English 203

Graduate Readings: The Given and the Writing of Everyday Life

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2022 Hejinian, Lyn
M 2-5 Wheeler 305

Book List

Adnan, Etel: Of Cities and Women (Letters to Fawwaz); Arendt, Hannah: The Life of the Mind; Clevidence, Cody-Rose: Listen My Friend, This Is the Dream I Dreamed Last Night ; Gladman, Renee: Calamities; Grenier, Robert: A Day at the Beach; Hussserl, Edmund: Ideas; Keene, John: Annotations; Low, Trisha: Socialist Realism; Ponge, Francis: The Table


In essence, this will be a seminar on conscious thinking and literary language. The “given” of the seminar’s title are the perceptible, apparent, and/or imaginable things around us as they appear in and as the phenomenal world. And for the purposes of the course, we will posit that phenomenal world as the one in which we experience everyday life. Two philosophical works will provide the theoretical foreground for our discussions: Edmund Husserl’s Ideas, often thought to have established the field of phenomenology, and Hannah Arendt’s Life of the Mind (of which we will read volume I, Thinking). Other course readings will also include various essays (by such thinkers as Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, Martin Heidegger, William James, and others) and recent literary texts. Both the Husserl and the Arendt are lengthy works; taking them on (and doing so while also reading assorted other things) will entail a considerable amount of reading. But the required writing for the course will unfold incrementally and be ongoing; it is unlikely to be burdensome and likely to be enjoyable. The seminar is intended to be an adventure in inquiry, not an attempt at mastery.

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