Death and the Limits of Representation|
Spring 2012 not offered
|Certificates: Social, Cultural and Critical Theory|
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 secondhand) 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 by studying historical events such as the Black Death and the Shoah, we will attempt to understand the project of representation and its limits.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)
Authors to be read may include (but will not be limited to): Giorgio Agamben, Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, Edgar Allan Poe, Plato, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley.
|Examination and Assignments: |
At least one in class presentation. Three short papers.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Class attendance and active participation are essential to pass this course. Only COL Majors will be allowed to take this course on a credit/unsatisfactory basis. All others must take this course for a letter grade.
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