CHID 444: Eye and Mind


Journals Due Thursday 7 Feb in class.

Proposals Due Tuesday 12 Feb in class


Time: Tue and Thur 11:30-1:20

Room: PAR 213

Class WWW Site: https://catalyst.uw.edu/workspace/thurtle/34007/

Instructor: Phillip Thurtle, thurtle@u.washington.edu

Office: Padelford B-102

Email: thurtle@uw.edu

Office Hours: Tue 1:30-2:30 and Wed 11:30-1:30 and by appt.

Class Description:

This class investigates life as an emergent phenomenon across the disciplines of biophilosophy, art, art history, literary criticism, and information studies.  Students will read key texts from these disciplines, evaluate recent art commenting on bioinformatics, and design their own creative projects. Throughout the quarter we will ask questions such as: What do art and science have in common? What is an emergent phenomenon? What is special about living things? Students should expect to leave this class with knowledge of key issues in phenomenological philosophy, bioart, biophilosophy, and complexity studies.

 WARNING: This class is not for everyone. Although there are no pre-requisites for the class, students will be expected to engage with difficult readings and will need to be willing to be confused at times. 

The readings for this class are difficult in the complexity of their arguments and diversity of approaches. Students are expected to finish all readings before the class and come prepared to discuss the material. Students are not expected to have understood each word of all the material. I hope this class introduces you to interesting new ideas and prods you into thinking in new and creative directions on life, art, and knowledge.

Students will be graded on participation in sections, a reading journal, a project proposal, and a final project. Students are encouraged but not required to work together on final projects. I heavily favor a student’s improvement over time when compiling grades.


Reading Journal 30%

Project Proposal 5%

Participation 25%

Final Project (including in-class presentations) 40%


Required texts:

The following three books are available from University Books

China Miéville, Embassytown

Readings not from these books are available online


Jan 31, 2013 8:15 AM
Journals Due Thursday 7 Feb in class.

Proposals Due Tuesday 12 Feb in class
Send questions about this workspace to Phillip Thurtle.