and grow, changes are needed to ensure that the
students participating in the organization are growing as communicators. The only
way to objectively measure such growth comes from tangible learning
outcomes. Currently, as the event descriptions for Prose and DI do not teach
different things. In fact, the events have become dangerously intertwined. To
promote further growth, and to justify our actions for accreditation by external
agencies, teaching the development of a single character in SVP and multiple
characters in MVP is a vital step.

As we worked with the Interpretation events, we deliberated over the use of genre
distinctions to differentiate the categories. Our concern came over the similarity of
performances found in both Prose and DI and our discussion ultimately came down
to the question, “What are our learning objectives for these events?”

In the past (and in the present for many state high school associations) the question
of what texts are performed in which categories is dealt with objectively by using
Dewey Decimal classifications:

811 – Poetry

812 – Drama

813 – Prose

Our discussion then turned to the emerging nature of the concept of “text.”
Specifically, the work of Eleonora Fabiao (2000) when she explains, “It is obviously
incoherent to reflect about a performance piece using the classical schema…The art
of performance disestablishes rigid oppositions.” From her (and now our)
perspective, the performer is not performing a “text” in the classical sense (a short
story or scene from a play), but that the performers interaction with the text, as they
cut and practice the performance yields a new “supertext” that again is altered as
their performance becomes a conversation between themselves and their audience
(judge, if you will).

In addition, the concepts of text and specifically, genre are dynamic and fluid. For
example, if an author were to read her/his short story on television, or even if a
student were to read a short story into YouTube, and then transcribe that text, is that
text now prose or drama? If a student were to write a text, is it only the convention
of placing a name and a colon at the beginning (e.g. “CARL:”) that changes it from
prose to drama?
We did not set out to “change” Prose or DI. However, it was our goal to create two
interpretation events that were distinct from each other. And rather than focus on
the “source” or “format” of the original text, we choose to create event descriptions
that would be different in how the performer interacted with their texts in preparation
for performance.

We began with the following objectives:

1. To create two separate and distinct single performer interpretation events.
2. That these events should measure separate, observable, performance skills.

To this end we developed “Single Voice Performance and “Multiple Voice
Performance,” and their event descriptions appear below.

7. Single Voice Performance

PURPOSE: An interpretive performance designed to engage the audience through
the development of a single voice/character/persona.

DESCRIPTION: Students choose, excerpt and/or cut (with due respect paid to
issues of literary integrity) and perform a selection or selections of original and/or
published material of literary merit that presents a single voice/character/persona.

RULES:

a. Any type of material(s) of literary merit, with the exception of poems and poetry,
may be used as long as the performance highlights the performance of a single
voice/character/persona.

b. Use of manuscript is required.

c. Maximum time is 10 minutes, including any introductory and/or transitional
comments.*

d. At tournaments where Single Voice Performance is not held, students in the final
round of Prose Interpretation (regardless of the selection performed) will qualify for
nationals in Single Voice Performance with the understanding that their entry in
Single Voice Performance at the national tournament will comply with stated event
rules. At tournaments where both Single Voice Performance and Prose
Interpretation are held, ONLY the finalists in Single Voice Performance will earn
qualifications for the national tournament.

*Unlike other event rules, minimum and maximum time limits provided for ALL
events are enforced at the discretion of the individual judge rather than the
association.

8. Multiple Voice Performance

PURPOSE: An interpretive performance designed to engage the audience through
the development of multiple voices/characters/personae.

DESCRIPTION: Students choose, excerpt and/or cut (with due respect paid to
issues of literary integrity) and perform a selection or selections of original and/or
published material of literary merit that presents multiple
voices/characters/personae.

