Monday, August 31, 2015

Syllabus for Critical Theory A, Fall 2015

"The Point Is To Change It"

September 1-December 8, 2015, Seminar Room 18, Tuesdays, 4.15-7.00
Instructor: Dale Carrico; dcarrico@sfai.edu
Course Web-Site: http://thepointistochangeit.blogspot.com/
Rough Grade Breakdown (subject to contingencies): Attendance/Participation 12%; Notebook 12%; Precis 16%; Essay 1 30%; Essay 2 30%

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Academic Resource Center

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) provides free tutoring to all SFAI students on any assignment or project. Because everyone benefits from discussing and developing their work in an individualized setting, SFAI recommends that all students make use of the Academic Resource Center. Students can make an appointment with a tutor by visiting https://tutortrac.sfai.edu (username is the first part of your SFAI email address; password is your last name). The Center is open throughout the semester (beginning after the add/drop period) from 10am to 4pm Monday through Friday in the lower level of the Chestnut Street campus (at the Francisco Street entrance), with extended hours in the Residence Halls and at the Graduate Campus. Students are also welcome to drop by the Center any time during open hours to make use of the ARC’s writing reference library, computers, and study spaces.

Accessibility Accommodations

SFAI has a commitment to provide equal educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations; to provide equality of access for qualified students with disabilities; and to provide accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services that will specifically address those functional limitations of the disability which adversely affects equal educational opportunity. SFAI will assist qualified students with disabilities in securing such appropriate accommodations, auxiliary aids and services. The Accessibility Services Office at SFAI aims to promote self-awareness, self determination, and self-advocacy for students through our policies and procedures. In the case of any complaint related to disability matters, a student may access the student grievance procedures; however, complaints regarding requests for accommodation are resolved pursuant to Section IV – Process for Requests for Accommodations: Eligibility, Determination and Appeal. The Accessibility Services Office is located on the Chestnut Campus in the Student Affairs Office and can be reached at accessiblity@sfai.edu.

Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy

The rights and responsibilities that accompany academic freedom are at the heart of the intellectual, artistic, and personal integrity of SFAI. At SFAI we value all aspects of the creative process, freedom of expression, risk-taking, and experimentation that adhere to the fundamental value of honesty in the making of one’s academic and studio work and in relationship to others and their work. Misunderstanding of the appropriate academic conduct will not be accepted as an excuse for academic dishonesty. If a student is unclear about appropriate academic conduct in relationship to a particular situation, assignment, or requirement, the student should consult with the instructor of the course, Department Chair, Program Directors, or the Dean of Students.

Forms of Academic Misconduct

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another’s words, ideas, or information. At SFAI academic writing must follow conventions of documentation and citation (6.1; MLA Handbook, Joseph Gibaldi ch.2). Students are advised to seek out this guideline in the Academic Support Center, to ask faculty when they are in doubt about standards, and to recognize they are ultimately responsible for proper citation. In the studio, appropriation, subversion, and other means of challenging convention complicate attempts to codify forms of acknowledgment and are often defined by disciplinary histories and practices and are best examined, with the faculty, in relationship to the specific studio course.

Cheating

Cheating is the use or attempted use of unauthorized information including: looking at or using information from another person’s paper/exam; buying or selling quizzes, exams, or papers; possessing, referring to, or employing opened textbooks, notes, or other devices during a quiz or exam. It is the responsibility of all students to consult with their faculty, in a timely fashion, concerning what types of study aids and materials are permissible in their specific course.

Falsification and Fabrication

Falsification and fabrication are the use of identical or substantially the same assignment to fulfill the requirements for two or more courses without the approval of the faculty involved, or the use of identical or substantially the same assignment from a previously completed course to fulfill requirements for another course without the approval of the instructor of the later course. Students are expected to create new work in specific response to each assignment, unless expressly authorized by their faculty to do otherwise.

Unfair Academic Advantage

Unfair academic advantage is interference—including theft, concealment, defacement or destruction of other students’ works, resources, or material—for the purpose of gaining an academic advantage.

Noncompliance with Course Rules

The violation of specific course rules as outlined in the syllabus by the faculty or otherwise provided to the student.

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Provisional Schedule of Meetings:

September

Week One

1 Administrative Introduction | Course Introduction.

Week Two

8 W.E.B. DuBois, "Of Our Spiritual Strivings" | Oscar Wilde, "Soul of Man Under Socialism"

Week Three

15 Nietzsche: Nietzsche, On Truth and the Lie in an Extramoral Sense
Selections from Ecce Homo: Preface -- Why I Am So Wise -- Why I Am So Clever -- Why I Am a Destiny (or Fatality)

Week Four

22 Marx and Engels, Theses on Feuerbach
Marx on Idealism and Materialism
Marx on The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof from Capital

Week Five

29 Walter Benjamin, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility
A Short History of Photography
Adorno and Horkheimer, The Culture Industry
Adorno, The Culture Industry Reconsidered

October

Week Six

6 Excerpts from Sigmund Freud's Case Study of Dr. Schreber: 1, Psychoanalysis and Scientificity; 2,  Storytelling; 3, Psychoanalysis and Patriarchy (Homosociality and Homosexuality); 4. Psychoanalysis Brought to Crisis.
Sigmund Freud, Fetishism

Week Seven

13 Roland Barthes, Mythologies

Week Eight

20 Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle
Naomi Klein, Taking On the Brand Bullies, Patriarchy Gets Funky from No Logo

Week Nine

27 Carpenter (dir.), They Live, In-Class Screening -- Hand in Mid-Term Essay

November

Week Ten

3 Frantz Fanon, selections from Black Skin, White Masks and Concerning Violence | Paul Gilroy, Race and the Right to be Human
Three weeks to revised precis posting deadline.

Week Eleven

10 Michel Foucault, from Discipline and Punish, Introduction, Docile Bodies, Panoptism
Foucault, from History of Sexuality: We Other Victorians, Right of Death and Power Over Life
| Hannah Arendt, Reflections on Violence
Two weeks to revised precis posting deadline.

Week Twelve

17 Gayle Rubin, The Traffic in Women | Laura Mulvey, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema
| Judith Butler, Introduction and Chapter One from Undoing Gender
One week to revised precis posting deadline.

Week Thirteen

24 William Burroughs, Immortality and "Coincidence" | Valerie Solanas, The SCUM Manifesto
PRECIS must be posted online no later than today.

December

Week Fourteen

2 Hannah Arendt, The Conquest of Space
CS Lewis Abolition of Man (you need only read Chapter Three)
Slavoj Zizek, Bring Me My Philips Mental Jacket!

Week Fifteen

8 Donna Haraway, A Manifesto for Cyborgs | Gayatri Spivak, selections from "Planetarity" (Posted onto the blog above.) Hand in Final Essay and Reading Notebook

Course Objectives:

I. 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.

II. Survey of Key Themes in Critical Theory: Aura, Critique, Culture Industry, Discourse, Equity-in-Diversity, Fetish, Figurality, Humanism/Post-Humanism, Ideology, Judgment, Neoliberalism, Post-Colonialism, Scientificity, Spectacle, Textuality.

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

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