Writing Seminars: Beauty and its Other

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

Beauty captivates and attracts, and sometimes repels, and for centuries the idea of beauty has challenged thinkers to describe and account for its place in our lives. The quest for beauty can inspire us to think and create in new ways or lead us to follow beauty’s lure to darker places. Does beauty matter? Does it propel us forwards or obfuscate our view of reality? How do we account for different aesthetic viewpoints about what is beautiful and what is not? In this course we will explore questions about what shapes our definition of beauty and why. We will also investigate some of the forces that the underside of beauty reveals. Students will have the opportunity to follow their own lines of enquiry into the vagaries of beauty as we look at art objects that are beautiful – or not – and read work by Scarry, Nehamas, Berger and Bordo.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

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MW 1:00pm-2:15pm