Course code:

HS1078

Level:

I - Introductory

Class size limit:

12

Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies
  • W - Writing

Typically offered:

Every other year

“Alternative facts” and “fake news” have fueled growing concerns that we are living in, what playwright Steve Tesich called (in 1992!), a “post-truth” society. With the rise of media outlets, the postmodernist take on the death of objective truth, and the sound bite culture we live it, “post-truth” seems inevitable. But what exactly is truth in the first place, and why should we care about it? We will address this question over the course of this term by examining contemporary views on the role of truth in meaning and communication, challenges to these views from uncertainty and subjectivity, and arguments for and against different conceptions of truth. For example, the first lines of Charlotte Delbo’s memoir Auschwitz and After reads, “Today I am not sure that what I wrote is true. I am certain it is truthful.” As contemporary writers and thinkers, how can we reckon with such a statement? Is there a difference between the truth of a writer and the truth of a politician? How can we ever know if anything is true or false if it’s all relative? In short: what hath postmodernism wrought? Using a college seminar format, the course will emphasize the writing process-prewriting, writing, and rewriting; course assignments will include short papers and one longer research paper. Students will be evaluated not only on their participation in class discussions, peer reviews, and writing workshops but also on their overall improvement in writing.

Prerequisites:

None.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.