Section 1: Tuesday and Thursday 5:00-6:15 PM

Professor: Patrick Collier

Everyday Life

Routine daily activities—eating, commuting, daydreaming, internet-surfing, tooth-brushing—take up a huge proportion of our lives. Often, we are barely conscious of them. And analyzing their role in our identities and our collective social and political life has proven difficult. Artists, sociologists, and philosophers have been studying everyday life for the past century, and they agree that it remains elusive and mysterious. Yet over the last few decades Everyday Life Studies has emerged as a vital, interdisciplinary field, speaking to many of the most pressing questions facing humanity today, among them how consciousness works and how individuals can exercise political agency in an era of unprecedented corporate power.

English Studies is an apt entry point for everyday life studies: creative writers have proven uniquely capable of representing everyday life; rhetoricians are attuned to the workings of power and agency within ordinary communications; and teachers live at the place where everyday life meets ideology and cultural power: the classroom.

In this class, we will read broadly in the theory of everyday life and pursue ambitious, individual projects that draw on this framework.