In this class, we will investigate thorny issues such as peace, love and eros, genealogy, home and at-homeness, sovereignty and language, with the goal of exploring what it means to complicate, undermine, or even reject them as essentialist categories. How do we engage in the nuances of academic study without positioning differences as otherness? How does the confrontation of these themes pave the way for harmonious co-existence? Students from the humanities and social sciences will test and develop their interests with and against these concepts through critical reading, research and debating, writing and scholarly presentations. Many disciplines may be summoned in our project, including anthropology, art history, comparative literature, film, history, peace studies, philosophy, and politics.