“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, May 4, 2020

Take My Summer Class!

You can find out more about it here. We can Zoom together for a too-short month this summer, and I'll teach you for two hours a day, three days a week. Classes are at 8:15am Houston time, which is early afternoon in Europe and a not-impossible 9:15pm in Japan.

You can sign up to audit too.

Tim Morton being weird, three days a week, two hours a day, in your bluetooth speakers or whatever?

I'm not doing any lectures, so this is your chance to see where my mind is at. In addition to talking about ecology I am very highly trained at how to read things, because of my background in literary criticism and theory. Here's why this is important:

“Global warming” versus “climate change.” “Welfare” versus “social security” (which is what they used to call the exact same thing in the UK). Fake news. Tweets. What “they” think. Propaganda. “Science.” “Art.” These are just individual words and phrases and they have so much power. Power over us. This class is designed to help you extricate yourself from the gravitational fields of these words and concepts. By training you from the ground up in how to read any text at all, and how to write (not fancy stuff, but how to understand what you’re learning by doing it yourself), you will gain some immunity from propaganda and fake news and be able to help build a world based on decent sound facts.

A fact is an interpretation of data. The humanities is pre-science, like pre-med is what you take before medical school. In the middle ages, before you got to make scientific facts, you learned how to have facts at all. You learned the basic operating system of meaning (grammar), how to have meaning that was coherent (logic), and how to convey that to others (rhetoric).

Global warming data is way, way scarier than existing scientific facts. That’s because for years scientists were trying to make facts that would appeal to global warming deniers. This was a losing game. They already lost just by trying to play it. They should’ve taken this class.


David Uglow said...

Yes. Definitely.

However the linked page showed no clue about *how* to register. Must one be enrolled at Rice?

Novalis said...

Open only to Rice students? To the general public? If so, how?

Unknown said...

Ooh, I'm up for that. How do I sign up. I'm in Italy, if that's useful info.

Edy said...

Hello Timothy, I wish to attend this course and now have navigated myself into the Rice online registering system to apply as a visiting audit. They require me to upload a form with the instructor's (your) signature to proceed, I think? Or is there another way to do this. Thanks so much for any help!

Edy said...

Hi again, sorry ignore my previous message - found the answer via your Twitter. e

David Uglow said...

Yes. Definitely.

But how? I see no clue on the link as to registering -- perhaps one must be enrolled at Rice?

androgynos said...

I’d love to take your class, but unfortunately I’m not enrolled at Rice. Is there a way to access it regardlessly?

Unknown said...

Hi Timothy! I am an undergraduate honours student at the University of Adelaide, Australia. I am currently writing my thesis on ecological literary theory and mid-20th century expressions of Hellenism. I have spent the last two years reading through your work, and I would be thrilled if I could participate in this online course via. Rice University. Is it possible for me to sign up as a non-enrolled international student?

Unknown said...

any chance that I could auditi this without being registered in a school?

Michael said...

"That’s because for years scientists were trying to make facts that would appeal to global warming deniers. This was a losing game. They already lost just by trying to play it. They should’ve taken this class."
I can follow the argument up to the last sentence. Are you suggesting ENGL252 would help produce more effective writers? Isn't this like the argument, learning how sausage is made improves its flavor?

Stepan Nest said...

Dear Tim,

my name is Stepan, I’m currently an architecture student (at the IKA Academy) from Vienna, Austria and I’m highly interested in the ecological problematic from the perspective of philosophic, artistic and cultural knowledge. It is always a great pleasure to be engaged in the critical yet inspiring and productive mode of reflection, triggered by Your ideas, while performing a transcription of this discourse into an architectural field.

Being in an indirect dialogue with You on the matter of [re]defining Nature by learning from Your Books and spoken thoughts, I’m eager to find a way to take part in your Summer Course announced above. The research upon how to apply at the Rice University for ENGL 252 901 as a Visiting Student lead me to writing an E/Mail to registrar@rice.edu soon after Your post announcing the course appeared on this Blog on the 4. of May. Unfortunately, I never got a response from Rice Registrar-Office and shortly afterwards noticed the Summer Block C1 being “officially” striked out from the application deadline List.

Therefore I’m willing to ask You if there is a chance to attend the course in any way? I was hoping that the restrictions and discontinuity brought up by the COVID-19 not only create circumstances of isolation and separation, but also have generated an opportunity to reach for intellectual exchange beyond the physical borders. It seems that Zoom meetings do generate a multicultural space of coexistence and interrelation with a promising potential to become part of newly established learning and working communities we haven’t thought of before.

I would be very happy to hear back from You! If you have any suggestions and Tipps on this regard; one can always reach me under: stefannest@gmail.com
I’m really looking forward for your reply!


Unknown said...

Hi I would love to join the summer class, only enrollment as an auditor through Rice office did not really work out yet (sorry to bother, but I really would like to join)
Nienke from Amsterdam

How_Did_I_Get_Here said...

Sounds exciting! Will these videos be made available for the public?

How_Did_I_Get_Here said...

Sounds exciting! Will these videos be made available to the public?

Kevin Lay said...

YES! I would LOVE that. Thanks for the invite. I hope it is not too late! (It's now May 21st.)

Kevin Lay said...

HI Timothy,
I've been reading your books for years and find your ideas embracing. What a cool opportunity to be in your class! I'm a 62 year old music composer (classical-theatrical mostly un-genre-izable stuff, too), poet (and lately baker!). I got a BSEE back in 1990. It's May 21st. I hope it's not too late to register.

Kevin Lay

PS - Sorry if this is somewhat of a repeated message. I may have already published a similar comment.

Max said...

Hey Tim,
I am swedish artstudent in Vienna, Austria, and I really wanted to take part in your class. Is it only available to students of Rice? Maybe it already started..
It would be amazing to participated!
All the best,

pagestar said...

Are you offering a course in the fall/winter? Thank you.

Cellar said...

Hi Tim, don't know if you'll see this but are there any recordings of these classes by any chance?! All the best.

josh said...

Wish I'd seen it sooner!