Integrative Seminar

23.08.2016

When Alice fell down the rabbit hole, Time, as we know it, began to take on new dimensions and her relationship with it began to change; just as her relationship with Space began to alter too. How do Time and Space interact with each other? Can they exist in voids? When they come together what makes them move?

Alice who is dis-located from Time and Space as she knows it begins to draw out the familiar through the lens of the unfamiliar – she talks about Geography and her cat, for example, to explain her current position in the world.

We have spoken about time as form, as formless, as linear and circular, time as an expression of memory and time and its relationship with language. These are some of the ways in which we understand time. But how does space determine action and movement? Can space be independent of time and memory? Is time, physical time, determined by the outside?

But why is this important to us? Why does Alice serve as such a good example as the exploration of the internal and the external self? As the conflicting and unrecognisable self? Alice’s adventures which begin at the top of the rabbit hole take us far into the workings of the human mind as it begins to engage with the ideas of the Self, of the new and many Selves. David Hume in the 17th century talked about the impressions of the Self, what are these impressions and what then is the Self?

Here is video that will probably explain the complexities of Time:

 

 

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Integrative Seminar

09.08.16

“But when from a long-distance past nothing subsist, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more immaterial, more persistent, more faithful, remain poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, amid the ruins of the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.”

Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time (Vol. 1)

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Integrative Seminar

02.08.16

Words, like the Self, can be many things simultaneously – they can take on new meanings when the spaces that surround them begin to change – they can morph and alter their shapes.

Today, we looked at the ways in which our Keywords, that are seemingly simple, can come to mean so many different things and with each new meaning they take on new forms and shapes. How can we best use these keywords? What are the keywords that seem closest to our experience of our Selves? The students of the First Year Studies for Integrative Seminar I reimagined these words by sharing their experiences of the keywords, creating tributaries of new and interesting meanings.

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Integrative Seminar

Integrative Seminar II: A book for “pillow and plate”…

Jeanette Winterson describes Calvino’s book Invisible Cities as the book she would choose “as pillow and plate, alone on a desert island.” This semester the students of the First Year Studies look at a close reading of Invisible Cities, in a way to encounter a visual language, its play of memory, its ability to transcend the written word and its ability to make prose into poetry.

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(From an ongoing personal project to illustrate Invisible Cities by David Fleck)

We began the class by reflecting on Integrative Seminar I, the areas of study we explored, our relationship with the material and our renewed relationship with our cityscape. Through this we were able to begin thinking about the elements that allow for ‘ownership’ of a city – how do we own our city? how do we encounter it? does it share its secrets with us? These questions helped us lead the discussion to the idea of memory, impressions, imprinting and the emotions of the city that emerge out of our interactions with it. The students and I talked about the different ways in which the city comes to be through poetry and prose, and we read passages from The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock by T S Eliot, and the ways in which the protagonist reflects on the nature of the self through his encounters with the city. We began  by reading a few passages from Invisible Cities, laying out our first impressions of the language, questioned its use of imagery and metaphor and discussed the importance of the voice…who was speaking? Were these impressions seen from far away or from the by lanes of the spaces. Did the voice matter? I spoke with the students about a passage from the Ramayana of Valmiki, where Hanuman, who flies across the oceans first sees the mighty city of Lanka with its staircases of crystal, its floors of precious stones and its latticed windows that let the moonlight filter through.

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