A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.
Posts tagged "syllabus"
May 01, 2014
Lynda Barry, Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor
For the past decade, Barry has run a highly popular writing workshop for nonwriters called Writing the Unthinkable, which was featured in The New York Times Magazine. Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor is the first book to make her innovative lesson plans and writing exercises available to the public for home or classroom use. Barry teaches a method of writing that focuses on the relationship between the hand, the brain, and spontaneous images, both written and visual. It has been embraced by people across North America—prison inmates, postal workers, university students, high-school teachers, and hairdressers—for opening pathways to creativity.
Syllabus takes the course plan for Barry’s workshop and runs wild with it in her densely detailed signature style. Collaged texts, ballpoint-pen doodles, and watercolor washes adorn Syllabus’s yellow lined pages, which offer advice on finding a creative voice and using memories to inspire the writing process. Throughout it all, Barry’s voice (as an author and as a teacher-mentor) rings clear, inspiring, and honest.
So! Excited! Comes out in October. Just pre-ordered the shit out of it.
Lynda’s class tumblr is the best. And Lynda is the best.
Filed under: Lynda Barry
Jan 30, 2013
Nov 19, 2012
Oct 19, 2012
» Alan Jacobs' Cassiodorus College
I like this proposal for a college “Where the New Liberal Arts Meet the Old.”
Foundational courses will include:
- Memorization and Recitation.
- Reading: Natural and Formal Languages.
- Composition: Natural and Formal Languages.
- The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
- Mathematical Reasoning and Rhetoric
- Care of Plants and Animals.
I went to an interdisciplinary college in which we took some standard courses in-house and then were encouraged to take courses from all over the university to cobble together our own self-designed major, and I actually loved that model, but I always wished that the curriculum was less postmodern and more like a great books program instead. (In the old days, for example, I heard a whole semester was spent on Moby-Dick, talking about religion, America, the ocean, the whaling industry, etc.)
They got rid of that program, so sign me up for this one.
Oct 31, 2011
Course: Art/English/Theatre & Drama 469 Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts
Topic Title: “What It Is: Manually Shifting the Image”
Instructors: Lynda Barry
There is something common to everything we call the arts. What is it?
It’s not aesthetics. I’ve seen a squatting guy at a Minnesota ‘Renaissance Faire’ perform Romeo and Juliet using just a cigarette butt and a bottle cap for the actors, and I’ve seen Romeo and Juliet performed by Shakespearean actors in full period costume, and both times this ‘it’ I’m talking about was there.
This ancient ‘it’ has been around at least as long as we have had hands. It’s something I call ‘an image’ and this class is about using our hands — the original digital devices —- to understand the location, function, creation and use of images.
When we are kids we might call this interaction with an image ‘playing’ and when we are adults we might call it ‘creative concentration’ but it seems that there are similarities in the state of mind that comes about during the creation of and interaction with an image.
This state of mind is not plain old thinking. Its existence is tied to manipulating something in the external world, usually with our bodies, our hands or voices – a piece of cloth, a series of musical notes, a drawing, a written piece of dialog- The route to creating images seems to be more physical than thinkable. A reliable way to understand and experience images is to make things in series, which is what we’ll be doing in all of our writing and picture making sessions.
If you missed the NYTimes writeup of Lynda’s workshop, go read it.
Sep 05, 2011
Sep 14, 2010
Teaching materials from the David Foster Wallace archive
Love his reading list:
Don’t let any potential lightweightish-looking qualities of the texts delude you into thinking that this will be a blow-off-type class. These “popular” texts will end up being harder than more conventionally “literary” works to unpack and read critically. You’ll end up doing more work in here than in other sections of 102, probably.
The Silence Of The Lambs is a terrific read, and I just started Lonesome Dove last night.
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