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Death and the Limits of Representation
COL 232
Spring 2007 not offered
Crosslisting: HIST 297

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, and Levinas; and studying historical events such as the "black death" and the Shoah, we will attempt to understand the project of representation and its limits.

Essential Capabilities: Speaking, Writing
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA COL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)

Last Updated on OCT-04-2023
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