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First-Year Writing Seminar: Writing Against Time

Semester and Year FA 2019
Course Number FIRST-UG438
Section 001
Instructor Erag Ramizi
Days MW
Time 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Units 4
Level U


Open to Gallatin first-year students only.


Many first-year college students experience the frustration of scrambling to finish papers and assignments on time. Perhaps equally frustrating has been the intellectual endeavor to grasp the nature of this most elusive of terms against which we seem to be constantly racing: time. In this course, we will question, probe, and defy our temporal adversary––“the devourer and demolisher of all things,” as Cervantes calls it––through the very act of writing about it. How to define time? Do we all experience its inexorable flow in the same way? Do we have any control over it? Does time exist at all? We will attempt to answer these and related questions through an encounter with a series of writers, thinkers, artists, and cineastes who have grappled with the notion of time. While perfecting our own writing, we will share their findings, illuminations, and exasperations in order to consider time variously as a philosophical category, as a multi-layered medium, as a valuable resource, as a potent currency, and as a political tool. Alongside examining the conventional tripartite division of chronological time into past, present, and future, our discussions will explore other seminal temporal concepts such as eternity, modernity, memory, nostalgia, history, anachronism. Works by Aristotle, Henri Bergson, Marcel Proust, Annie Ernaux, Gabriel García Marquez, Michel Gondry, Luchino Visconti, among others, will guide our reflections.


All Syllabi

Course Type

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