Flames, Mud, and Skin: Commitment and Truth on the Precipice

Blue Ridge Session, Summer 2017

Prof. Jennifer Rapp with Laura Marcus


Introductory Evocation: Pre-Arete + Weeks 1-2

Please read the following prior to arriving at Arete:

  • Isak Dinesen, “Sorrow Acre” (short story, in packet mailed/emailed to you)
  • James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (purchase text)
  • Poem surprise (in mailed packet)

Week One

  • Isak Dinesen
  • James Baldwin
  • Iris Murdoch, “The Sovereignty of Good Over Other Concepts” (in mailed packet)

Week Two

  • Mary Oliver, selections from Upstream
  • Natasha Trethewey, Native Guard

The Heart(s) of the Matter: Weeks 3-6

Weeks Three & Four

  • Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
    Against Me!, Transgender Dysphoria Blues (album)
  • Interview with Laura Jane Grace (listen online: Fresh Air podcast, 4/4/2017)

Week Five & Six

  • Toni Morrison, Beloved

Week Six & Seven

  • Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching (translated David Hinton)
  • Gabriela Mistral, The Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral (translated Ursula Le Guin)


Conclusion as Opening: Flying from the Precipice

Week Eight:

  • Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan