WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2023-2024       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
Death and the Limits of Representation

COL 282
Spring 2024
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: HIST 284
Course Cluster and Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate

The disciplines of history, philosophy, and literature all hinge on the issue of representation. The ability to communicate ideas, visions, or arguments all depend on the ability to represent these abstract notions in a concrete and recognizable form. In this course we will problematize the basis of all three disciplines by exploring Death as the limit of representation: as that which is ultimately unknowable (or knowable only second-hand) and thus beyond representation. Indeed, what is the concept of the "ghost" but an attempt to represent someone who is dead in the recognizable form of the body that once lived. Yet, the ghost appears and disappears, is not bound by the laws of time or space, and is largely present in its absence. By exploring texts by such authors as Plato, Shakespeare, Poe, Derrida, Levinas, Mbembe, and Hartman, and studying historical events such as the "black death," the Middle Passage, and the Shoah, we will attempt to understand the project of representation and its limits.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA COL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CSCT)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUL-18-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459