Writing in Cosmic Time



Course Number




Course Description

FAIR 381G F23 Simon – Writing in Cosmic Time

What is the universe? What is it made of? How does it work? How did our planet and solar system form? How did humans come to be? And why? Artists and writers have always pondered such questions and explored their meanings in their work.

Likewise, the transdisciplinary field of Big History is an attempt by thinkers in many disciplines to weave a metanarrative from the sum of human knowledge that explains reality and frames human existence. Big Historians consider the origin and history of the universe itself; of galaxies, stars, and the complex chemical elements forged in their furnaces; of our solar system and earth; the evolution of life and the human species; the history of humans and human civilization to the present day – and, ultimately, what the recurrent patterns in the story may suggest about possible futures. What better way to consider what this all means than through creative writing?

In this course, we will explore the Big History metanarrative and engage it through creative writing practice in various genres. We’ll read at least one Big History account, such as David Christian’s Maps of Time, and respond to it with creative writing practice, an essential way of knowing. We may also look at some other creative work that engages this story or incorporates its elements.

Materials Fee


Required Texts

Course texts TBD and/or provided by instructor.


S/NX Grading and Fairhaven Narrative Evaluation.


Fall 2023

Course Instructor(s)

Richard Simon

Course Subject