Reading, Writing, and the Struggle of the Self

A Seminar on Writing as a Disciplinary Tool

English 249-02, Spring 2004

The act of Writing forces us to examine ourselves, even as we examine the words we write and the person for whom we write those words. This seminar investigates the relationship between writing and disciplining oneself. There are two foundational principles guiding the pedagogy of this course. First of all, good writing requires good thinking. One cant write well without thinking well. Secondly, this class uses a practice-based model of learning. Its central tenet is that the only way to develop ones skill at a given task is to undertake that task. Well read some philosophical theory about the relationship between writing and the self. Well also read some writing that engages in self-discipline in an overt way. The material we read will come from an array of historical periods: contemporary French philosophical theory, writings from the ancient Greeks and Romans, and literary works from the 17th and 18th century in Great Britain. Throughout the semester our focus will be toward using what we read to inform what we write.

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These pages last updated April 7, 2004