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Violence: Spoken and Unspeakable
ENGL 344
Fall 2012 not offered

Two powerful but conflicting accounts have animated contemporary discussions about violence. On the one side have been those, from Walter Benjamin to Michel Foucault, who have insisted that violence is intimately related to and even primarily disseminated through discourse. Increasingly powerful in recent years has been a very different view that--paradoxically--may have emerged from the former. In this account, violence is essentially unspeakable, resistant to the organizing mechanisms of cognition and representation. What theories of language, violence, cognition, and history underwrite these views? In what kinds of political arguments are they enmeshed? What is at stake in claiming that violence is either all we speak or always unspeakable? This course will trace out these views as they are articulated by both theorists and novelists, paying particular attention to role literature has played in shaping and playing out these competing conceptions of violence.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on SEP-29-2023
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