RULES:

a. Any type of material(s) of literary merit, with the exception of poems and poetry,
may be used as long as the performance highlights the performance of multiple
voices/characters/personae..

b. Use of manuscript is required.

c. Maximum time is 10 minutes, including any introductory and/or transitional
comments.*

d. At tournaments where Multiple Voice Performance is not held, students in the
final round of Dramatic Interpretation (regardless of the selection performed) will
qualify for nationals in Multiple Voice Performance with the understanding that their
entry in Multiple Voice Performance at the national tournament will comply with
stated event rules. At tournaments where both Multiple Voice Performance and
Dramatic Interpretation are held, ONLY the finalists in Multiple Voice Performance
will earn qualifications for the national tournament.

*Unlike other event rules, minimum and maximum time limits provided for ALL
events are enforced at the discretion of the individual judge rather than the
association.

As coaches, we also worked through many practical considerations for the implementation
of these events. The following FAQs are not meant to be exhaustive position statements on
the construction of these event descriptions but they are intended to show the membership
how we worked through the decision making process.

Q: Why are you doing this?

A: These event descriptions are the product of a two-year effort by the NFA National
Council to ground our activities in sound learning objectives that will stand up to scrutiny by
internal as well as external accrediting agencies (see revised event descriptions from NFA
Business Meeting, April 2012). Many of us on the national council have become aware of
increased pressure for experiential and co-curricular activities (of which Forensics is one) to
be evaluated much like academic work, especially to justify the expenditure of academic or
even student fee dollars. The motion to amend/change Prose and DI at the last business
meeting failed and the existing event descriptions, in our estimation, would not hold up to
external scrutiny.

Q: If a student performs a text where she suggests other characters, perhaps a
sarcastic restatement of a line from her mother,” is that SVP or MVP?

A: This question can actually take many forms (e.g. “How many characters do you need in
an MVP?”). Ultimately this will be a decision by the student and their coach and it will be
negotiated throughout the season as that performance interacts with various judges. In
fact, we engage in this negotiation now. As judges, we often write, “this might be better as
a Crit (Persuasion, Inform, ADS),” or “this poetry is very narrative, it almost sounds like
prose,” on ballots. Since these are “new” events, we trust in the creativity of our students as
well as the discernment of our judges, to negotiate the definitions of these events over time.

Q: Does this mean that tournaments will have to offer Prose, DI, MVP and SVP?

A: That is up to each individual tournament director.
Q: What if the DI I qualify at one tournament is a monologue? Will I be able to
perform that at nationals?

A: If the tournament did not offer MVP then you would have qualified a slot in MVP for
nationals, with the understanding that your entry in MVP at the national tournament will
comply with NFA stated event rules.

Q: Can I do the same piece in both Prose and SVP at a local tournament?

A: Most tournaments do not allow you to perform the same selection in multiple events but
again, that is up to each individual tournament director.

Q: Other nationals don’t have MVP or SVP. Shouldn’t we wait until they decide if
they are going to change Prose and DI?

A: Many other organizations have events that we do not offer at NFA (Prose, Broadcast
Journalism, To Honor…, Religious Text). We would never seek to influence or alter another
organization’s events or practices. Our goal was to create two distinctly different
interpretation events for the NFA.

Q: Does this mean that I will have to have four different selections for MVP, SVP,
Prose and DI?

A: That is ultimately the choice of each individual student and their director of forensics.

Q: I went to a tournament that only had DI and my MVP didn’t do very well. What
should I do?

A: You may want to have a performance that better fits that event description ready if you
choose to attend tournaments that don’t have MVP.

Q: If you pass this you will kill Prose!

A: Prose cannot die. It is not a living thing. In fact, these event descriptions allow for a
high degree of creativity and a wide range of choice on the part of the performer.

Q: I always thought that Prose was about the story and DI was about the character?

A: We are aware that these ideas exist, but they are not present in the NFA description of
Prose or DI or any other organizations event descriptions. Additionally, we do not see
“story” and “character” as mutually exclusive. We do not think that judges rank a
contestant lower in Prose because they develop a “character,” any more than they would
rank a contestant lower in DI because their “character” told a “story.” Consequently, the
false dichotomy of character/story may lie at the root of a perceived “blurring” of these
events. As such, we did not think we could divide the idea of character/story to create
distinct event descriptions for two events. Additionally, since the idea of character/story
may be part of the current understanding of the events of Prose and DI, by not including
those concepts in our current event descriptions we run the risk of creating a “hidden code”
of what is actually performed in those events which could alienate the new student,
uninitiated coach or evaluator.

Q: How did you decide that Prose would qualify for SVP and DI would qualify for
MVP when SVP & MVP would not be offered at a tournament?

A: We followed old NFA protocol and we did this to reduce confusion. It is our hope that
individual tournament directors would support the creation of MVP and SVP by offering
them at their tournaments. In the event that they don’t, we needed to have a clear
qualification system that would not disadvantage the NFA member school or limit their
tournament options. Prior to 1991, NFA used to allow qualification to nationals through the
use of “nuance” events (i.e. Music interp qualified for Poetry, DI qualified for Prose, Comic
Book Lit qualified for Prose, Epideictic qualified for Persuasion, etc.) To make things
clearer, we opted to have a direct qualification equivalent for each event.

Q: If a tournament offers Prose, DI, MVP, SVP, Duo and Poetry, does that mean a
student could enter 7 interp events?

A: Yes, if that is allowed in the invitation.

Q: If the tournament I attend does not offer DI or Prose, will I earn legs for AFA-NIET
if I place in the finals of MVP and SVP?

A: That is up to the AFA-NIET committee to decide.

Q: Does this mean that the national tournaments will not have the same events?

A: Yes. In fact, they do not have the same events now. Phi Rho Pi has Speech to
Entertain and not ADS. NFA has Rhetorical Criticism and not Communication Analysis. Pi
Kappa Delta and NCCFI and Novice Nationals have extra individual events.

Manipulation Check

After working with the above event descriptions, we created two scenarios to present to
students to determine how they would interact with SVP and MVP. We presented these
scenarios to undergraduate forensics and representative responses appear below.

Q: If you had a selection that portrayed the same character and three different points in their life
(20s, 40s, 70s), would you enter it in SVP or MVP?

A1: I would enter the piece into SVP because the character simply evolves over the course of the
performance. Age is one factor of character development.

A2: I would enter this into the Single Voice as it is one voice that ages over time. Much like Benjamin
Button, the character hasn’t changed just his age.

Q: If you were performing a cutting from Fight Club and were presenting both “sides” of Tyler’s
character, would you enter it in SVP or MVP?

A3: I would enter the piece into MVP because Tyler Durden and the Narrator, though parts of the same
person’s personality, are actually two distinct characters. Neither is aware of the other’s existence until
the end of the piece.

A4: I would enter this as a Multi-voice performance because while it’s two sides of a single character this
piece has two separate voices within it. But depending on which source material the student uses it could
be single voice. It would be up to the student to make the decision for their cutting/performance.

The above responses show an analytical interaction with the text on the part of the performer and result in
well-reasoned choice making in the preparation of these events. While this is a representative sample,
we feel comfortable that students will understand what is expected by the event descriptions of SVP and
MVP.
From the Proceedings of the 2010 Developmental Conference on Individual
Events

A Proposal for the Re-Categorization of Interpretation Events

Leah White

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Background

I began to seriously consider the need for this proposal in 2009 when the AFA-NIET
National Committee was faced with evaluating a potential violation of the rules related to
Dramatic Interpretation (http://www.mnsu.edu/cmst/niet/minutes/November09.htm).

The violation centered on differing interpretations of what texts are included within the
parameters of the event description. In response to the controversy, many called for a
revision of the Dramatic Interpretation event description in hopes of making it more
specific, thus preventing future disputes. My assessment of this, as well as other more
regional controversies, has led me to believe that many of the concerns related to
interpretation events are not due to the wording of the event descriptions, but rather the
way in which we categorize the events as a whole.

