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First-Year Writing Seminar: Anxiety

Semester and Year FA 2014
Course Number FIRST-UG401
Section 001
Instructor Christine Smallwood
Days Mon,Wed
Time 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


Open to Gallatin first-year students only.


What is anxiety? Is it uniquely modern or has it always been with us? Where does it come from? How is it represented? Are we really getting more anxious, and if so, why? In this course we will theorize anxiety through four lenses: existential and religious doubt; psychoanalysis; the advent of modernity and modern warfare; and neuroscience. Our readings will come from many genres and periods, and may include Kierkegaard, Sartre, Beauvoir, Freud, Melanie Klein, Hamlet , Elizabeth Wurtzel, and Clarice Lispector; films may include Dr. Strangelove and Safe . We will try to understand whether different modes of anxiety are necessarily exclusive of each other; why scholars describe texts as being anxious; and, most important, how the writing process can be less anxiety-provoking. Assignments will include short exercises, freewriting, close reading, and critical essays, and we will stress the process and practice of revision.

Course Type

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

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New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
1 Washington Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 998-7370