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First-Year Writing Seminar: Working

Semester and Year FA 2015
Course Number FIRST-UG377
Section 001
Instructor Chinnie Ding
Days TR
Time 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U


Open to Gallatin first-year students only.


Visible and invisible, lonesome and collaborative, inspired and endured, labor makes and maintains the world we live in. To learn about work is to learn how most people spend most of the day, securing means, pursuing dreams, existing in active relation to other people—whether spreadsheeting or ship-breaking, trading or patrolling, composing or caretaking. How do we come to choose the work we do, and how to navigate the seeming injustices that come with the division of labor? What are the ethical and economic ties that bind us to the faraway strangers, or half-familiars we greet everyday, whose strenuous productivity we benefit from? How have art and literature depicted working people, and when does work go undepicted? What difference does work make for our notions and experience of time? Through topics such as globalization, class, migration, slavery, and unemployment, and genres like pastoral and documentary, this course explores the challenges that work has posed to political thought, political action, and aesthetic representation alike. Readings span fiction, oral history, poetry, philosophy, and art criticism. Films and a field trip or two will supplement the readings.


All Syllabi

Course Type

First-Year Program: Writing Seminars (FIRST-UG)