This proposal is also motivated by the work of members of the National Forensic
Association Executive Council to develop a document which “features descriptive
analysis of prerogatives for collegiate forensics pedagogy” (Kelly, Paine, Richardson &
White, 2010, p. 1). Work on this document revealed areas within forensic competition
where our practice is not maximizing our ability to meet possible learning outcomes.
Specifically, in the area of interpretation events, we as a community “seem to cater to
one school of thought emphasizing performance over analysis, thus deemphasizing
critical thinking skills” (Rice, 1991, p. 125). Rossi and Goodnow (2006) make a similar
observation stating,

“The value, necessity, and power of an awareness of literary content and form,
as well as a credible attempt at honoring the two, is almost a given for most
theorists… How then does contemporary forensics deviate from these values
and why” (p. 48)?

After spending several months helping to draft possible learning outcomes for our
interpretation events, I began to wonder if a re-categorization of the events would help
maximize our ability to meet certain learning objectives.

Concerns with Current Practices

Categorization of Texts

The first concern related to oral interpretation events is the growing confusion over
where certain texts “fit” within our literary genre categories. The introduction of the
internet, the spoken word revolution, an increasing interest in alternative literary forms
and the growth of unconventional performance pieces all erode our traditional notions of
literary genre distinctions. The podcast “The Moth” is an excellent example of these
current ambiguities. The Moth describes itself as “a New York City based nonprofit
organization that conducts live storytelling events” in the form of podcasts, storySLAMS
and staged performances. During the 2008-2009 forensic season, I had a student run a
Dramatic Inter-pretation piece taken from The Moth podcast. Given the piece was
transcribed from a live performance my assessment was Dramatic Interpretation was
the appropriate category for the piece. My student and I were both surprised to discover
another competitor doing the same selection in Prose. As the piece was a traditional
first-person autobiographical narrative, the placement in Prose seemed equally
reasonable. In this instance, which student was breaking the rules? If the story had
been published in a book of essays it would have been considered a Prose, that it was
delivered on stage, however, is what led me to consider it Dramatic Interpretation. The
text itself was the same, essentially rendering genre distinction irrelevant.

Homogenization of Voice

A second concern I frequently encounter related to interpretation events is the complaint
that all performances sound alike regardless of the event category. The predominance
of first-person voice found in all interpretation event categories has led some to question
if these events are meeting their educational potential. Texts written in first-person are
capable of creating more intense immediacy with an audience and as a result, from a
competitive perspective, may lead to higher ranks. As Steele (2005) argues, “The first-
person narrator is a wonderful device. It allows us to inhabit a fictional character more
fully than is possible in any other point of view, or even in any other form of storytelling.”
Yet our students’ reliance on the first-person voice leads to the neglect of other equally
valid and perhaps even more challenging narrator points of view. Fludernik (2001)
explains the limitations of texts presented in the first-person voice explaining, “the first-
person narrator, as a persona endowed with no magic powers, is precisely limited to his
or her knowledge and perception and, except by infringement of these natural
parameters, cannot move from one locality to the next” (p. 621). Calling upon the
writings of Genette, she explains that the difference is found in a “problem of distance”.
Essentially, there is a significant difference between a narrator who “tells” the audience
a story and one who “shows” the audience the events.

Proposal

In an effort to address these concerns, I argue the Interpreta-tion Events should be
categorized according to the primary narrative voice (point of view) used in the text,
rather than the text’s assumed genre.

Possible Scenario

First-Person Interpretation

Selections of material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source,
which use the first-person narrative voice as the predominant point-of-view. The
inclusion of dialogue within the first-person telling should be limited. Poetry is prohibited.
Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction.

Second and/or Third-Person Interpretation

Selections of material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source,
which use the second and/or third-person narrative voice as the predominant point-of-
view. The inclusion of dialogue within the second and/or third-person telling should be
limited. Poetry is prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes
including introduction.

