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Grant number like: AQ-50300-10

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Emory University (Atlanta, GA 30322-1018)
Andrew John Mitchell (Project Director: September 2009 to April 2014)

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Education Programs

$24,965 (approved)
$24,705 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2010 – 1/31/2013

NEH Enduring Questions Course on "How Does One Live a Life that Ends?"

The development of an introductory level undergraduate course that charts a three-part historical trajectory from ancient Sumerian and Greek texts to twentieth-century thought.

Of Human Finitude asks how does one live a life that ends? In a multifaceted approach to this question crossing disciplines, cultures, and genres, the course examines the quest for immortality in the ancient world, the role of finitude as condition for human relationships in the 17th-19th century, and the prospect of a more properly finite immortality through works of remembrance (the grave, the literary work, and the archive) in the 20th century. The course is complemented by a field trip to historic Oakland Cemetery, a guided tour of Alice Walker's literary archive, and a parallel running film series. This course is an introductory course without prerequisites. The Emory Philosophy department's undergraduate curriculum is currently under revision and this course would be the first of a new line of introductory courses integrating the history of philosophy within the larger conversation of the Humanities and providing more varied access to philosophy at the undergraduate level.