The Ebb and Flow of Lived Time: Exploring the Vitality of Memory

Literature | Philosophy

Course Description

February 2022 Update: This course will now take place entirely on Zoom.

The past only comes back when the present runs so smoothly that it is like the sliding surface of a deep river. Then one sees through the surface to the depths … [I]t is then that I am living most fully in the present. For the present when backed by the past is a thousand times deeper than the present when it presses so close that you can feel nothing else.                                                                               

—Virginia Woolf

How should we conceive of the relationship between the present and the past, and between perception and memory? How should we think about the emergence and the ongoing reality of the past, and about the origin and formation of the unconscious? What might be gained if we regard vitality and creativity as linked to our felt sense of the flow of time? And of dejection and sterility as a function of traumatic interruption, fracture, and refusal of our lived awareness of personal continuity?

This course will explore the claim that the emotional experience of aliveness and affirmation is contingent on the involuntary, dynamic interweaving of the present moment with our personal past. We will carefully consider several of Virginia Woolf’s stunning investigations of this hypothesis together with philosophical and psychological explorations of the existential priority for humans of lived duration, of being in the flux of time.

Books to Purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop during the weeks prior to the course beginning):

    • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (9780199536009)
    • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (9780199536610)

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 14 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Tuesday 15 March 2022

Course Length: 12 weeks, Tuesdays, 6:15 to 8:15 p.m.

Discussion Team: Imogen Brian, Louise Jarrett, Daniel Schouela

Degree Credit: 3.0 credits

Course Fee: 

$150.00 (standard tuition)
$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$185.00 (standard tuition)
$135.00 (promotion for new students)

Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

If you are a RETURNING student

If you are NEW to TMI

Questions? Stuck? Give us a call at (514) 935-9585
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