the horizon which it forms is the second;
and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end.
from Emerson, "Circles" (1841)
My class begins--as it always does--with a set of transmediations (Image, Music, Text) that capture in some way one's understanding of the shared readings and seek to represent that through another sign system.
For the first class, I provide all three, but in subsequent classes, students bring in transmediations of their own: a different person responsible for each 'text.'
So, as we prepared to talk about our first encounters with Moby Dick, I displayed Thomas Cole's painting (A View from Mt. Holyoke, 1838), the short excerpt above of the poetic epigraph to Emerson's essay "Circles,"
while simultaneously playing the song, "First Impressions" from Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor's 1996 collaboration, Appalachia Waltz (1996) [linked below]
Try it out for yourselves after you have read through the etymology, extracts, and the first few chapters of Moby-Dick--up to Ishmail's own first impressions of Queequeg.
What new ways of thinking about the text(s) do you have now?