COMP 327
Theory after Postmodernism: New Materialisms and Realism
Last Offered Spring 2014
Division II
Cross-listed COMP 327 / REL 327
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

Since the 1970s much of the academy has labored under a particular form of linguistic skepticism (often called postmodernism or poststructuralism) that is directed at the destruction of stable conceptions of subjectivity and meaning. It is often said that everything is a text and that all knowledge is power. But just as the typewriter has given way to the computer and disco to dubsteb, as we exit postmodernity new philosophies are appearing on the conceptual horizon. This course will layout this challenge to postmodernism by exploring the work of cutting edge theorists in French and American movements known as new materialism, speculative realism, and actor-network theory. Often drawing on work in ecology, feminism, science studies, neuroscience and complexity theory, these thinkers aim to reclaim knowledge of the real world, to suture the separation between the sciences and the humanities, and to overturn what they see as the dualism between matter (as dead or inert) and mind (as the locus of life and agency). By so doing, they claim to empower the object-world and dethrone humanity from the center of philosophy. Thinkers to be considered may include: Karen Barad, Jane Bennett, Bruno Latour, Catherine Malabou, Quentin Meillassoux and Bernard Stiegler. While the relevance of these movements to the study of religion will be discussed, this course is intended for students of any major who wish to study critical, political, or philosophical theory.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 10
Class#: 3587
Grading: OPG
Requirements/Evaluation: regular participation and attendance, regular short writing assignments, 10- to 15-page final paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none, although prior coursework in critical theory, political theory, or continental philosophy is strongly recommended
Enrollment Preferences: Religion, Philosophy and Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under REL; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 327 Division II REL 327 Division II

Class Grid

Updated 12:26 am

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