Dialogue Interpretation

Selections of material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source,
which use dialogue between two or more characters as the predominant point-of-view.

Poetry is prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes
including introduction.

Poetry Interpretation

Selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. A
primary focus of this event should be on the development of language. Use of manu-
script is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.

Duo Interpretation
Selections of material of literary merit, presented by two individuals, which may be
drawn from more than one source, which use dialogue between two or more characters
as the predominant point-of-view. This is not an acting event; thus, no costumes, props,
lighting, etc, are to be used. Presentation is from the manuscript and the focus should
be off-stage and not to each other. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including
introduction.

Program Oral Interpretation

A program of thematically-linked selections of literary mer-it, chosen from a balance of
material representing first-person narrative voice, second–person narrative voice,
and/or third-person narrative voice, as well as dialogue and poetry. A primary focus of
this event should be on the development of the theme. The material must be pulled from
at least three separate pieces of literature. Only one selection may be original. Use of
manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Proposal

I understand that any change to current practice will involve the resolution of some
concerns while simultaneously introducing new potential problems. My goal in this final
section is to address some of the possible advantages and disadvantages of this
proposal in an effort to engage the forensic community in a discussion of the feasibility
and desirability of this proposal.

The most immediate logistical concern with this proposal is that it would add an
additional event to the traditional eleven AFA-NIET and ten NFA events. Scheduling at
the national tournaments is already difficult. The need for even 10 additional classrooms
at any time slot could be impossible for future host schools to absorb. One possible way
to help alleviate the increase in tournament entries, would be to limit students to only
one Duo Interpretation entry at the National Tournaments.

A second issue is, with the exception of poetry, this change would almost eliminate
disputes related to differences of opinion regarding the categorization of texts into
different literary genres. However, if implemented, the proposal could usher in a whole
new area for controversy. Given the ever contentious nature of forensics as a
competitive activity, disagreements about what voice is predominant in a text seem
likely. Narratologists already question the concept of “voice” as a definitive construct.
Literature is an ever evolving art form which many would argue will always defy strict
categorization. Nielsen (2004) argues we can accept some level of ambiguity with
respect to how voice is defined stat-ing, “The concept must necessarily assume
metaphorical signification in connection with literature, but that this metaphorical usage
hardly makes it an invalid concept (p. 134). If we accept some level of ambiguity will
always be present when categorizing literature, the real question becomes is it better to
deal with ambiguity surrounding genre or voice?

For me, the answer to this question is found in the final benefit I see of this proposal. I
contend the risk of introducing new ambiguities is justified because of the pedagogical
advantages this proposal offers. The current categorization of events by genre does not
lend itself to a wide diversity of skill development from our students. The vast majority of
competitors focus their efforts on the development of texts written with the first-person
voice. We as judges reward this meticulous character development and often shun the
less accessible third-person voice or multiple character dialogue. Our ranks follow our
emotional responses and we have become overly dependent on the easy identification
with the “I” of a first-person account. Re-categorizing events by voice would level the
playing field for these oft maligned narrators. Students would be exposed to new
approaches in literary analysis and would also need to learn how to create strong
emotional responses in an audience using a more distant narrator. Our public speakers
learn the nuances between the varying purposes of informing, persuading and
entertaining. I argue it is time for our interpretation events to encourage this same
diversity of skill acquisition.

References

Fludernik, M. (2001). New wine in old bottles? Voice, focalization, and new writing. New
Literary History, 32, 619-638.

Kelly, B. B., Paine, R., Richardson, R. & White, L. (2010). What are we trying to teach:
Reconnecting collegiate forensics to the communication discipline. (National Forensic
Association Report on Pedagogy). Retrieved from National Forensic Association
website: http://cas.bethel.edu/dept/comm/nfa/pdf/NFAPedagogyReport-2010.pdf.

