Fall 2017 : Reading and Meditation - COLA 1500-076



Fall 2017 : Reading and Meditation - COLA 1500-076


Tue. Aug 22, 2017 - Tue. Dec 5, 2017 (16 weeks)
Every Thursday from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM


Wilson Hall 244

Throughout history and in many cultures people have observed moments of quietness during which they have directed their thoughts away from the urgency of everyday life. Some writers and artists have given us a glimpse of this practice in poems, essays, paintings, photography, films, and music. This course, while considering many representations of meditation, will concentrate on the relations among meditation, reading, and writing. We will discuss the relationship of reading and writing to time, place, and the development of independence and interiority. As students in the College, you have four years of unusual freedom to read, think, observe, and write. The texts we read in this course will give you examples of how others have used moments for thoughtful contemplation. The course will culminate with an essay on one of the representations of meditation that we encounter during the semester.

John Lyons (
COLA courses are 1-credit seminars capped at 18 UVA first-year students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences, all of whom are also assigned to the instructor as advisees. They are topically focused on an area identified by the faculty member; they also include a significant advising component centered on undergraduate issues (e.g., choosing a major, study abroad opportunities, undergraduate research, etc.). For detailed descriptions see here