CLT 603: POSTMODERNISMS

FALL SEMESTER 2003

Prof. Hugh J. Silverman

Mondays 7:00-10:00 p.m.

LIBRARY E4305

What does it mean to be postmodern? What are the differences between the modern and the postmodern? What is the relation between postmodernism and post‑modernity? How have those differences been articulated by various contemporary literary, philosophical, and art theorists? In what sense are there many different postmodernisms? In the post-Sept 11 world, how does postmodern thinking help to understand these significant events in contemporary cultures and societies?

The purpose of this seminar is to articulate what is meant by the postmodern and postmodernism, to read a number of contemporary theorists who have addressed this issue directly or indirectly, and to explore how these terms are appropriate for the reading of literary, art, architectural, and theoretical texts. The seminar will develop what is meant by the postmodern sublime, postmodern textuality, and postmodern politics.

Readings will address specifically debates around deconstruction, postmodern hermeneutics, and postmodernism in the arts and in political theory. Texts will include selections from the writings of Foucault, Derrida, Kristeva, Deleuze & Guattari, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Perniola., and Nancy.

Each student is to write two papers (about 8-10 pages in length). The first paper should relate to the writings of Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze/Guattari, and Lyotard, indicating the relationship of their views to a theory of contemporary culture and society; the second should deal substantially with Lyotard, Baudrillard, Perniola, and Nancy. The two papers may be interrelated. For instance, they could both treat a similar topic or theme such as the meaning of the postmodern for contemporary culture, politics, art, or society, the differences between a discursive theory and an interpersonal/political one, the status of networks, webs, rhizomes, the differences between nomads, strangers, friends, subjects, singularities, the application of specific postmodern theories to specific texts, paintings, or cultures. Or the two papers could be independent of each other. Papers are due on Oct 27th and Dec. 1 st respectively.

In addition, each member of the seminar will prepare a protocol for one or two of the seminar sessions (depending on the number of seminar participants). The person responsible for a particular week will write up an account of what transpired in class the previous week and will make a copy available to each of the members of the seminar prior to the beginning of class. The protocol for a particular week will be discussed at the outset of the seminar. This will give everyone an opportunity to review what transpired in the previous session and to raise any lingering issues or topics that were not sufficiently treated when first presented.

 

Readings

Foucault, The Order of Things [1966 ],Vintage/Pantheon

Derrida, Acts of Literature [1967 - ], Routledge

Kristeva, The Portable Kristeva [1974- ], Columbia

Deleuze & Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature [198 ], Minnesota

Lyotard, The Inhuman [198 ], Stanford

Baudrillard, Simulations and Simulacra [19 ], Michigan

Perniola, Ritual Thinking [2002], Humanity Books

Nancy , Being Singular Plural [1996], Stanford

 

Recommended:

Silverman (ed), Postmodernism B Philosophy and the Arts [1990], Routledge

Silverman (ed), Questioning Foundations: Truth/Subjectivity/Culture [1993], Routledge

Silverman (ed), Derrida and Deconstruction [1989], Routledge

Silverman (ed), Philosophy and Desire [2001], Routledge

Silverman (ed), Lyotard: Philosophy, Politics, and the Sublime [ 2002], Routledge

Silverman, Textualities: Between Hermeneutics and Deconstruction, [1994], Routledge


 

CLT 602: POSTMODERNISMS

FALL SEMESTER 2003

Prof. Hugh J. Silverman

Mondays 7:00-10:00 p.m. LIBRARY E4305

Office: Harriman Hall 203; Office Hours: Thursdays 1:30-3:15 p.m. and by app = t

Office Telephone: 632-7592; e-mail: hsilverman@ms.cc.sunysb.edu

Schedule

 

DATE TOPIC READING PROTOCOL

 

Sept 8 Introduction : Postmodern Theory B what is it and why is it relevant for the post-Sept 11, 2001 world?

Silverman: Textualities [1994]

 

Sept 15 The Postmodern Episteme Foucault Foucault: The Order of Things [1966]

 

Sept 22 The Postmodern Episteme Foucault Foucault: The Order of Things [1966]

 

Sept 29 Deconstruction and the Postmodern Derrida Derrida: Acts of Literature (selections to be announced]

Oct. 6 (no class )

 

Oct. 9-11 Stony Brook Philosophy Doctorates Conference - attendance encouraged.

 

 

Oct 13 Deconstruction and the Postmodern Derrida Derrida: Acts of Literature (selections to be announced]

 

 

Oct 20 Postmodern Cultures of Difference Kristeva Kristeva: The Portable Kristeva (Selections to be announced)

 

Oct 27 Postmodern Cultures of Difference Kristeva Kristeva: The Portable Kristeva (Selections to be announced)

{first paper due}

 

 

Nov 3 Postmodern Nomads: The Case of Kafka Deleuze & Guattari : Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature

 

Nov 10 Postmodern Sublimities Lyotard Lyotard: The Inhuman (Selections to be announced)

 

Nov 17 Postmodern Sublimities Lyotard Lyotard: The Inhuman (Selections to be announced)

 

Nov 24 Postmodern Realities Baudrillard Baudrillard: Simulations and Simulacra

 

Dec 1 Postmodern Transits Perniola Perniola: Ritual Thinking [1994]

{second paper due}

 

Dec 8 Postmodern Singularities Nancy Nancy: Being Singular Plural

 

Dec 15 Wrap-Up Session (during final exam week)