Nielsen, H. S. (2004). The impersonal voice in first-person narrative fiction. Narrative,
12, 133-150.

Rice, J .L. (1991). Pedagogical objectives for multiple genre interpretation. National
Forensic Journal, 9, 125-140.

Rossi M. O. & Goodnow, T. (2006). Interpreting interpretation: The future of the art of
oral interpretation in its most popular venue – forensics competition. National

Forensic Journal, 24, 43-59.

Steele, A. (2005). Get over first person. Writer, 118(7), 28-32.

Appendix

Discussions among session participants resulted in the presentation of the following
revised proposal to the General Assembly.

Resolved: The performance of literature events be re-categorized as follows:

Justification: Growing difficulty in clear genre distinctions and lack of diversity of narrator
perspectives performed.

Performance of Monologue

Selections of material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source,
which use the first or second-person narrative voice. A minimal presence of dialogue, as
filtered through the narrative voice, is allowed. Poetry is prohibited. Use of manuscript is
required. Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction.

Performance of Dialogue

Selections of material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source,
which include third-person narration and/or dialogue between two or more characters.
Poetry is prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes
including introduction.

Performance of Poetry

Selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. A
primary focus of this event should be on the development of language. Use of manu-
script is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.

Duo Performance

Selections of material of literary merit, presented by two individuals, which may be
drawn from more than one source. This is not an acting event; thus, no costumes,
props, lighting, etc, are to be used. Presentation is from the manuscript and the focus
should be off-stage and not to each other. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including
introduction.

Performance of Literature Program

A program of thematically-linked selections of literary merit, chosen from a balance of
material from each of the other solo individual performance of literature events. A
primary focus of this event should be on the development of the theme. The material
must be pulled from at least three separate pieces of literature. Only one selection may
be original. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including
introduction.

Discussion during the General Assembly revealed support for a further adaptation of
this proposal. Some members suggested dropping “Performance of Poetry” as a
category and adding “Second and/or Third-Person Performance”. Poetry would then be
allowed in all the categories as long as the material adhered to the narrator perspective
described in the event category.

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4 comments

  1. First thanks for bringing this to our attention. As someone who judges a lot (and who after having spent time in the non forensics world who is plotting a comeback in the land of coaching) I have three issues with the proposal as it stands now. (1) We’re provided no definition of tangible learning outcomes, which is really troubling. I assume for legalese reasons this vague term was put in to make it easier for future changes to emerge. I believe exposing the audience, and performers to new voices and authors is one of the greatest tangible learning outcomes that any competitive interp event offers.

    (2) While I think the idea of trying to make the events distinct is a noble goal, anything that is literature based is going to eventually have bleed over. I’ll go to high school debate for my example here. It used to be that NDT/CEDA style policy debate was the only game in town. Then came Lincoln-Douglas debate which was more philosophical in nature. Outgrowths of these philosophical arguments began to appear in policy debate in the form of the Kritik. Overtime the Kritik and policy debate frameworks began to slowly emerge in high school LD debate. (I admit to being a guilty party in being part of the early wave of this). When the habits and practices of LD and policy began to emerge there was the schism that birthed public forum debate. Yet not public forum is being dominated by large policy programs. The point is that these activities that we love will always change and evolve and the more we try to stake out clear ground, the more events we have to create.

    (3) I am really disturbed by the notion that we may look to genre to segregate the events. My major problem with this practice is that a piece of literature that has exemplary literary merit can and should be able to transcend genres. A lot of times it is easier for literature to be published in one genre than in another. Heck, just look from a practical standpoint at how there is a clear schism between sci-fi and fantasy writers who feel their genres are substantively different. I think it’s close minded to assume that any event can discriminate and keep out other forms of literature. Whose to say the performer can’t bring a performance in line with the norms of the judging community to a piece that conventional wisdom would suggest might not be best suited for a particular form?

  2. Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

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