Objects of Memory: Ambiguity and Cognition in Psychology and Fiction

Winter Open
Class Standing
Ada Vane
Miranda Mellis

In this first-year program we’ll cross-pollinate studies in introductory cognitive psychology and exploring the art of fiction at an introductory level to discover together how these domains of knowledge and practice might illuminate and animate each other. We’ll explore our capacity for language, thought, and cognition with an interdisciplinary approach. 

The psychology module of the program includes the study of mental processes: how your brain cognizes the vast ocean of information from inside and outside yourself, and somehow still finds time to do the work of being you. We will begin with the building blocks of perception and attention, and go on to topics such as language, problem-solving, knowledge, memory, imagery, and decision-making. 

Our literature seminar entails studying fictions that draw upon memory as source material and deploy ambiguity as an aesthetic technique. We’ll read a range of stories as well as philosophical and critical texts that will help us understand uses of memory and ambiguity in fictional forms, with particular interest in open-endedness, interpretive multiplicity, and imaginative possibility. In the creative writing portion of the program, we'll explore fiction writing ourselves, drafting, developing, and revising a short story that engages with memory and ambiguity, over the duration of the quarter. 

This program is hybrid, with classes held two days a week in person on campus and one class session a week held remotely. Participants in Objects of Memory must have access to a computer and the internet for our weekly remote sessions. First year students in Objects of Memory also attend Greener Foundations. 

This program is coordinated with Greener Foundations for first-year students. Greener Foundations is Evergreen’s in-person 2-quarter introductory student success course sequence, which provides first-year students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive at Evergreen. New students expected to take Greener Foundations will be prompted to register for a 2-credit Greener Foundations course in addition to this 14-credit program during registration. Students that took Greener Foundations in fall quarter will be automatically registered in winter quarter to complete the 4-credits of Greener Foundations.


Course Reference Numbers
Fr (14): 20077

Academic Details



Hybrid (W)

See definition of Hybrid, Remote, and In-Person instruction

Schedule Details
SEM 2 E1107 - Workshop


Date Revision 2023-03-28 Program title and description updated. This program was previously titled Mammal Dreams.