Student-Originated Studies: how to do things with words

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Spring 2018 quarter

Taught by

This one-quarter critical and creative reading and writing S.O.S. is designed for advanced students embarked on the composition of long-range and wide-ranging writing projects oriented toward or against or beyond the emergent occasions that surround us. Intensive independent writing and reading will be complemented by weekly seminars, small-group workshops, and weekly and bi-weekly lectures (  via  the Critical and Cultural Lecture Series and the Art Lecture series); occasional screenings and local field-trips are possible as well.

An expanded engagement with the question Montaigne had emblazoned on the rafters of his study —  Que sçay-je?  — will guide us in our individual and collective inquiry: What do I know? And what do I do? How do I know and how do I do? How do we do? How do we know? How can we do things with words to find out? How might our writing become an instrument for conducting rigorous ethical and epistemological investigations designed to reconnect us, by means of our study (however elaborate or playful or recondite), back to the world we live in right now?

Program Details

Fields of Study

aesthetics classics field studies literature philosophy writing

Preparatory For

creative writing and critical literary analysis.


Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online