CLT 603: POSTMODERNISMS

FALL SEMESTER 2005

Prof. Hugh J. Silverman

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

THE NEW HUMANITIES BUILDING

2052

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.

DATE(S)
AUTHOR
TITLE IMAGE
NOTES
PROTOCOL

29 AUG

3 SEPT

(no class - labor day)

12 SEPT

 

Michel Foucault
THE ORDER OF THINGS (1966)

Intro to Postmodernism, Postmodern Theory, Postmodernity, The Postmodern

Foucault's Postmodern Episteme

 
19 SEPT
Roland Barthes
THE PLEASURE OF THE TEXT (1973)
Work / Text; Reading / Writing; Pleasure / Jouissance; The Place and Event of the Postmodern
 

26 SEPT

3 OCT (no class - Rosh Hashanah)

Julia Kristeva
THE PORTABLE KRISTEVA  (ed. Oliver) (1974+)  Book Cover

Semiotic / Symbolic;

Fluid / Thetic;

Poetic Language, Horror, Melancholy, Love, Strangers, Intimate Revolts

 

 

10 & 17 OCT

 

Jean Baudrillard
SIMULACRA AND SIMULATIONS (1983) Book Cover

Simulations, Simulacra;

What happened to the Real?

Living Simulations and Simulacra

 

24 OCT

1st Paper Due

Gilles Deleuze
FRANCIS BACON (1981)   

Sensation, Intensities, Surfaces of Consistency, Bodies without Organs, Deterritorialization, Anti-Oedipus, Thousand Plateaus, Distributive Postmodernisms

 

31 OCT

&

7 NOV

Jacques Derrida
ACTS OF LITERATURE (80s) 
Act, Law, Event, Meridian, Literature, Deconstruction as Postmodern Strategy
 
14 NOV
Jean-Francois Lyotard

THE INHUMAN (1988)                    

Avant-Garde / Sublime;

The Instant; The Postmodern; Events

 
21 NOV
Jean-Luc Nancy
THE SENSE OF THE WORLD (1993)

Sense, Touch, World

Mondialization / Globalization

 
28 NOV

Mario Perniola

ART AND ITS SHADOW (2003)  
Art as Transit, Society of Simulacra, Shadows of the events of Art
 

5 DEC

2nd Paper Due

Jacques Derrida / Bernard Stiegler
ECHOGRAPHIES (2000?)   

Deconstructing Television,

Postmodern Medialization

 
Recommended Background Reading
 
Hugh J. Silverman
TEXTUALITES: BETWEEN HERMENEUTICS AND DECONSTRUCTION

Hermeneutics, Interrogation, Deconstruction,

Framing the Postmodern

Textualties of the Postmodern