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First-Year Interdisciplinary Seminar: Returnings

Semester and Year FA 2016
Course Number FIRST-UG101
Section 001
Instructor Scott Korb
Days MW
Time 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Units 4
Level U
Foundation Requirement  


Open to Gallatin first-year students only.


Expanding on Nabokov's idea that "one cannot read a book: one can only reread it," this first-year interdisciplinary seminar asks students what happens—to our minds, our souls—when we read or listen or see again and again a work of literature, music, visual art, or film. Rooted in the disciplines of religious and literary studies, the course asks students to consider the depths our stories, our artistic creations, can plumb if we return to them—ritually, in a way—always seeking more and different meaning. How does ritual returning deepen the meaning of a story we know like we know our own name? How does a piece of music prepare us to hear it again? How does a novel teach us how to read it? Beginning with a rereading of a favorite book, this class will ask students to explore a wide variety of cultural expressions in order see what happens when we see something again for the first time. The seminar also introduces the idea that reading well will always mean rereading. Discussions will consider the Christian Gospels, Nabakov, Leslie Jamison, Marilynne Robinson, Patricia Meyer Spacks, J.Z. Smith, among others.



Course Type

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