Class Schedules

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Fall 2014 Class Schedule - updated July 28, 2014 at 06:56 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
 
CLAS 294-02  Medieval Political Thought
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 06A Andrew Latham
*Cross-listed with PHIL 294-02 and POLI 266-01* Interested in the roots of contemporary political life (including issues such as state sovereignty, separation of church and state, constitutionalism, just war, property rights, “the people”, nationalism, democracy, rule-of-law, and human rights)? Then this course is for you. Through a careful examination of the political thought of Latin Christendom (Western Europe) during the later Middle Ages (c. 1050-c. 1550) we explore the deep roots of the contemporary world order, demonstrating the ways in which medieval thinkers such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, John of Salisbury, John of Paris, Giles of Rome, Marsilius of Padua, Dante, Las Casas, ibn Sina, Moshe ben Maimon, and ibn Rushd “invented” many of the ideas that we – presumptuously and erroneously – have come to associate with the modern era. As an intermediate-level offering, this course is designed primarily for Political Science majors and non-majors in cognate fields (such as Philosophy or Classics) who have some experience in the discipline. The course has no pre-requisites, however, and is therefore suitable for all students seeking to satisfy an interest in political theory/philosophy or the medieval roots of contemporary political life. This course fulfills the Political Science Department’s Theory Requirement.

ENGL 294-02  Comparative Feminisms: Whiteness and Postcolonialisms
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm MAIN 009 Sonita Sarker
*Cross-listed with WGSS 240-01*

ENGL 367-01  Postcolonial Theory
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 105 David Moore
*Cross-listed with INTL 367-01*

ENGL 394-03  Dead White Men
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with GERM 337-01, MCST 337-01 and PHIL 294-03; taught in English* The shift away from feudal theocracy (when divinity grounded truth and political authority) to secular capitalist modernity has entailed unforeseen re-conceptualizations of both time and of the distinction between truth and fiction—the latter approaching extinction, as truth is increasingly perceived as a culturally arbitrary (hence fictional) construct. To examine these modern mutations of the central categories of time and truth-fiction, the course will pursue two parallel itineraries. On the one hand, the two competing modes of the secularization of time, as (a) human history progressing toward a certain telos (end or aim), and (b) as a machinic time within which inter-relations within an autonomous structure (one not controlled by humans) determine its participants. And, on the other hand, the replacement of faith with modern philosophy, ideology, and biopolitics. No prerequisites.

FREN 416-01  Of a Beautiful Mind: Literature and Philosophy at Crossroads
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm ARTCOM 102 Jean-Pierre Karegeye
*Cross-listed with PHIL 294-01*

‘What is the beautiful?’ Plato, Hippias Major

‘To love beauty is to see light’ Victor Hugo

A 2012 New York Times article entitled “Is Philosophy Literature?” raised the following question: “Do people read philosophy for pleasure?” The question clearly suggests that the article’s author links “pleasure” to literature. Indeed, in a general manner, literature is understood as a work of aesthetic language and, above all, imagination through its narrative, spatiotemporal, mythical, and symbolic manifestations. There are those who would assert that philosophy is reflection on the whole of reality- the study of ideas about knowledge. In other words, literature is beautiful and philosophy is intelligent (smart); however, these distinctions about pleasure and rationality are neither radical nor absolute. Conversely, we may explore how literature “makes you think” and how philosophy delves into the “pleasure of the text”. While distinct, the two disciplines are mutually dependent, to some extent.

This course scrutinizes the encounter or dialogue between literary and philosophical texts in light of critical theory, as well as through the examination of case-topics (e.g. moral choice, human freedom, commitment, gender issues). Readings will include writings by Plato, Aristotle, Voltaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Gérard Genette, Paul Ricoeur, Julia Kristeva, Simone de Beauvoir and Léopold Sédar Senghor. We will follow three axes:

1. The discovery of literature as a vehicle for philosophical ideas

2. A discussion of philosophical content posed by the literature in view

3. A discussion of critical theories that blend literature and philosophy, including Narratology, Structuralism, Phenomenology, Deconstruction and Feminist theories.

This interdisciplinary course is taught in English. In order for it to count toward the French major or minor, students are required to write their papers in French and to meet every three weeks for a ‘Café philo-littéraire’.

