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Intergenerational Writing: The Pursuit of Happiness

We spend our lives pursuing meaning, often in search of happiness, a concept by which we define our rights, liberties, and ideals. Our class will explore and write about what we mean by happiness and its pursuit by drawing on multidisciplinary perspectives from philosophers, historians, sociologists, ethicists, scientists, and others. Local community members over 60 will attend the class and participate alongside students to enable intergenerational conversations that foster mutual understanding and seek to construct new knowledge.

This course is rooted in the idea that all people collaborate to construct and maintain knowledge through a process resembling an evolving conversation inherited and passed on by each generation. Our understanding of this inheritance and potential to relay it relies on our willingness to interact and share ideas with people who are different from us. Inherited knowledge may be treasured or forgotten over time. Generations all too often appraise these inheritances only after those who left them are no longer with us. Without generational memories to offer context, the meaning of generational experiences and aspirations is fragmented and lost to nostalgia, historical revision, and obscurity.

The class is designed to help you successfully enter and contribute to academic and civic conversations by enhancing your abilities to conduct rigorous inquiry, and participate in open, critical discussions with classmates and community members. You will learn to use writing as a tool not only for expression, but for reflection and refinement of your thinking.

Meet The Instructor

Eric O. Klinger
Associate Teaching Professor & Writing Center Faculty Director

I've taught upper and lower-division writing courses at CU Boulder since 2004. I also direct the Writing Center, which is an academic support resource that provides writing advice and feedback for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and university affiliates. My background is in rhetoric and professional communication, and I'm specifically interested how conversation and the writing process can shape mutual learning and personal growth. I firmly believe in the liberatory role of college education in promoting problem solving and progress both at the individual and societal level. I see writing and conversation as elemental to learning because they enable us to shape, articulate, and reflect upon our thinking and that of others. It is through this continuum of thought, conversation, and writing that we come to know ourselves and our world.


Interested in Joining the Fall 2024 IntergenImpact Community?

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