Thinking with Things (FYS)|
Fall 2019 not offered
This course explores the ways in which we think and act in relation to things. At times provocations for thought, at times emotional companions or functional collaborators, things are not only symbolic carriers of the values and meanings that we assign, but are also actors with agency and subjectivity. We critically consider the implications of this and the role of things in a variety of contexts from the historical to the emotional to the sociocultural to the sacred. The course considers how we make, use, and consume things and how, in turn, things make, use, and consume us. Transdisciplinary in its orientation, this course draws insight from anthropology, cultural studies, philosophy, material studies, art, and design. We will examine a number of projects dealing with objects and these will serve as inspirational, theoretical, and methodological models for the projects students will develop over the course of the semester.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Readings include a variety of articles and excerpts including, but not limited to:
Sarah Ahmed, ORIENTATIONS: TOWARD A QUEER PHENOMENOLOGY
Hannah Arendt, THE HUMAN CONDITION
Jane Bennett, VIBRANT MATTER
Levi Bryant, THE DEMOCRACY OF OBJECTS
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, WHY WE NEED THINGS
Emile Durkheim, GENESIS OF THE NOTION OF THE TOTEMIC PRINCIPLE OR MANA
Martin Heidegger, THE THING
Georges Perec, THINGS: A STORY OF THE SIXTIES
Elaine Scarry, THE BODY IN PAIN: THE MAKING AND UNMAKING OF THE WORLD
Sherry Turkle, EVOCATIVE OBJECTS
Langdon Winner, DO ARTIFACTS HAVE A POLITICS?
|Examination and Assignments: |
Several short writing assignments, peer review of essays, and a final research project and presentation.
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