GERM 337-01  Dead White Men
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with ENGL 394-03, MCST 337-01 and PHIL 294-03; taught in English* The shift away from feudal theocracy (when divinity grounded truth and political authority) to secular capitalist modernity has entailed unforeseen re-conceptualizations of both time and of the distinction between truth and fiction—the latter approaching extinction, as truth is increasingly perceived as a culturally arbitrary (hence fictional) construct. To examine these modern mutations of the central categories of time and truth-fiction, the course will pursue two parallel itineraries. On the one hand, the two competing modes of the secularization of time, as (a) human history progressing toward a certain telos (end or aim), and (b) as a machinic time within which inter-relations within an autonomous structure (one not controlled by humans) determine its participants. And, on the other hand, the replacement of faith with modern philosophy, ideology, and biopolitics. No prerequisites.

GERM 394-01  Concepts of Freedom from Aristotle to Agamben
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm NEILL 216 David Martyn
*Taught in English* "Free choice" is a concept we can neither explain nor do without. Democracy, the "free" market, the emancipation movements of the 20th century: these and other institutions could not function without the assumption that humans are free agents; but a coherent theory of free agency has yet to be invented. This course will approach the problem of free will by historicizing it. We will read authors from Greek antiquity to the present to understand what freedom meant at different junctures in the history of thought. In the process, we will discover just how peculiar to our own capitalist and secular epoch our notion of freedom is. Discussion topics will include free will in Stoic, religious, and secular thought; the emergence of modern individualism and its effect on the concept of freedom; freedom between Marxism and capitalism; the questionable freedom of "coming out" (Foucault, Judith Butler); art, science, politics, and love as forms of freedom (Badiou); freedom and states of exception (Agamben). Selected readings from Epictetus, Augustine, Luther, Leibniz, Kant, Marx, Hannah Arendt, Milton Friedman, and the other authors mentioned. Course requirements: one reading response per week, two 6-page papers. Core course for the Critical Theory Concentration.

INTL 294-01  Photography: Histories and Practices of an International Medium
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 404 Zeynep Gursel
*Cross-listed with MCST 294-01*

INTL 367-01  Postcolonial Theory
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 105 David Moore
*Cross-listed with ENGL 367-01*

MCST 294-01  Photography: Histories and Practices of an International Medium
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 404 Zeynep Gursel
*Cross-listed with INTL 294-01*

MCST 337-01  Dead White Men
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with GERM 337-01, ENGL 394-03, and PHIL 294-03* Today we often hear people dismiss the Western (mostly European) philosophical tradition as a bunch of “dead white men.” In other words, the argument goes, these thinkers harbored such passe notions as universal truths, a universal subject, and an individual in total control of itself and endowed with a pure reason unadulterated by rhetoric, imagination, fiction, and politics. Why should we bother with “dead white men” now that we understand that truth depends on historical context, that the self is decentered by the unconscious, that identity is constituted by gender, race, class, and other cultural factors, that truth is linked to power, and that ideology is omnipresent? Unfortunately, this all-too-familiar attitude overlooks its own faulty presupposition: it presumes a clear-cut break between philosophical tradition and contemporary thought, as if contemporary thought had no tradition out of which it emerged and could, therefore, merely discard what preceded it. Hence the popularity of phrases like “philosophy is dead.” It is all the more ironic to see this attitude prevail in the West at the very moment that multiculturalism has become our cause celebre : all cultural traditions are supposed to be “respected,” except the West’s own tradition. (Perhaps as a new way for the West to reinstate surreptitiously its superiority as the sole culture with no tradition?) This course pursues a close reading of texts by various “dead white men” as the unconscious (i.e., repressed and, for that matter, all the more powerful) undercurrent of contemporary thought. Assigned texts will include: Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Pascal, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Marx, as well as texts by twentieth-century thinkers that stress the dependence of contemporary thought on philosophy. No pre-knowledge required; all readings in English. With different reading lists this course may be taken more than once for credit . Alternate years. (4 credits)

PHIL 294-01  Of a Beautiful Mind: Literature and Philosophy at Crossroads
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm ARTCOM 102 Jean-Pierre Karegeye
*Cross-listed with FREN 416-01*

