Chris Rock's essay "Its a white industry" (2014) - I discuss some of the movie references Rock makes. Transcript available on BlackBoard.
Sasha and I discuss this comic - You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you - by The Oatmeal. We cover topics including controversial ideas, resistance to new ideas, pathos, visual argument, and comics as a form of communication. Transcript available through BlackBoard.
Sasha Mozzafari and Emma Gorst discuss the Deborah Tannen article, "Sex, lies and conversation." This article was published in the Washington Post in 1990. [45 minutes] Transcript available through BlackBoard and Screencastomatic.
In this lecture, given on 12 May 2021 for the members of East and West Learning Connections, I discuss Plato's idea of love as the pursuit of the good in The Symposium. I focus on speeches by Eryximachus, Agathon, Aristophanes, and Socrates and briefly mention speeches by Pausanias and Phaedrus. Topics include parties and conversation; love as a creative force; love as self-improvement; love as a pursuit of one's soulmate; and love as the pursuit of "the good." (37 minutes)
We discuss Gabor Maté's article "Embraced by the needle" which is an assigned reading for my courses this term. Maté discusses the emotional factors in cases of addiction to hard drugs. The topic needs a trigger warning, we decided - the article touches on sensitive topics relating to family trauma and violence. Sasha is a former student of mine who read this article in her first semester. She was in my ENG106 class; however, this article is read in all my COM courses as well. We discuss: what is it like to read something that is not in your subject area? what it's like to read something "extreme" - do we need a trigger warning for this reading? What are the relevant points in the reading - what makes sense? And how can we disagree with it? What is disagreeing like, when, often, we're encouraged to agree all the time with our elders and our profs?
In this lecture I’m going to talk about the book of John in the New Testament, and the story of Orpheus as it appears in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The idea to discuss these books together comes from a class run by Suzanne Akbari about ten years ago at the University of Toronto – this class was an introduction to literatures that have an influence on English.
The Book of John begins by saying “In the beginning was the Word.” This sounds like language learning, doesn’t it? When you learn a language, you begin by learning the words.
In fact, though, what the author of the book of John seems to be talking about is a deeper, much more complex story. He is not just talking about learning words. He’s talking about the creation of the world and he is using a metaphor. John is saying that the ideas of the world and of Jesus appeared in God's mind before they were created. Creation is in fact a kind of mystical speech or language, then - a manifestation of God's love. Similarly, in the story of Orpheus, there is a miraculous song that is life-giving - that is - it somehow brings Orpheus's wife back to life--for a while, anyway. ...
For Seneca COM students - How to find sources - newspaper articles and subject guides [10 mins]