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Spring 2020

For all registration dates and deadlines, see the GC academic calendar.

Please note that this schedule is subject to change. Course descriptions are forthcoming, and there is a possibility that more cross-listed courses will be added.

2-4 Credit Grading System
2 credit courses= Pass or Fail option
4 credit courses= Letter grade


CL 782000: Fictions of the Psyche, GC: T, 4:15-6:15 p.m.,  2,4 credits, Prof. André Aciman
 
CL 80100: The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt, GC: Monday, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits, Prof. Richard Wolin
 
CL 87000: Arabian Nights, GC:  Wed, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Anna Akasoy

CL 88100: Dante's Inferno, GC:  Wed, 4:15pm-6:15pm  2,4 credits, Prof. Paola Ureni
 
CL 88500: Antonioni & Fellini, GC:, Thursdays, 4:15pm-8:00pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi, cross-listed with FSCP 81000 (Film Studies section, 3 credits)
 
CL 89000: Reading Benjamin Baudelaire, GC; Mondays: 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Joshua Wilner, 2,4 credits
 
CL 89200: History of Literary Theory & Criticism IIGC:  Tuesday, 6:30pm-8:30pm,  4 credits, Prof. Martin Elsky
 
CL 89800: Maximal /Minimal 2, GC: Wednesday, 4:15-6:15p.m. (first five weeks of the semester). 1 credit only, Prof. Mary Ann Caws, Cross-listed with Fren 87500 and Eng 8100-90
 
CTCP 71088: Critical Theory:  Foundations and Practices, GC:, Mondays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 3, credits,  Prof. John Brenkman

Cross- listed Courses

FRE 75000: Boys to Men: Virility in 19th c. France, GC:, Prof. Rachel Corkle, cross-listed with CL 80100, 2/4 credits, Tuesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm
 
FRE 87000: On Affect (Passion, Sentiments, Emotions), GC:, Prof. Domna Stanton,  cross-listed with CL 80100, 2/4 credits, Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm
 
FRE 71000: Espaces, exclusions, identités de la fin du Moyen Âge jusqu’au XVIe siècle (taught in French), GC: Wednesdays: 6:30pm-8:30pm, Prof. Francesca Sautman, 2,4 credits with CL 80100
 
FSCP 81000: Antonioni & FelliniGC: Thurs, 4:15pm-8:00pm, Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi, 3 credits with CL 88500, 2/4 credits.
 
HIST 72300: The Political Thought of Hannah ArendtGC: Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 3 credits, cross-listed with CL 80100, 2/4 credits
 
Course Descriptions
 
CL 782000: Fictions of the Psyche, GC: T, 4:15-6:15 p.m.,  2,4 credits, Prof. André Aciman

With its intricate and beguiling analysis of human motivation, psychological fiction has a long history and is known for its penetrating focus on desire, deceit and tangled web of human emotions.  The course seeks to examine how literature has portrayed the psyche, how it narrates interiority, and how language seeks to unravel the paradoxes implicit to any treatment of love. The course will also establish a typology of the genre and a vocabulary with which to investigate what the French call the roman d'analyse. Readings will include Ovid, Tristan,Boccaccio, Marguerite de Navarre, LaFayette, Cervantes, Sterne, Austen, Stendhal, Wharton, Svevo, and Proust.

CL 80100: The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt, GC: Monday, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits, Prof. Richard Wolin

