Ron Bashford (Section 01)
What does it mean to “be present?” What do we mean when we say that someone “has presence?” Can we truly say that we are ever fully present? Can we recognize presence in ourselves or in others? Can another person, nature, a work of art, or particular activities help us to become more present? Are there different kinds of presence relating to intimacy, work, or one’s political and social selves? Over the course of the semester, we will explore questions about the nature of presence. As an introduction to liberal studies, the seminar will develop students’ abilities in close reading, productive class discussion, and effective writing through frequent assignments increasing in complexity over the course of the semester. Students will also learn to think with versatility about presence, and for this reason, will encounter the subject through a variety of media, ranging from live and video performances to readings in performance theory, literature and philosophy. In addition, class meetings will include an introduction to group exercises used in the training of actors to foster improved attention, listening, and verbal communication. A small number of optional class field trips may be offered.
Fall semester. Professor Bashford.