Writing on the Limit: Embodiment and Textuality
How do writers (and other artists) work within traditions and create new forms to represent and reflect on experiences that are on the edge of inexpressibility? Such experiences and affects range from anguish and trauma to ecstasy and love—and the writers and artists that take on this fragile terrain as their subject matter invite us to consider the thresholds between language, image, and embodiment, as well as to interrogate the limitations and possibilities of conceptualizing the experiences of others. By engaging with texts that span ancient Greek poetry, medieval Christian mysticism, modern fiction, poetry, and photography (alongside a number of theoretical and historical texts), we will explore the ways in which engaging with the textual traces of the embodied experiences of writers and artists opens up the potential to say so much about the outer limits of what language can express.
As a class that fulfills the R&C requirement, this is a writing intensive course. Writing workshops will be integrated into class sessions to practice close reading, structuring arguments, and other key skills for effective college-level writing. Throughout the semester members of this course will develop their thinking on course topics through regular writing assignments, revisions, free-writing and in-class exercises, as well as consistent in-class participation.