Michael Widner is in the joint employ of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages and the Stanford University Libraries, where he works as an Academic Technology Specialist. He works with faculty and their research assistants as consultant or collaborator in DLCL-based digital humanities and instructional technology projects.
“Poetic Thinking Across Media” is a course at Stanford University offered to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Our goal is to examine the human aptitude to approach life and the worlds we inhabit poetically, that is in manners of writing, speaking, and artistic creation that are not governed by systematic reasoning. We will consider how poetic works across media raise personal, communal, ethical, and political dilemmas. Studying mythological, religious, literary, cinematic and virtual (web-based) works, we will ask how poetic works think-through or permit us to deliberate with others about how to live our lives by employing various rhetorical strategies and creating complex symbolic systems. Considering how a variety of thinkers, writers, and artists approach such notions as “orientation” or “pilgrimage,” we will also examine how they contemplate, poetically, what love, war, death, and life itself may mean.