ENG190-001: Freshman Seminar:English

Topic: Sleep Across the Disciplines

January 10, 2017 - April 24, 2017
DaysTimeLocationInstructorGERCreditOPUS #
MWF
2:00pm - 2:50pm
Emerson Hall E504
Reiss, Benjamin
FSEM34546
Appropriate for First Year students.
Every semester. Freshmen only. Through readings on variable topics, frequent writing assignments, and in-class discussions, the seminar emphasizes reasoned discourse and intellectual community. Does not satisfy first-year writing requirement.

Special Evidence-Focused Seminar. For more information: http://evidence.emory.edu/in-the-news/evidence-focused-courses.html

Most of us think of sleep as a time when nothing happens: we stop planning, thinking, and interacting with others and our environment; and except for brief intervals of dreaming, we have no awareness of ourselves existing at all.  But scientists have shown that this apparent gap in our lives is actually a time of extraordinary activity, during which crucial processes such as memory consolidation, repair of tissue, and cleansing of neurotoxins takes place.  In recent years, scholars in the humanities and social sciences have shown how sleep matters in other areas thought to be in the province of wakefulness: history, literature, philosophy, religion. and even politics.   Every society has different rules for sleeping, different values associated with sleep, and different understandings of why we need to sleep.

By focusing on this mysterious and universal aspect of human experience, we will get a glimpse of how different disciplines – from neurology to anthropology to literary study – might unlock some of the secrets of sleep.  Because this course is an Evidence-Focused First-Year Seminar, we will be studying how these different disciplines generate research questions and how they marshal evidence to support conclusions or make arguments.  To that end, we will have an opportunity to speak with and learn from scholars across the university who make sleep a focus of their research.  We will devote about half of the course sessions to reading and interpreting literary texts that offer insight onto how particular people have viewed the different aspects of sleep we are studying.

The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.