Fall 2024

The Implications of Origins: Incipit vita nova

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-133


Paul V. Rockwell (Section 01)


Incipit vita nova: The Implications of Origins.  Why do cultures seek to understand or to articulate beginnings?  What cultural significance is to be attached to a given representation of a beginning?  This course will study texts that purport to describe cosmic, natural, historical, political or personal origins.  In addition, the course will investigate the cultural implications of the desire to seek or to establish origins.  Readings will be drawn from Plato, the Bible, Bernardus Silvestris, Virgil, Dante, the anonymous Roman d’Eneas, Galileo, Rousseau, Jefferson, Descartes, Freud, and Nietzsche.

Fall semester.  Professor Paul Rockwell.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: an emphasis on written work, readings, oral presentations, group work.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023, Fall 2024