This course offers an introduction to the history and philosophy of friendship. We will consider friendship in relation to eros and same-sex desire; as a recurrent trope in literary history; as a mode of ethical and political thought; and as a utopian imaginary. We will reflect on the queer concept of friendship “as a way of life,” on the long history of romantic friendship, and on the transformation of friendship in the age of social media. In addition, this course will explore the classroom as a space for the rethinking of social relations. Students will be asked to participate actively in designing and leading class discussions, and to reflect on this experience in writing. Readings by authors including Plato, Montaigne, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Sarah Orne Jewett, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Michel Foucault, Samuel Delany, Adrienne Rich, Sheila Heti, and Elena Ferrante.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: in pairs, students will be expected to design and lead one class session and write about it; they will also have one other short paper (5-page) and a final paper (10- to 12-pages)
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Enrollment Preference: English majors
Distributions: Division I;
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses; PHIL Related Courses