Class Schedules

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Fall 2015 Class Schedule - updated April 20, 2015 at 07:56 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
 
ART 264-01  Contemporary Art and Critical Theory
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm ARTCOM 102 Joanna Inglot
 
FREN 416-01  French Interdisciplinary Studies:French-German Dialogues in Philosophy and Theory
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm NEILL 213 Kiarina Kordela
*Taught in English; cross-listed with GERM 394-01 and POLI 394-03* This course focuses on the dialogue and mutual influence between the French-and German-speaking traditions of political economy and philosophical and theoretical thought, as it becomes evident in the relations among German Idealism, Phenomenology, Existentialism, Psychoanalysis, structuralism, and twentieth-century Critical Theory. In reading the work of influential thinkers in the above fields we shall also examine the structural and conceptual homologies or differences among political economy, abstract thought, and human subjectivity. Beyond Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Jacques Lacan, our readings will include Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean Laplanche and J. B. Pontalis, Gilles Deleuze, and Robert Pfaller. All readings and class taught in English.*Paper will be written in French for those wishing this course to count for a French major or minor.*

GERM 314-01  Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm NEILL 214 David Martyn
*Cross-listed with PHIL 214-01; taught in English; core course for Critical Theory* What happens when God dies? And what if he’s always already been dead? Few authors have pursued the consequences of secular modernity as persistently as the three thinkers -- as similarly radical as they are different from one another -- whose works we will study in this course. Focusing on the related domains of ethics, subjectivity, aesthetics, and cultural value, we will explore how modern thought tries, and just as frequently fails, to overcome its religious past. Discussion topics include: the loss of "truth" as a meaningful term; ethics beyond good and evil; alienation, ideology, and false consciousness; art as ersatz God; mourning, trauma, and transience. Readings include all or parts of: Marx, "The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844" and "The German Ideology"; Nietzsche, "The Gay Science" and "The Genealogy of Morals"; Freud, "Civilization and its Discontents" and "Beyond the Pleasure Principle." Requirements: reading, reading, and reading again. Plus two papers, several reading responses, and an exam.

GERM 394-01  French-German Dialogues in Philosophy and Theory
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm NEILL 213 Kiarina Kordela
*Taught in English; cross-listed with FREN 416-01 and POLI 394-03* This course focuses on the dialogue and mutual influence between the French-and German-speaking traditions of political economy and philosophical and theoretical thought, as it becomes evident in the relations among German Idealism, Phenomenology, Existentialism, Psychoanalysis, structuralism, and twentieth-century Critical Theory. In reading the work of influential thinkers in the above fields we shall also examine the structural and conceptual homologies or differences among political economy, abstract thought, and human subjectivity. Beyond Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Jacques Lacan, our readings will include Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean Laplanche and J. B. Pontalis, Gilles Deleuze, and Robert Pfaller. All readings and class taught in English.*Paper will be written in French for those wishing this course to count for a French major or minor.*

HISP 394-01  Hispanic Studies and Critical Theory
MWF 12:00 pm-01:00 pm NEILL 215 Justin Butler
*Cross-listed with PHIL 294-03; first day attendance required* Hispanic Studies and Critical Theory will engage a corpus of philosophical texts in order to equip students for advanced literary, cultural, and historical critique. To this end, students will learn key concepts in critical thought as presented by a variety of thinkers such as Marx, Benjamin, Hegel, Althusser, Gramsci, Baudrillard, Adorno, Agamben, Haraway, and Morton. Students will direct their critical understanding to an analysis of select cultural, literary, or filmic texts and events in the field of Hispanism. Such items may range from Gracián’s texts on the accrual of power in the Golden Age court to present day immigration and practices of coyotaje. The course has been designated a core course in the Critical Theory Concentration and is suitable for diverse interests in the humanities. The course will be taugh in English. Hispanic Studies majors and minors will submit written work in Spanish; non-majors and minors, in English.

MUSI 155-01  Music and Freedom
MWF 12:00 pm-01:00 pm MUSIC 228 Mark Mazullo
*First Year Course only*

PHIL 214-01  Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm NEILL 214 David Martyn
*Cross-listed with GERM 314-01; taught in English; core course for Critical Theory* What happens when God dies? And what if he’s always already been dead? Few authors have pursued the consequences of secular modernity as persistently as the three thinkers -- as similarly radical as they are different from one another -- whose works we will study in this course. Focusing on the related domains of ethics, subjectivity, aesthetics, and cultural value, we will explore how modern thought tries, and just as frequently fails, to overcome its religious past. Discussion topics include: the loss of "truth" as a meaningful term; ethics beyond good and evil; alienation, ideology, and false consciousness; art as ersatz God; mourning, trauma, and transience. Readings include all or parts of: Marx, "The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844" and "The German Ideology"; Nietzsche, "The Gay Science" and "The Genealogy of Morals"; Freud, "Civilization and its Discontents" and "Beyond the Pleasure Principle." Requirements: reading, reading, and reading again. Plus two papers, several reading responses, and an exam.