In the annals of twentieth-century political thought, Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) carved out a unique and enduring niche. Today, some 40 years after her death, her political philosophy seems more relevant than ever. In 1951, she wrote the first important book on totalitarianism, perhaps the central political problem of the twentieth century. Seven years later, Arendt published her landmark contribution to European political thought, the Human Condition, in which she seeks to probe and to delineate the existential bases of human freedom. Avoiding the liberal political idiom of "rights," Arendt broaches this theme in terms of the ontological values of "plurality" and "action" – constituents of human distinctiveness that Arendt traces back to the glories of Periclean Athens. Nevertheless, she also found important modern political corollaries to "action" in the fleeting experience of direct (that is, non-representative) democracy: in the notion of "local democracy" that flourished in pre-revolutionary America and in the emergence of "workers consuls" in the course of the European revolutions of 1905, 1918, and 1956.   Our main thematic focus will concern Arendt’s central contributions to twentieth century political thought: The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951),The Human Condition (1958),andOn Revolution (1962).However, as preparation for this encounter, attention to Arendt’s formative philosophical and political influences is indispensable. Therefore, in conjunction with these works, we will also selectively read a number of background texts that will assist us in clarifying the conceptual framework that Arendt develops in her mature political works. Essential in this regard are key texts by Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics) and by Arendt’s legendary German mentor, Martin Heidegger (Being and Time). At specific junctures, Arendt’s voluminous correspondence with another celebrated mentor, Karl Jaspers, will also guide us.   Finally, the “Arendt renaissance” of recent years has been punctuated by important cinematic representations of her life and thought – a dimension of the international Hannah Arendt reception story that we will analyze and reflect upon in conclusion.
  
CL 87000: Arabian Nights, GC:  Wed, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Anna Akasoy

This course offers an introduction to the history and literary features of the example of the Arabian Nights as well as to its literary and visual adaptations. For the purposes of this course, the Arabian Nights will be treated as an open corpus which continues to expand and transform in a variety of cultural contexts and formats. We will be reading stories from the Arabian Nights in different English translations and discuss a variety of academic publications, but also take into consideration modern artistic interpretations, including examples from literature, the visual arts, film and theater. These comparative exercises will shed light on the continuing appeal of the Arabian Nights and assist us in contextualizing specific developments of the Nights within their respective historical environments. We will begin by tracking the development of the text and its visual adaptations, beginning with the earliest stories and compilations in India and Persia, continuing with the first Arabic compilation in Iraq and expansions in Syria in the medieval period, proceeding with the introduction to western Europe by way of Gatland’s early eighteenth-century French translation, and concluding with the Arabian Nights as a global phenomenon. We will discuss the institutional, intellectual and cultural circumstances which allowed for this transmission as well as account for different interpretations and adaptations. After exploring formal elements of the Arabian Nights (such as the story within a story, the significance of poetry, the classification as fairy tales, and the element of performance and story-telling), we will focus on major themes in the Arabian Nights and their adaptations in modern literature (morality, religion, magic, and power). We will discuss the appeal of the character of Shahrazad, paying attention to psychoanalytical and feminist interpretations and conclude with a discussion of the Arabian Nights in film and on stage and the impact of different media on the manner the stories are told.
 
CL 88100: Dante's Inferno, GC:  Wed, 4:15pm-6:15pm  2,4 credits, Prof. Paola Ureni

This course will read Dante’s Inferno in its entirety, and address the first canticle within the frame of the whole poem. Besides considering the relation to the purgatorial and paradisiacal dimensions, we will investigate the Infernoin connection to other works by Dante, such as the Convivioand the Vita Nuova. The course will highlight the interdisciplinary aspect of Dante’s poetry, through the consideration of different contexts, which frame – or reframe – the poet’s work. We will read the ethical failure of the infernal characters in relation to broader contemporary intellectual debates; we will explore concepts such as the idea of balance and the correspondence among philosophical, linguistic, scientific – even medical – forms of harmony, whose lack we will relate to the concept of sin in Dante. We will investigate the interrelations among different fields of knowledge – such as theology, philosophy, political thought, ethics, and science – and we will explore how they exemplify the medieval discussion about human nature. Through the attention to both content and language – more specifically identifying significant lexical threads – we will read the poet’s syncretic consideration of the relationship between classical authors and material, and contemporary theological tenets.  
 
