Fall '99 Course Guide

Courses in Institute for the Humanities (Division 394)

Fall Term, 1999 (September 8 December 22, 1999)

Take me to the Fall Term '99 Time Schedule for Institute for the Humanities.


Inst. Hum. 101. First Year Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Section 001 Dance, Landscape in Memory: Movement and Journal that Recreate Body Geography.

Instructor(s): Evelyn Velez-Aguayo (aguayo@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

A movement and journal writing workshop designed to address original dance work that has resonance, significance, heart, intelligence, and the beauty of a landscape. The class movement development is based on improvisations using the elements of choreography: time, space, transforming impulses of energy, accumulations of movements, and space maps. No previous experience in dance is required, but students must be willing to participate in exercises that involve movement improvisation for later structured and memorized movement sequences.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Inst. Hum. 311. Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Section 001 The Moment of the Memoir. (1 credit). Meets October 7-November 11 (Drop/Add deadline=October 13).

Instructor(s): Thomas Trautmann (ttraut@umich.edu), Terry Blackhawk

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1-4). (HU).

Mini/Short course

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The purpose of this course is to investigate the art of memoir in tandem with the Institute for the Humanities' lecture series "The Moment of the Memoir" to be held on five consecutive Tuesdays (12:00 noon 1:30 PM) beginning October 12, 1999. Besides attending all lectures, students will be expected to attend hour-long sessions on six Thursdays (4:00 5:00 PM). These sessions will consist of memoir writing (our own) as well as discussions of the talks and readings that bring various issues related to memoir into focus. Some of the questions we will consider include the following:

What is the difference between artistic truth and factuality, between accuracy of interpretation and accuracy of events? How does the interplay between memory and imagination affect us as writers and readers of memoir? What literary demands do shaping a text (that is, for lyrical, dramatic, or narrative effects) place on the writer of memoir? What is the effect of "cannibalizing" (Annie Dillard's term) our own lives in order to create a memoir for the reading public? How does finding the language to describe an experience affect our "experience of that experience"? That is, do memories change by virtue of being written down? What are the responsibilities of the memoirist to his/her immediate family, community and world at large? What is the interplay between the need to witness and the need to protect privacy?

Students will be expected to participate fully in all class sessions and to complete all outside readings. We will read from The Fourth Genre, as well as a course packet, selected work from our speakers, and a list of contemporary memoirs. Students will complete two 5-page papers: (1) a personal memoir of their own and (2) a reflective paper that comments on their writing experience and connects it with the issues raised in the brown bag talks and readings.

The only prerequisite is interest in the topic; permission of the instructor is necessary (e-mail humin@umich.edu with a paragraph explaining why you wish to take this course).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5: P/I. e-mail humin@umich.edu with a paragraph explaining why you wish to take this course

Inst. Hum. 411. Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Section 001 DECREATION: How Women like Saphho, Perpetua, Hrosvita, Heloise, Marguerite Porete, Emily Dickinson and Simone Weil Tell God. (3 credits). Meets with Institute for the Humanities 511.001, Classical Civilization 460.001, English 526.001, and College Honors 493.001.

Instructor(s): Anne Carson

Prerequisites & Distribution: Advanced undergraduate standing. (1-4). (HU). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Problem: "Decreation" is a word used by the French philosopher and mystic Simone Weil to refer to "the undoing of the creature in us." What is the creature? and Why undo it? are legitimate questions to ask. We might also ask, What is left after the creature is undone?

This is a course that will study how certain extraordinary women love, hate, fear, long for, go after, revel in and tell about God. All of the women are writers. We will consider how writing is both means and obstacle to women in their pursuit of godly goals. In order to undo the creature in her, does a person have to undo her own writing? How does a writer of God manage the contradiction that arises between her means and her end?

Readings will be selected from the works of the writers listed above.

Grading is based on class participation; frequent (small) presentations; 2 (big) papers or alternately 1 paper and 1 creative project.

This course is open to undergraduate and/or graduate students with especial welcome to those who can read some of the texts in the original languages (Greek, Latin, French) because that always helps. Also welcome are writers and other artists because the subject matter may prove unexpectedly inspiring.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

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