2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Student-Originated Studies: Independent Projects in Literature, Philosophy, Myth/Religion and Writing for Freshmen

Spring 2013 quarter

Marianne Bailey foreign languages and literature
Fields of Study
literature, philosophy, religious studies and writing
Preparatory for studies or careers in
the humanities.

In this SOS, first year students will learn how to conceive, plan, structure and successfully carry through a major independent learning project. More importantly, they will have the pleasure and fulfillment of realizing their first major college level independent body of work. Students have an exciting array of humanities and artistic areas to work in. For example, I can foresee projects as different from one another as a well edited collection of stories or free form poetry, perhaps illustrated and bound in a beautiful book, or a research project in religious symbolism and ritual in Celtic or Haitian worldviews, or in archetypal characters such as the Trickster, the Underworld mediators, or the artist/Orpheus and his quest. A student could write and compile an innovative collection of essays and images dealing with a philosopher such as Nietzsche or Foucault; or with a philosophical topic, such as the human/nature relationship, or the power and nature of artistic language. Students could also plan and research a transformational, pilgrimage journey, keep a rich travel journal, make art quality photographs and present the pilgrimage experiences at the quarter’s end to your colleagues in the class. Students could plan a multimedia spectacle or a short film based on artistic work as a small group in the style of the Surrealists.

In other words, if it is a challenging academic or artistic body of work which you find deeply fascinating and which will keep you going enthusiastically for a quarter, we can shape this idea and make it possible for you to carry it through. We will do this step-by-step, in close collaboration between professor and individual student, and with the support of a small group of other program students working in similar veins of inquiry or creation, who will serve as a critique and support group. At Evergreen this mode of intellectual and creative work is a hallmark of our belief in fostering self-direction, intellectual discipline and stamina, and in pursuing academic projects about which we are passionate. It is no easy feat, however, to master the fine art of writing and proposing, let alone bringing to fruition, a top quality independent learning project. The purpose of this SOS is first, to coach you through the conception stage, then, to help you to choose your readings and activities and make your schedule, and finally, to guide and support you along the path to completion of the best work of which you are capable.

During the first eight weeks of spring quarter, students will meet every week with their professor as an individual, and as a member of a small work and critique group. We will meet as a large group, as well. Students will report in writing and orally on their progress every week. In the final weeks of the quarter, all students will present their completed work to the group.

Students enrolling should have a first proposal of a project which they want strongly to undertake, including, at least, the kind of work you plan to do, for example: writing poetry, studying the work of a given writer or philosopher, and/or studying a particular kind of religious or mythic symbolism. This should be carefully written, typed and ready on the first day of class. The rest we will do during the first two weeks of the program. You may enroll in this program for 12 or 16 credits.

Online Learning
No Required Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During