16 May 2018

A literary scholar and a geologist walk into a classroom...

Dr. Joâo Trabucho Alexandre and Susanne Knittel
Dr. Joâo Trabucho Alexandre and Susanne Knittel

This may sound like the beginning of a joke, but in fact it is the beginning of a highly innovative project in interdisciplinary teaching: UYA members João Trabucho Alexandre and Susanne Knittel are developing lectures and seminars that revolve around issues and concepts relevant for both disciplines, such as time, interpretation, or the Anthropocene. 

The first of these took place on May 9, in the context of Susanne's course Aesthetics of the Posthuman (part of the 2-year Research Master program Comparative Literary Studies), where João and Susanne co-taught a seminar on the topic of deep time, combining geological and literary perspectives and readings. Using Max Frisch's 1979 novella Man in the Holocene as a basis for discussion, the students explored questions such as: How can we think about and represent deep time? How can we imagine the world without (before/after) us? 

This first foray into truly interdisciplinary teaching was a resounding success. In the fall, Susanne will be a guest in one of João's geology seminars...