CLT 603: POSTMODERNISMS
FALL SEMESTER 2005
Prof. Hugh J. Silverman
Mondays 7:00-10:00 p.m.
Office: Harriman Hall 203 / Office Hours: Tues 3-5 and by appointment / Office Phone: 631-632-7592.
TOPIC: 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?
PURPOSE: 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.
PAPERS: Each student is to write two papers (about 8-10 pages in length).
The first paper should be concerned with the writings of Foucault, Barthes, Kristeva, and Baudrillard, indicating the relationship of their views to a postmodern theory of contemporary culture, literature, arts, and society. The second paper should deal substantially with the theoretical writings of Deleuze, Derrida, Lyotard, Nancy, and Perniola.
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, textualities, the differences between nomads, strangers, friends, subjects, singularities, the application of particular postmodern theories to specific texts, paintings, or cultures. Or the two papers could be independent of each other.
Papers are due on Oct 24th and Dec. 5th respectively.
PROTOCOL: 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.
TEXTS: Texts will include selections from the writings of Foucault, Barthes, Kristeva, Derrida, Deleuze, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Perniola, Nancy, and Stiegler-Derrida.
CLT 603: POSTMODERNISMS (FALL 05) SCHEDULE OF READINGS
Specific selections from the books indicated below will be announced during the seminar. Seminar participants will be given guidance as to which portions of texts should be emphasized.