ENGL 440
Wittgenstein and Literary Studies Spring 2018 Division I; Writing-Intensive; Cross-listed as COMP440 / ENGL440
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Wittgenstein is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in twentieth-century philosophy, yet his groundbreaking writings remain perplexingly under-appreciated in the world of literary studies. In this course we will address this shortcoming in two ways. First, we will familiarize ourselves with some of Wittgenstein’s key works (and the works of thinkers deeply influenced by him, like Stanley Cavell and Cora Diamond) and try to see what is so radical about them. Second, we’ll explore the still untapped potential of Wittgenstein’s writings for those of us whose primary home is in the field of literary studies. Topics and concepts we may cover include: meaning, intention, and interpretation (Derrida, de Man); ethical alterity and the concept of the Other (Levinas); sex, gender, and the body (Butler, Foucault, Moi); emotion, affect, and expression (Deleuze, Terada, Adorno); authenticity, voice, and style (Fried, Taylor); modernism and modernity (Pippin); experimental writing (Perloff, Bruns); and the relationship between humans and animals (Wolfe). Some prior experience with philosophy and/or literary theory will obviously be helpful but is not necessary. This course will have much to offer students who are majoring in English, Comparative Literature, or Philosophy. If you have questions about this course and its suitability for you and your intellectual interests, feel free to contact me at [email protected]
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3861
Requirements/Evaluation: quality of class participation, a final 20- to 25-page research paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: a 100-level English course or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preference: English majors, by seniority; then Comparative Literature and Philosophy majors
Distributions: Division I; Writing-Intensive;
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses; PHIL Related Courses;

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