CL 88500: Antonioni & Fellini, GC:, Thursdays, 4:15pm-8:00pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi, cross-listed with FSCP 81000 (Film Studies section, 3 credits)

This course will juxtapose the rich and complex film production of two Italian auteurs, Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. While Fellini and Antonioni’s films differ in style, narrative preference, and political orientation, they evidence a common self-reflexive concern for the relationship of cinematic images, sounds, and stories. Neorealism will serve as a starting point for an analysis of Fellini’s postmodern negotiation of autobiographical surrealism as well as Antonioni’s peculiar reframing of cinematic modernism.  This course will analyze Antonioni and Fellini’s most important films, placing their work in (film) historical contexts, and theorizing their interest in the aesthetics of cinematic representation and the politics of storytelling. Students will be asked to watch 2 movies a week, one in class and one at home, so that by the end of the course they will be familiar with the majority of these filmmakers’ work.  Films to be screened include:  Story of a Love Affair (Antonioni, 1950), La Signora Senza Camelie (Antonioni, 1953), The Vanquished (Antonioni, 1953), Love in the City (Antonioni/Fellini, 1953), Le Amiche (Antonioni, 1955), Il Grido (Antonioni, 1957), L’Avventura (Antonioni, 1960), La Notte (Antonioni, 1961), L’Eclisse (Antonioni, 1962), Red Desert (Antonioni, 1964), Blowup (Antonioni, 1966), Zabriskie Point (Antonioni, 1970), The Passenger (Antonioni, 1975), Beyond the Clouds (Antonioni, 1995), Eros (Antonioni, 2004), The White Sheik (Fellini, 1952), I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953), La Strada (Fellini, 1954), Il Bidone (Fellini, 1955), Nights of Cabiria (Fellini, 1957), La Dolce Vita (Fellini, 1960), 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963), Juliet of the Spirits (Fellini, 1965), Satyricon (Fellini, 1969), Roma (Fellini, 1972), Amarcord (Fellini, 1973), Orchestra Rehearsal (Fellini, 1978), And the Ship Sails On (Fellini, 1983), Ginger and Fred (Fellini, 1986). The course will be conducted in English and all films will be screened with English subtitles
 
CL 89000: Reading Benjamin Baudelaire, GC; Mondays: 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Joshua Wilner, 2,4 credits

The latter phase of Walter Benjamin's critical work seeks to amalgate a highly individual understanding of literary language - itself the heterogeneous product of an esoteric hermeneutics and a concept of criticism derived from early German Romanticism - with a Marxist historical materialism. Central to this project were the writings and figure of Charles Baudelaire, "A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism" in Benjamin's formulation. Benjamin's engagement with Baudelaire begins with his 1923 translation of "Tableaux Parisiens," for which his essay on "The Task of the Translator" was written as a preface, and continues through the unfinished Arcades Project, of which "convolute J" on Baudelaire is by far the largest section. In this course we will trace the evolution of Benjamin's reading of Baudelaire, beginning with his 1923 translation of Tableaux Parisiens, which his essay on "The Task of the Translator" was written as a preface, and continuing through the unfinished Arcades Project, of which "convolute J" on Baudelaire is by far the largest part. Our aim in doing so will be two-fold: to take Benjamin as a guide to reading Baudelaire, of course, but also to use the work on Baudelaire as a way of studying Benjamin's critical procedures. Readings in Baudelaire will include all of the poetry and prose poetry, and much of the critical writings. Readings in Benjamin will include the materials collected in The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire, edited my Michael Jennings, and sections of the Arcades Project.
  
CL 89200: History of Literary Theory & Criticism IIGC:  Tuesday, 6:30pm-8:30pm,  4 credits, Prof. Martin Elsky

A study of the development of thought about literature in nineteenth and twentieth centuries criticism and philosophy. The course will start from attempts to incorporate literature into patterns of aesthetic, moral, cultural, and historical coherence, and will move to the specter of incoherence, force, and trauma as the underlying impetus of literature. Readings will include Hegel, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Schleiermacher, Nietzsche, Eliot, Brooks, Auerbach, Benjamin, Levinas, Derrida, Foucault, Bhabha, Casanova.

CL 89800: Maximal /Minimal 2, GC: Wednesday, 4:15-6:15p.m. (first five weeks of the semester). 1 credit only, Prof. Mary Ann Caws, Cross-listed with Fren 87500 and Eng 8100-90
 
CTCP 71088: Critical Theory:  Foundations and Practices, GC:, Mondays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 3, credits,  Prof. John Brenkman

Starting from the tension between Marx and Weber, the seminar will explore debates and developments that inform critical theory today, focused around salient conflicts in modern and contemporary thought: 
(1) How do conflicting paradigms of society as system (Luhmann), as norm-governed institutions (Habermas), as symbolic-institutional habitus and practices (Bourdieu), or as actor-networks (Latour) bear on interdisciplinary research? (2) How to conceptualize the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of everyday life in contemporary affluent societies (Bourdieu, Sloterdijk, Habermas, Fraser, Crenshaw, Ngai)? (3) How does the Anthropocene, as concept and actuality, open concepts of the human, nature, and technology to new questioning (Chakrabarty, Latour, Sloterdijk, Descola, Arendt, Morton, Colebrook,Jonas)? 
Texts: Garth and Mills (eds.), From Max Weber(Oxford); Peter Sloterdijk, You Must Change Your Life(Polity); Pierre Bourdieu, Pascalian Meditations(Stanford); Philippe Descola, The Ecology of Others(Prickly Paradigm). 
Excerpts and essays by Marx, Jürgen Habermas, Niklas Luhmann, Bruno Latour, Nancy Fraser, Kimberle Crenshaw, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Sianne Ngai, Hans Jonas, Timothy Morton, Claire Colebrook, and others will be provided via Blackboard.
 This course requires special permission to enroll by contacting the certificate coordinator, Prof. John Brenkman.  Not open to First year students.
 
Cross- listed Courses
FRE 75000: Boys to Men: Virility in 19th c. France, GC:, Prof. Rachel Corkle, cross-listed with CL 80100, 2/4 credits, Tuesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm

In this class we will examine the nineteenth-century French novel through the lens of gender and masculinity studies and what it means in nineteenth-century France to “become a man”.  We will begin by looking at models of virility inherited from Rousseau and his libertine rivals and contemporaries and the earliest nineteenth-century Romantic manifestations of these models. We will then look at novels written during the July monarchy whose heroes, haunted by the generations before them who had asserted their manhood in Revolution and war, struggle to be all that men should be. In the second half of the semester we will look at historical novels that see their heroes prove their virility (or fail to do so) on the battlefield. Students in this seminar will gain familiarity with major movements in the nineteenth-century French novel (romanticism, realism, naturalism) and important subgenres of the period (the roman de formation, the historical novel). We will address how the nineteenth-century French novel becomes a privileged site to study how gender and genre, poetics and politics, education and expectations, intersect. This course will be taught in French.

FRE 87000: On Affect (Passion, Sentiments, Emotions), GC:, Prof. Domna Stanton,  cross-listed with CL 80100, 2/4 credits, Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm

How are passions and emotions different from affects? How do bodies perform passions, sensibility, feelings, emotions and affects? What do affects do and how do they do it? How are they shaped by their contexts?  What is the meaning and significance of the “affective turn”?  Does it mark a rejection of the idea(l) of rational self-control? How is this turn connected to studies of women (and the feminine) and to work on gender and racial embodiments and sexualities?  This course will be structured around three areas: first, theories of affect and in tandem, a study of the cultural politics and ethics of specific affects, including anger, disgust, shame, compassion and happiness. Which emotions mobilize spectators/readers into collectives/communities. Are passions both a source and an obstacle to struggles for freedom and justice? How do they include and exclude? Among the theorists: Ahmed, Artaud, Berlant, Clough,  Cvetkovich, Deleuze and Guattari, Ghandi, M. Hardt, A. Lorde, Massumi, Scheer, Sedgwick, Stewart, M. Warner. Second, we will grapple with the treatment of passions and emotions through history, especially in philosophy: from Aristotle and Cicero, Descartes, Pascal, Lebrun, Spinoza, and Kant to Darwin, W. James, Freud, Klein, and R. Williams.  And third, in conjunction with this philosophical and historical work, we will read texts (verbal, visual and musical) to see how they inscribe emotional content and how they generate affective responses from readers even when their semantics and narratives do not depict strong emotions. Is feeling as a response to cultural forms different from a human emotion? We will consider the cultural politics of emotion in the work of  Margerie of Kempe, Montaigne,  Gentileschi (Portraits of Judith) , Racine (Phedre),  Goethe (Sorrows of Young Werther), Wagner (“Leibestod”) , H. Jacobs (Life of a Slave Girl), H. James (Beast in the Jungle),  Woolf  (Mrs. Dalloway) , A. Nin (“Incest” Diary), Lanzman ( Shoah),  Beckett (Happy Days), C. Churchill  (Far Away), Irigaray (“When our Lips Speak Together”), Morrison(Beloved), Darwish (Poems),  Labaki ( Capernaum), Moore (Watchman, 2019)

FRE 71000 Espaces, exclusions, identités de la fin du Moyen Âge jusqu’au XVIe siècle (taught in French), GC: Wednesdays: 6:30pm-8:30pm, Prof. Francesca Sautman, 2,4 credits with CL 80100

Comment, entre la fin du Moyen Age et la Renaissance, les communautés et les individus qui en émanaient ou disaient les représenter, articulaient-ils les notions d’espace et d’identité au sein de l’écriture, provoquant des tensions avec les limites imposées par les contextes socio-politiques et avec d’autres référents expérientiels—ceux du genre [gender] par exemple ?  Parmi de nombreuses articulations possibles, certaines soulignent combien la conscience du soi, impliqué dans des identités historiquement précises ou dans les exclusions qui en dérivent (pour fait de religion, entre autres), est intimement reliée à la conscience des espaces (naturels, intérieurs) ou de lieux (quartiers, villes, régions, pays—soit eaux, mers, forêts, élévations, jardins…) et au poids qui leur est accordé dans ces écrits.  Ce sont les questions essentielles abordées par ce cours. Dans sa Recepte véritablede 1563, le céramiste et savant autodidacte Bernard Palissy écrivait que le bois massacré par la coupe hâtive devrait crier d’être ainsi meurtri, se ressentant charnellement de sévices infligés par les exploiteurs humains, et de même, que la terre constamment maltraitée devrait se révolter contre ses meurtriers.  Cette vision de la nature, menacée, mutilée, souffrante et devant être protégée, était sans aucun doute originale et ne cesse de surprendre aujourd’hui— Palissy était pourtant aussi de son temps à bien des égards et en particulier, par une vision de la nature et de l’environnement rattachée à son identité de Protestant fidèle et persécuté.  Le cheminement vers une telle pensée ne s’est pas effectué soudain, ni, à plus forte raison, le développement d’une perspective envers espaces et lieux marqués par une histoire individuelle ou collective, indissociables d’intégrations ou d’exclusions identitaires : lentement, et par des détours en eux-mêmes passionnants, ces idées ont pris forme depuis le Moyen Age.  Un texte comme la description du jardin dans la première partie du Roman de la Rose, celle de Guillaume de Lorris, situe bien la problématique de ce cours : évocation du lieu idéal, à la fois allégorique et poétique, son enjeu est de mettre en place un système d’adhésions et d’exclusions rigides—jeunesse-vieillesse, richesse-pauvreté—à travers une codification de l’ordre social entier où manque de pouvoir égale négativité morale. Autre exemple : Le Jeu de la  euilléed’Adam de la Halle, œuvre majeure du théâtre ancien, déjà innovatrice, où la notion médiévale de congé poétique, marquant le seuil d’une séparation dramatique (comme la séquestration pour cause de maladie) est contiguë à l’évocation de lieux familiers et étranges et de multiples formes d’altérité sociale. Avec Villon, on tourne le dos à la nature, et l’espace est nettement urbain, marqué par des lieux précis, historiques ou métaphoriques, mais bel et bien occupés par les identités de la marge. Avec Marguerite de Navarre, nous considérons la violence des espaces intérieurs, leurs liens aux affects et à une nature reconnue mais hostile, et comment ils formulent une identité à la fois personnelle et communautaire.  Le cours vous propose donc d’explorer cette pensée de l’espace/identité, ses écarts et ses tendances, ses théories, ses avancées, ses manques et ses contradictions, depuis le Moyen Age central jusqu’à la fin du 16esiècle, à travers une douzaine de textes tant littéraires que polémiques ou didactiques. 

