The Ends of Empire: Narratives of Culmination and Decline in Philosophy and Literature|
Spring 2014 not offered
|Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory|
|Course Cluster: Christianity Studies|
This course aims to theorize and contextualize current left- and right-wing discourses on empire in decline and to pay particular attention to the narrative techniques deployed by philosophers and writers to conjure the specter of decline. Because decline is conceptually inseparable and at times even indistinguishable from culmination, it resists easy valorization. To understand decline, its story must be told; it only becomes distinguishable from culmination or fulfillment and, as well, from fall or collapse, in being given narrative form. Both the philosophical and literary texts studied in this course tell stories of culmination and decline that reflect on one another in surprising ways. Thus, we will read them in comparative fashion.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)
G.W.F. Hegel, INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY
Karl Marx, "The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte"
Friedrich Nietzsche, TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS AND THE ANTI-CHRIST
Francis Fukuyama, "The End of History?"
Oswald Spengler, THE DECLINE OF THE WEST
Walter Benjamin, THE ORIGIN OF GERMAN TRAGIC DRAMA
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, EMPIRE
W.G. Sebald, THE RINGS OF SATURN
Christoph Ransmayr, THE LAST WORLD
Franz Kafka, "Building the Great Wall of China" and "In the Penal Colony"
J.M. Coetzee, WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS
Samuel Beckett, ENDGAME
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