Writing About Big Ideas with Jennifer Michael Hecht
Our culture encourages us to only talk about the big questions through an examination of the everyday and the specific. But sometimes we want to speak directly to the things that stupefy and excite us and to address the big questions. In the last century, humanity has undergone huge transformations in science and technology and we have not yet metabolized all this in our written culture. In addition to beginning such writing, we’ll read poetry and essays that are overtly about big ideas, like meaning, time, death, chance, suffering, and the external reality of the world. Authors will include Keats, Dickinson, Emerson, Rilke, Anne Carson and Kay Ryan, as well as passages from Audre Lorde, Michel Foucault, Stephen J. Gould, Stephen Hawking, Nassim Taleb, and Donna Haraway.
Jennifer Michael Hecht is a poet, historian, philosopher, and commentator. She is the author of seven books including the bestseller Doubt: A History and Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It. Hecht's newest poetry book is Who Said. She has taught literature seminars in the graduate programs at The New School and Columbia University.