Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 quarters
- Steven Hendricks book arts, literature, creative writing , Kathleen Eamon philosophy , Brian Walter mathematics, computer science, improvisational theater , Miranda Mellis fiction, nonfiction, and contemporary literature
- Fields of Study
- aesthetics, literature, mathematics, philosophy and writing
- Preparatory for studies or careers in
- literature, writing, philosophy and mathematics.
This program will explore how very different tools for thinking, like philosophical terms, fictional narratives and mathematical systems, are involved in building up and also challenging structures of knowledge. We will ask: Are these defenses against the unknown or our only ways of accessing it? We will see how practices in all three disciplines also work to disrupt conventional thinking and we will pursue experiments in the use of constraints to free us from our own aesthetic traditions and generic modes of thought. We will pursue these questions in our critical and creative writing projects.
We’ll regard each of these disciplines as ongoing conversations that can both expand and limit what we can know and what we can imagine. We will work to understand how mathematics is also an imaginative, humanist endeavor, a study of patterns that yields new languages and opens up possibilities in the world. Philosophy will help us both think about the conditions for the possibility of world-making and examine fictional worlds as aesthetic objects. In our study of literature, we’ll attend closely to structures in language and narrative that make meaning possible.
We’ll read work by contemporary literary experimentalists, storytellers for whom time, space and being are of more interest than plot per se, including writers such as Renee Gladman, Pamela Lu, Thalia Field, Bhanu Kapil, Christine Wertheim and others. We’ll look at works of literary science fiction that use avant-garde narrative strategies to make visible the ways in which seemingly abstract questions have political and scientific implications, from Alexander Kluge to Chris Marker. Philosophical texts will likely include works by Kant, Benjamin, Adorno and Lacan. We'll also read texts that describe the scope, content and aesthetic of modern mathematical work, such as The Mathematical Experience by Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh. Many of these texts are challenging, but we will work together to develop the skills needed to approach them in reading, writing and conversation.
In fall, students will be introduced to disciplinary approaches to formulating and responding to complex questions. Regular work of the program will include seminars, short papers and workshops in literature, philosophy, writing and mathematics.
In winter, in addition to seminar and workshops, students will pursue a creative and critical writing project connecting all three disciplines, with opportunities to develop a chosen emphasis.
- Campus Location
- Online Learning
- Enhanced Online Learning
- Greener Store
- Required Fees
- $100 per quarter for program retreats.
- Offered During