Class Schedules

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Fall 2014 Class Schedule - updated April 19, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
 
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 394-02 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 French course is taught in English. Students from the French department are required to write their papers in French and to meet every three weeks, for an hour, for a ‘Café philo-littéraire’ that will consist of discussing students papers written in French as well as literary and philosophical ideas related to the course.

GERM 337-01  Dead White Men
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with ENGL 394-03, MCST 394-02 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 367-01  Postcolonial Theory
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 105 David Moore
*Cross-listed with ENGL 367-01*

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*

POLI 160-01  Foundations of Political Theory
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm CARN 206 Franklin Adler
 

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Spring 2015 Class Schedule - updated April 19, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
 
POLI 160-01  Foundations of Political Theory
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm Franklin Adler
 
SOCI 272-01  Social Theories
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm Khaldoun Samman
 
WGSS 300-01  Advanced Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm Sonita Sarker
*Cross-listed with INTL 300-01*

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