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Fall 2017 Comparative Literature: English GU4560 section 001
BACKGROUNDS TO CONTEMP THEORY

Call Number 28380
Day & Time
Location
TR 11:40am-12:55pm
To be announced
Points 3
Approvals Required None
Instructor Bruce Robbins
Type LECTURE
Course Description (Lecture). In chapter 4 of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind, a story is told about a confrontation between a Lord (Herr) and a Bondsman (Knecht). The story conveys how consciousness is born. This story, subsequently better known as the confrontation between Master and Slave, has been appropriated and revised again and again in figures like Marx and Nietzsche, Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Fanon, Freud and Lacan, Emmanuel Levinas, Carl Schmitt, Slavoj Zizek, and Judith Butler. The premise of this course is that one can understand much of which is (and isn’t) most significant and interesting in contemporary cultural theory by coming to an understanding Hegel’s argument, and tracing the paths by which thinkers revise and return to it as well as some of the arguments around it. There are no prerequisites, but the material is strenuous, and students will clearly have an easier time if they start out with some idea of what the thinkers above are doing and why. Helpful preparatory readings might include Genevieve Lloyd, The Man of Reason: “Male” and “Female” in Western Philosophy and Judith Butler, Gender Trouble. Requirements: For undergraduates: two short papers (6-8 pages). For graduate students, either two short papers or one longer paper (12-15 pages).
Web Site CourseWorks
Department English and Comparative Literature
Enrollment 18 students (60 max) as of 11:46PM Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Subject Comparative Literature: English
Number GU4560
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Open To Columbia College, Engineering and Applied Science: Undergraduate, General Studies, School of Professional Studies, Global Programs, Graduate School of Arts and Science, School of the Arts, International and Public Affairs, Barnard, Engineering and Applied Science: Graduate
Campus Morningside
Section key 20173CLEN4560W001

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SIS update 05/24/17 23:46    web update 05/25/17 07:34