Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Syllabus, Summer 2010

Critical Theory A, Summer 2010

"The Point Is To Change It"

Instructor: Dale Carrico;;

Course Site:

Grade Breakdown: Attendance/Participation 15%; Precis/Co-facilitation 20%; Essay 1 35%; Essay 2 40%

Provisional Schedule of Meetings:


Week One
Mon 14 Administrative Introduction | Personal Introductions.
Wed 16 Course Introduction | Oscar Wilde, "Soul of Man Under Socialism"

Week Two
Mon 21 Nietzsche: Ecce Homo


Why I Am So Wise

Why I Am So Clever
Why I Am a Destiny (or Fatality)
Wed 23 -- Marx on Idealism and Materialism
-- Marx on Commodity Fetishism, from Capital

Week Three
Mon 28 Sigmund Freud, Doctor Schreber (Handout)
Wed 30 Walter Benjamin, "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility" | Adorno and Horkheimer, "The Culture Industry"


Week Four
Mon 5 Independence Day Holiday
Wed 7 Roland Barthes, Mythologies, Purchase or Check Out Whole Book!

Week Five
Mon 12 Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle | Naomi Klein, No Logo One and Two
Wed 14 Carpenter (dir.), They Live, In-Class Screening

Hand in Mid-Term Essay

Week Six
Mon 19 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish, History of Sexuality, College de France lecture excerpts (Handout)
Wed 21 William Burroughs, "Immortality" and "Coincidence" | Valerie Solanas, "SCUM Manifesto"

Week Seven
Mon 26 Hannah Arendt, "On Violence" | Must Eichmann Hang? and Human Condition Section 33 (Handout)
Wed 28 Franz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, Purchase or Check Out Whole Book! also excerpts from Judith Butler Undoing Gender, and "Precarious Life"


Week Eight
Mon 2 Hannah Arendt, Conquest of Space | CS Lewis Abolition of Man
Wed 4 Week Fifteen | December 8 -- Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs” | Bruno Latour, A Plea for Earthly Science

Hand in Final Essay

Course Objectives:

Contextualizing Contemporary Critical Theory: The inaugural Platonic repudiation of rhetoric and poetry, Vita Activa/Vita Contemplativa, Marx's last Thesis on Feuerbach, Kantian Critique, the Frankfurt School, Exegetical and Hermeneutic Traditions, Literary and Cultural Theory from the Restoration period through New Criticism, from Philosophy to Post-Philosophy: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud.

Survey of Key Themes in Critical Theory: Scientificity, Figurality, Humanism, Post-Humanism, Judgment, Equity-in-Diversity.

Survey of Key Critical Methodologies: Critique of Ideology, Post-Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Foucauldian Discourse Analysis, Critical Race Theory, Gender Theory, Science and Technology Studies.

Connecting theoria and poiesis: thinking and acting, theory and practice, creative expressivity as aesthetic judgment and critical theory as poetic refiguration, etc.

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