Honors Courses of the Day

THEMES IN EXISTENTIALISM & NYC POETS and PAINTERS

THEMES IN EXISTENTIALISM (Philosophy 3968.01, CRN: 27745)

Days/Times: Mondays, 3 to 5:30 PM

Professor: Kristin Gjesdal


About: This fall semester, we will discuss and analyse existentialism and its reverberations in film, art, and literature. We will read Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, and de Beauvoir, watch movies by Bergman and Godard, discuss Camus’ The Stranger, and visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As we work our way through existentialist philosophy, literature, art, and movies, the class will provide a solid foundation in philosophical argumentation. There will be in-class writing workshops and discussion groups to help you shape your thoughts and arguments.


About the Professor: Prof. Kristin Gjesdal received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Oslo. She taught philosophy in Norway and England, before relocating to Philadelphia in 2005. She has lived and studied in Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, New York, and Chicago and worked for many years as a literary critic in the National Broadcasting (radio) and several national newspapers in Norway. She has been invited to present her work on post-Kantian philosophy, art, and Page23 literature in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy, England, Egypt, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Australia, and many other places. In 2014, she was awarded The Eleanor Hofkin Award for Excellence in Teaching from The College of Liberal Arts at Temple, Alumni Board. For more information, see Prof. Gjesdal's webpage: https://sites.temple.edu/kristingjesdal/

AMONG THE HUM-COLORED CABS: NYC SCHOOL OF POETS & PAINTERS (English 3900, CRN: 18822)

Days/Times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 10 to 10:50 AM
Professor: Stanley McDonald

About: While Beat poets such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were traveling the world and infusing poetry with apple pie and Eastern mysticism, the New York School was also redefining poetry through alignment with Abstract Expressionist painters such as Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Jane Freilicher, and Grace Hartigan, incorporating high and low culture into their poems, and collaborating on poet’s theatre. The original 1950s core – John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, James Schuyler, Kenneth Koch, and Barbara Guest – became one of the most influential groups of poets in the latter half of the twentieth-century. Throughout this interdisciplinary course, we will read their work alongside what was current in the New York art world at the time, and follow its impact throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s with readings of poets such as Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, and Bernadette Mayer. We will also screen some short films by Jonas Mekas and Rudy Burkhardt. This is an ideal course for students interested in exploring the relationship between writing and visual art.


About the Professor: I've been teaching writing and literature at Temple since 2006. In the early 2000s, I attended Brown University where I earned an MFA and studied with Robert Creeley. For the past six years, I have been co-organizing, with Ryan Eckes, the Chapter & Verse Reading Series, in Center City. Under the byline, Stan Mir, I have published poetry and essays in journals such as Denver Quarterly, Fact-Simile, Jacket2, and Zoland Poetry. The cultural and political life of the '50s-'80s is one of my presiding interests, so I am really looking forward to teaching this course.