Anthropos and the Archive|
Fall 2009 not offered
HIST 299, COL 338, FGSS 338, ANTH 310, AMST 338|
To explore this year's Center for the Humanities theme, "Figuring the Human," this course will address various theories of the archive and the way the idea of the "human" comes to figure within them. We will explore how subjectivity emerges in relation to the knowledge body that is the archive--both as the subject doing the archiving and as the subject that comes to be archived. By examining such critical works as Walter Bejamin's THE ARCADES PROJECT and the "Theses on the Philosophy of History," Michel Foucault's ARCHAEOLOGY OF KNOWLEDGE and THE ORDER OF THINGS, and Jacques Derrida's ARCHIVE FEVER, among others, we will begin to uncover the various methodologies of knowledge production and the way that these form the way we think of and define ourselves. In addition to short response papers, the course will be structured around a longer, more sustained research project of the students' own choosing. While exploring the theory of archives, students will be asked to perform their own archival research in the Wesleyan University archives and special collections. They will be encouraged to incorporate all aspects of their enounter with the archive into their final projects (archival prohibitions, the rules of archival handling, logics of organizaton, etc.). We will also concentrate on each student's developing his or her own voice in relation to the critical voice that is encouraged within traditional archival research.
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|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
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First-year students and sophomores may be admitted during drop/add if spaces remain and the instructor finds them adequately prepared. Students must be comfortable with theoretical discourse and composition, but no previous archival experience is necessary. Majors that offer the best preparation are: Anthropology, Art & Art History, (Studio Art students are encouraged to participate); Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies; and Philosophy. Because the course is structured around archival research of each student's own choosing, however, students from other majors are encouraged to enroll if they are interested in performing their own research using primary sources. Such majors may include (but are not limited to) American Studies; College of Social Studies; English; Film Studies; German Studies; Government; History; Neuroscience and Behavior; Psychology; Religion; the Science in Society Program; Sociology and Theater.
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