• The Craft of Writing

    R1B - 001 | CCN: 77812

    The Idea of Study

    Instructor: Richard Grijalva and Alisa Sanchez

    Date / Time: TuTh 930-11A, 209 DWINELLE

    4 Units

     “Leisure without study is death…” -Seneca

    This course continues the trajectory initiated in R1A. It will aim to develop student research and writing skills in the direction of producing high-quality scholarly work. “The Idea of Study” will begin from a deceptively simple question: what is study? This question nonetheless derives from a seemingly paradoxical position that the object of this course occupies. One the on hand study, studying, and studies are pervasive commonplaces in academic and social discourses; on the other hand these commonplaces tend to receive little critical attention or are quickly overshadowed by related terms and concepts–education, leisure, learning, personal and psychic development, schooling, pedagogy, civilization, and culture, among others. The course will pursue its objective by exploring different ways of thinking about study—a rather straightforward strategy. Note, however, that instead of being a course on “how to study”, the course will venture to conceptualize study as a singular idea.

    To assist us in reckoning with the question, we will be conversing with works in different genres from different historical periods–philosophy, poetry, literary fiction, scholarly commentary, and creative non-fiction–to examine the changing ways historical societies have considered an activity so everyday yet so enigmatic. These include conceptions and conventions of study in antiquity, cultural and political programs organized around study in 17th Century Mexico and 19th Century Europe, the invention of the student as a figure of study in the early 20th Century, and recent examinations of study with respect to concepts of democracy, race and gender. Among the figures whose work we will read are Plato, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Bernardino de Sahagún, Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz, José Rabasa, Rousseau, Foucault, Ranciere, Fanon, Kant, Walzer, Kafka, Benjamin, Barthes, Deleuze, Dewey, McKeon, Villanueva, Rodriguez, and Anzaldúa.