POLI 160-01  Foundations of Political Theory
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm NEILL 400 David Blaney
 
POLI 394-03  French-German Dialogues in Philosophy and Theory
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm NEILL 213 Kiarina Kordela
*Taught in English; cross-listed with FREN 416-01 and GERM 394-01* This course focuses on the dialogue and mutual influence between the French-and German-speaking traditions of political economy and philosophical and theoretical thought, as it becomes evident in the relations among German Idealism, Phenomenology, Existentialism, Psychoanalysis, structuralism, and twentieth-century Critical Theory. In reading the work of influential thinkers in the above fields we shall also examine the structural and conceptual homologies or differences among political economy, abstract thought, and human subjectivity. Beyond Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Jacques Lacan, our readings will include Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean Laplanche and J. B. Pontalis, Gilles Deleuze, and Robert Pfaller. All readings and class taught in English.*Paper will be written in French for those wishing this course to count for a French major or minor.*

RUSS 151-01  "Things Don't Like Me": The Material World and Why It Matters
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am NEILL 212 Julia Chadaga
 

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Spring 2015 Class Schedule - updated April 20, 2015 at 07:56 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
 
ENGL 394-05  Short Forms: Novella, Essay, Aphorism from Boccaccio to Brecht
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am CARN 105 David Martyn
*Cross-listed with GERM 394-02; What can a short text do that a long text can’t? This course will look for answers to this question by reading and discussing short prose works from the Renaissance to the 20th century. We will pursue the history of the novella – which is not a short novel but a literary form in its own right – from its emergence in the Italian Renaissance (Boccaccio) to its modern adaptations in German romanticism (Tieck) and French realism (Flaubert). We will explore the complexities of the essay from Michel de Montaigne, who created the genre in the 16th century, through Francis Bacon, whose scientific method relied on it, to its use as a hybrid form between science and literature in the early twentieth century (Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Sigmund Freud). And we will focus on the form that epitomizes the rhetorical virtue of brevitas: the aphorism, from the 17th century moralists (La Rochefoucauld), through the secular pietism of the 18th century (Lichtenberg), romanticism (Goethe), the 19th century’s answers to nihilism (Schopenhauer, Nietzsche), to the crypticism of Kafka, the irony of Brecht, and the uncompromising pessimism of Adorno. Discussion questions will include: what are the literary and rhetorical effects of brevity? How can words gain by being few? What happens when texts get longer? How is literature a form of knowledge and science a form of literature? Requirements: 3 mid-length papers with revisions; one class presentation. Taught in English, but texts will be made available to those who can and would like to read them in the original.

GERM 394-01  Metaphysics in Secular Thought
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with RELI 394-01 and POLI 294-03* A widespread tendency in contemporary Western societies is to associate metaphysics with religion, if not with what is often dismissively called “irrationality.” This course will dismantle this myth by turning to the tradition of European philosophy and political theory, mostly since the seventeenth century, in their relation to theology and their reception by twentieth-century critical theory, in order to examine the ways in which secular thought emerges not as an alternative to metaphysics, something which thought cannot supersede anyway, but simply as an alternative way—and one that by no means is more rationally grounded than religion—of dealing with the very same metaphysical questions and issues that concern religion, from the meaning of life to the imminence of death, and from (real or imagined) guilt to the hope for redemption. Readings will include: Giorgio Agamben, Aristotle, Talal Asad, Augustine of Hippo, George Bataille, Kenneth Burke, Emile Durkheim, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Karl Marx, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Marcel Mauss, Carl Schmitt, Baruch Spinoza, Alberto Toscano, Max Weber. Readings and class in English. No pre-knowledge required.



GERM 394-02  Short Forms: Novella, Essay, Aphorism from Boccaccio to Brecht
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am CARN 105 David Martyn
*Taught in English; cross-listed with ENGL 394-05* What can a short text do that a long text can’t? This course will look for answers to this question by reading and discussing short prose works from the Renaissance to the 20th century. We will pursue the history of the novella – which is not a short novel but a literary form in its own right – from its emergence in the Italian Renaissance (Boccaccio) to its modern adaptations in German romanticism (Tieck) and French realism (Flaubert). We will explore the complexities of the essay from Michel de Montaigne, who created the genre in the 16th century, through Francis Bacon, whose scientific method relied on it, to its use as a hybrid form between science and literature in the early twentieth century (Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Sigmund Freud). And we will focus on the form that epitomizes the rhetorical virtue of brevitas: the aphorism, from the 17th century moralists (La Rochefoucauld), through the secular pietism of the 18th century (Lichtenberg), romanticism (Goethe), the 19th century’s answers to nihilism (Schopenhauer, Nietzsche), to the crypticism of Kafka, the irony of Brecht, and the uncompromising pessimism of Adorno. Discussion questions will include: what are the literary and rhetorical effects of brevity? How can words gain by being few? What happens when texts get longer? How is literature a form of knowledge and science a form of literature? Requirements: 3 mid-length papers with revisions; one class presentation. Taught in English, but texts will be made available to those who can and would like to read them in the original.

