Writing the Unthinkable: Literary and Philosophical Imaginations

Spring
Spring 2018
Olympia
Olympia
Daytime
Day
Freshman-Sophomore
Freshman–Sophomore
Class Size: 46
50% Reserved for Freshmen
16
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Vuslat Katsanis
writing, comparative literature, film and visual culture
Tougas square
philosophy

This program introduces students to the broad concept of the "unthinkable".  What does it mean to write the unthinkable? How do we know what we know, and, indeed, what cannot be known? What role does language, and other forms of representation, play in making it possible for us to think anything at all? How do we represent that which cannot, or should not, exist? Is there a difference between thinking and feeling? We will raise these and other questions to interrogate those paradoxical gaps between thinking, knowing, and representing.

The program draws from literary theory and philosophy, as well as a vast range of creative writing, to strengthen students’ critical reading, thinking, and writing skills. To that end, we will explore the complexity of human emotional and intellectual responses as powerful mechanisms of both story-telling and of non-narrative ways of knowing. We will read, write, talk, and challenge our own thought systems in order to deepen our understanding of ourselves and of the world we inhabit. We will consider the metaphysical, transhistorical, utopian, and nonidentitarian impulses through a diverse range of writing (creative and critical, fiction and non-fiction) from around the world, from many time periods, and from across various genres and media (including fantasy, science-fiction, memoir, horror, mystery, film, theater, and performance art). These readings may include works from authors such as Franz Kafka, Haruki Murakami, Jorge Luis Borges, Edgar Allen Poe, Ursula Le Guin, Eugene Ionesco, and Samuel Beckett.

A series of process pieces, including weekly reading responses and peer review will structure the flow of the quarter. By the end of the program, students will complete two final projects: a piece of creative short fiction, and an essay in concept-based critical analysis. 

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

philosophy, literature, creative writing, and literary theory.

16

Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Freshman-Sophomore
Class Standing: Freshman–Sophomore
Class Size: 46
50% Reserved for Freshmen
Daytime

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia