In 3-4 pages, grapple in writing with something you’ve encountered in this class, or in Levinas more generally, that intrigues, troubles, infuriates, or inspires you, but that you cannot quite get your mind around.

In this case, take “grapple” to suggest neither grasping it as a concept, nor pinning it down (as if a butterfly on a board); rather, here “grapple” is meant to suggest a mode of learning (as Levinas explains it) that welcomes, that allows this inassimilable thought to approach in a way that does not presume to assimilate it. Learning for Levinas is always a trauma, remember: it does not come from me.

So I’m asking you to welcome this thought without trying to conquer it–in a mode of grasping without the use of one’s claws–to see what it might open or challenge about what you believe you already know or understand.