PHIL 294-02  Medieval Political Thought
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 06A Andrew Latham
*Cross-listed with CLAS 294-02 and POLI 266-01* Interested in the roots of contemporary political life (including issues such as state sovereignty, separation of church and state, constitutionalism, just war, property rights, “the people”, nationalism, democracy, rule-of-law, and human rights)? Then this course is for you. Through a careful examination of the political thought of Latin Christendom (Western Europe) during the later Middle Ages (c. 1050-c. 1550) we explore the deep roots of the contemporary world order, demonstrating the ways in which medieval thinkers such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, John of Salisbury, John of Paris, Giles of Rome, Marsilius of Padua, Dante, Las Casas, ibn Sina, Moshe ben Maimon, and ibn Rushd “invented” many of the ideas that we – presumptuously and erroneously – have come to associate with the modern era. As an intermediate-level offering, this course is designed primarily for Political Science majors and non-majors in cognate fields (such as Philosophy or Classics) who have some experience in the discipline. The course has no pre-requisites, however, and is therefore suitable for all students seeking to satisfy an interest in political theory/philosophy or the medieval roots of contemporary political life. This course fulfills the Political Science Department’s Theory Requirement.

POLI 160-01  Foundations of Political Theory
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm CARN 206 Franklin Adler
 
POLI 266-01  Medieval Political Thought
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 06A Andrew Latham
*Cross-listed with CLAS 294-02 and PHIL 294-02* Interested in the roots of contemporary political life (including issues such as state sovereignty, separation of church and state, constitutionalism, just war, property rights, “the people”, nationalism, democracy, rule-of-law, and human rights)? Then this course is for you. Through a careful examination of the political thought of Latin Christendom (Western Europe) during the later Middle Ages (c. 1050-c. 1550) we explore the deep roots of the contemporary world order, demonstrating the ways in which medieval thinkers such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, John of Salisbury, John of Paris, Giles of Rome, Marsilius of Padua, Dante, Las Casas, ibn Sina, Moshe ben Maimon, and ibn Rushd “invented” many of the ideas that we – presumptuously and erroneously – have come to associate with the modern era. As an intermediate-level offering, this course is designed primarily for Political Science majors and non-majors in cognate fields (such as Philosophy or Classics) who have some experience in the discipline. The course has no pre-requisites, however, and is therefore suitable for all students seeking to satisfy an interest in political theory/philosophy or the medieval roots of contemporary political life. This course fulfills the Political Science Department’s Theory Requirement.

SOCI 194-01  Moral Panics and the Other
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm CARN 208 Khaldoun Samman
*First Year Course only* This course will focus primarily on how fears spread and become moral panics of our time. We will deal with a number of issues like pedophilia, gangs, and drug scares, but fear of Muslims and Islam will be the most visible example of the course. Through the works of Foucault (discursive formations and incitement), Laclau and Mouffe (hegemony and articulation), and others, this course will attempt to restore the most significant contribution Moral Panic theory offers: the constitutive nature of moral panics in the production of new racial and political identities. A major sub theme of the course will be to trace the incitement process through certain networks and what sociologists call “claims makers” and “moral entrepreneurs” (think tanks, groups like Jihad Watch, the Military Industrial complex), especially right wing groups but also liberals, mainstream feminists, academics, and other experts. We will also look at the construction of crime waves, but of a particular sort, the kind that reconstitutes the way we understand cultural differences, human rights, immigration, culture and crime, gender inequality, patriarchy, domestic abuse, military occupation, and so on.



WGSS 240-01  Comparative Feminisms: Whiteness and Postcolonialisms
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm MAIN 009 Sonita Sarker
*Cross-listed with ENGL 294-02* This course brings together discourses that have remained somewhat parallel and unrelated--Whiteness Studies and Postcolonial Studies. It is based on the premise that 'whiteness' as an academic/social framework stems from and is intertwined with social and political identity-based movements (feminist, critical race, etc.). In other words, studies of the intersection of gender, race, class, and nation initiated in the post-colonizing imagination seeks to shake up paradigms of power, and whiteness studies shares in this effort. This course explores where and how the notion of 'whiteness' converges and diverges from post-colonialism.

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Spring 2015 Class Schedule - updated July 28, 2014 at 06:56 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
 
POLI 160-01  Foundations of Political Theory
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm CARN 107 Franklin Adler
 
SOCI 272-01  Social Theories
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm CARN 204 Khaldoun Samman
 
SOCI 290-01  Islam and the West
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm CARN 208 Khaldoun Samman
 
WGSS 300-01  Advanced Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 009 Sonita Sarker
*Cross-listed with INTL 300-01*

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