What is love? Is it an emotion? A judgment? A way of coming to know ourselves or others? What is the point of love? Does it have a defined object, a purpose, or an end? Does it have a logic or does it defy logic? What good or evil can it do in the world? "Love and Other Useless Pursuits" is an upper level seminar that approaches these questions through a comparative history of literature, literary theory, and philosophical aesthetics. The authors we read will likely include Plato, Andreas Capellanus, Tullia d'Aragona, Margaret Cavendish, Immanuel Kant, Stendhal, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Marcel Proust, Djuna Barnes, James Baldwin, Simone de Beauvoir, bell hooks, and Lauren Berlant.