Textes étudiés : Chrétien de Troyes ( ?1130-1194), Perceval ou le conte du Graal ; Guillaume de Lorris (c. 1200-c. 1240), Roman de la Rose1, introduction ; Adam de la Halle, Le Jeu de la Feuillée(entre 1285 et 1288) ; Christine de Pizan (1364-c. 1430) Le Livre de la Mutacion de Fortune(sections) ; François Villon (1431-c. 1463),Le Testament ; Clément Marot (1496-1544), L’ Enfer ; Marguerite de Navarre (1492-1549) Miroir de l’âme pècheresse ; Bernard Palissy (1510-c. 1590) Recepte véritable par laquelle tous les hommes de la France pourront apprendre à multiplier et augmenter leurs thrésors; Guillaume Postel (1510-1581) L’Histoire memorable des expéditions depuys le deluge faictes par les Gauloys ;  Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), sections du Journal de Voyage, et deux essais, « De l’Exercitation » et « Des Cannibales »; Agrippa d’Aubigné (1552-1630), sections du Livre I des Tragiques.  La durée d’un semestre limitant le choix de textes possibles, les textes principaux seront encadrés de manière à vous fournir un contexte plus vaste, par les lectures critiques, notes de préparation des cours, outils bibliographiques et documents visuels.  L’approche aux textes est fondée à la fois sur 1) les travaux critiques récents d’écocritique, d’études du concept de nation et des faits de colonisation, et sur la formation de la conscience de soi au Moyen Age et à la Renaissance; 2)  et sur un ensemble de textes théoriques et philosophiques modernes, dont Jane Bennett (« vibrant matter ») ; Patrick Boucheron (histoire globale et comparée), George Didi-Huberman (culture visuelle, identités, mémoire de la souffrance), Michel de Certeau (histoire et délégitimiser le pouvoir) ; Maurice Merleau-Ponty (perception, affect, environnement) et Emmanuel Levinas (éthique, nature, environnement).
Travail requis :pour 4 crédits, devoir écrit de mi-trimestre ; une préparation orale (à préciser en fonction du nombre d’inscrits dans le cours) ; un travail de recherche final substantiel, 25 pages environ. Participation : en classe et aussi électronique, « blog » à travers le site Blackboard du cours ; vous serez invité-e-s à y partager avec les autres membres du cours vos réactions, des idées sur les discussions du cours ainsi que des détails sur votre propre projet (vous avez le choix de ce que vous voulez bien mettre en ligne pour la classe).
2 crédits : un midterm (version courte), et soit une préparation orale, soit un 2edevoir écrit court,
Students outside the French Program on a 3-credit system their own program: see 4 credits, but final paper can be 15 to 10 pages, and blog is optional.
Students outside of the French Program: students in programs other than French are welcome in the course but must be able to do most (not all) of their readings in French and follow class presentations and discussions in French. They may, however, do all their work (including oral presentations and interventions in class conversations) in English. 
 