INTL 300-01  Advanced Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 009 Sonita Sarker
*Cross-listed with WGSS 300-01*

PHIL 394-01  Philosophical Worlds: Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm MAIN 003 Diane Michelfelder
If the history of philosophy in the West were turned into a Hollywood major motion picture, it is likely the director would cast Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein as heroes of two contrasting philosophical worlds—Heidegger as a key figure and instigator of the European traditions of existentialism and phenomenology, and Wittgenstein as helping to spark the Anglo-American tradition of analytic philosophy. But what if an “indie” filmmaker were to wonder if Heidegger and Wittgenstein had more in common than is usually thought? What if the “and” in the phrase “Heidegger and Wittgenstein” were taken to mean they were philosophical buddies, not only because of the skepticism toward conventional ways of doing philosophy that both of them shared?

In recent years a number of scholars have begun to explore these questions, and we’ll be doing that in this course as well. In the first half, we will toggle back and forth between readings by Heidegger and Wittgenstein; in the course’s second half, we will look at contemporary philosophical reflection on these two thinkers. Selections from works such as Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, On Certainty, Culture and Value, and The Big Typescript, along with Heidegger’s Being and Time; Poetry, Language, Thought; On the Way to Language and the Zollikon Seminars, will inform our seminar-style class discussions. A particular focus of the class will be on the relationships among philosophical truth, ordinary language, and ordinary experience in the world. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy or permission of the professor.



POLI 160-01  Foundations of Political Theory
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm CARN 107 Franklin Adler
 
POLI 294-03  Metaphysics in Secular Thought
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with GERM 394-01 and RELI 394-01; counts as humanities general distribution credit*

RELI 394-01  Metaphysics in Secular Thought
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with GERM 394-01 and POLI 294-03; for description see German Studies listing*

SOCI 272-01  Social Theories
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm CARN 204 Khaldoun Samman
 
SOCI 294-02  Global Capitalism
MWF 12:00 pm-01:00 pm CARN 204 Khaldoun Samman
There has been a very significant body of sknowledge that analyzes the historical emergence of the global political economy we have lived under for the past few centuries, how it evolved, expanded, and incorporated the entire spatiality of our planet. In this course we will trace first the mystification of capitalism as a historical system, looking critically at how academics have studied it in fields like economics, political science, and sociology. We will then turn our attention to how we may indeed particularize it as having both a temporal and spatial origin, and that its territorial expansion has had class, racial, and gender implications. We will look at other consequences of global capitalism, with particular focus on how capitalism has much to do with the present ecological disasters, declining food nutrition, and the continued appropriation of indigenous land and subsistence. No prerequisites.

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* This course will focus on feminist and queer postmodern and postcolonial literature and film. We will study how the terms 'feminist' and 'queer' meet and separate in 20th century culture and politics. We will seek to understand and work with definitions of the 'postmodern' and the ‘postcolonial.’ Some themes that bring them into the same conversation are: negotiating prescribed and constructed identities, playing with the notion of 'post,' critiquing existing frameworks and fashioning unprecedented ones, and addressing the material conditions of modernity and postmodernity. Some authors included are Reinaldo Arenas, Theresa Cha, Trinh Minh-Ha, and Gayatri Spivak. Films by Ursula Biemann (Switzerland) and Alka Sadat (Afghanistan) are included

WGSS 330-01  Democracies, Feminisms, Capitalisms
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 009 Sonita Sarker
Through the organizing notion of Object, we will study the intertwining of democracy and capitalism, with a brief historical overview of both but looking primarily at formations in the 20th and 21st centuries—from liberal nation-state versions through postsocialisms to neoliberal-neocolonial globalization. In this transnational comparative context, we will focus on how various feminisms have negotiated these intertwined political/economic theories, at once emerging from them, claiming a place in them, as well as self-defining against their different formations. We will explore how liberal, second- and third-wave, socialist, women of color, radical transnational, and indigenous feminisms deploy the notion of Object in addressing issues of citizenship, violence, labor, the environment, cultural representation, etc. as ways of tackling this complicated relationship with diverse forms of capitalism and democracy.

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