Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Learning Objects

During our first seminar meeting we mapped out a great deal of space: ruminating over the topics we will consider, wondering how medieval and posthuman meet, considering what kind of ethos and community we want to cultivate, dwelling a little on the contours of the contemporary academy and the precarious place of those being trained within it, reflecting upon doing intellectual work as a public rather than solitary practice.

We also mapped the possible meanings of our four noun-verbs (environ, body, object, veer) and watched them converge in the word ... converge. We read some chapters about veering from Nicholas Royle's book, and asked if (as he claimed) only the living veer. Can the inorganic hold and foster that kind of swerve? Did a certain geological veer (for example) in the Preseli Hills call forth the construction of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain? We also contemplated veering as destructive force.

Object as a thing thrown in the way (ob + jacere) and a voice of dissent added some dissonance to our culminating task, communal construction of the seminar's learning objectives. We wrote them on scraps individually and then on the board without comment, thinking that rumination would come in time. These ended up being questions to follow and imperatives to ponder. I will transcribe them now. They're provisional. Now that they have been composed, what do you think?

Environ Body Object Veer: Learning Objectives
What do we do now? How do we explore blind spots? Add questions of aesthetics to arsenal. Further understanding of the relation between object and animal. Can we learn to "think medievally" and learn to appreciate/recognize literature as it applies to a different world view? How does "enchanting" / "magic" function nationally and globally? How do they intersect with other verbs/nouns? Continue what we started today. Can we eventually find other venues for the exploration of "veer"? How does the nonhuman impact creative endeavors? Literary ideas vs. consciousness? How do language and literature resist and/or generate veering? Professionalization. When is it useful to draw distinctions between living things (or things with DNA?) and non-living things? When is it useful to flatten the distinctions? How does the material world _____? How can we open ourselves to veer from our own expectations and intentions? Environ ourselves with both mind-warping discussion and disagreement?

1 comment:

  1. I should say, for those who are interested: you do NOT need to be enrolled in the seminar to comment on our posts. We place them in public to open the conversation widely.