|Semester and Year||FA 2012|
|Time||3:30 PM - 6:10 PM|
Same as COLIT-UA 800.002.
The social theorist and philosopher Michel Foucault argued that critique is a powerful form of insubordination and a crucial “instrument for those who fight, resist, and who no longer want what is.” Might critical philosophy help us combat forms of injustice that appear resilient even to collective disobedience and direct action, and if so how? In this seminar we will consider the history and politics of critique: what is the nature of the persistent resistance to what is broadly called theory , and can theory, or perhaps some form of theorizing, be a meaningful mode of political resistance? If, for instance, we come to understand power as making the world and not simply dominating it, might this shift engender alternative and productive forms of political contestation and new social imaginaries? The seminar begins with a consideration of the uneasy place of critique in the western philosophical tradition, reading Plato, Kant, Marx, Foucault, and Butler among others in order to establish a sense of how critique emerges as a technique, art, or ethos that interrogates the shifting, historically specific relationships between power, truth and the subject. Together we will ask after the conditions of what can and cannot be thought or said, and how these conditions tend to shape our formation as gendered, racialized, and liberal subjects. Possible authors include: Spivak, Mahmood, Chuh, Brown.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)