FSCP 81000: Antonioni & FelliniGC: Thurs, 4:15pm-8:00pm, Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi, 3 credits with CL 88500, 2/4 credits.

This course will juxtapose the rich and complex film production of two Italian auteurs, Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. While Fellini and Antonioni’s films differ in style, narrative preference, and political orientation, they evidence a common self-reflexive concern for the relationship of cinematic images, sounds, and stories. Neorealism will serve as a starting point for an analysis of Fellini’s postmodern negotiation of autobiographical surrealism as well as Antonioni’s peculiar reframing of cinematic modernism.  This course will analyze Antonioni and Fellini’s most important films, placing their work in (film) historical contexts, and theorizing their interest in the aesthetics of cinematic representation and the politics of storytelling. Students will be asked to watch 2 movies a week, one in class and one at home, so that by the end of the course they will be familiar with the majority of these filmmakers’ work.  Films to be screened include:  Story of a Love Affair (Antonioni, 1950), La Signora Senza Camelie (Antonioni, 1953), The Vanquished (Antonioni, 1953), Love in the City (Antonioni/Fellini, 1953), Le Amiche (Antonioni, 1955), Il Grido (Antonioni, 1957), L’Avventura (Antonioni, 1960), La Notte (Antonioni, 1961), L’Eclisse (Antonioni, 1962), Red Desert (Antonioni, 1964), Blowup (Antonioni, 1966), Zabriskie Point (Antonioni, 1970), The Passenger (Antonioni, 1975), Beyond the Clouds (Antonioni, 1995), Eros (Antonioni, 2004), The White Sheik (Fellini, 1952), I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953), La Strada (Fellini, 1954), Il Bidone (Fellini, 1955), Nights of Cabiria (Fellini, 1957), La Dolce Vita (Fellini, 1960), 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963), Juliet of the Spirits (Fellini, 1965), Satyricon (Fellini, 1969), Roma (Fellini, 1972), Amarcord (Fellini, 1973), Orchestra Rehearsal (Fellini, 1978), And the Ship Sails On (Fellini, 1983), Ginger and Fred (Fellini, 1986). The course will be conducted in English and all films will be screened with English subtitles
 
HIST 72300: The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt, GC: Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 3 credits, cross-listed with CL 80100, 2/4 credits

In the annals of twentieth-century political thought, Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) carved out a unique and enduring niche. Today, some 40 years after her death, her political philosophy seems more relevant than ever. In 1951, she wrote the first important book on totalitarianism, perhaps the central political problem of the twentieth century. Seven years later, Arendt published her landmark contribution to European political thought, the Human Condition, in which she seeks to probe and to delineate the existential bases of human freedom. Avoiding the liberal political idiom of "rights," Arendt broaches this theme in terms of the ontological values of "plurality" and "action" – constituents of human distinctiveness that Arendt traces back to the glories of Periclean Athens. Nevertheless, she also found important modern political corollaries to "action" in the fleeting experience of direct (that is, non-representative) democracy: in the notion of "local democracy" that flourished in pre-revolutionary America and in the emergence of "workers consuls" in the course of the European revolutions of 1905, 1918, and 1956.   Our main thematic focus will concern Arendt’s central contributions to twentieth century political thought: The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951),The Human Condition (1958),andOn Revolution (1962).However, as preparation for this encounter, attention to Arendt’s formative philosophical and political influences is indispensable. Therefore, in conjunction with these works, we will also selectively read a number of background texts that will assist us in clarifying the conceptual framework that Arendt develops in her mature political works. Essential in this regard are key texts by Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics) and by Arendt’s legendary German mentor, Martin Heidegger (Being and Time). At specific junctures, Arendt’s voluminous correspondence with another celebrated mentor, Karl Jaspers, will also guide us.   Finally, the “Arendt renaissance” of recent years has been punctuated by important cinematic representations of her life and thought – a dimension of the international Hannah Arendt reception story that we will analyze and reflect upon in conclusion.


Please note that some course descriptions are subject to change