STS 273
Politics without Humans?
Last Offered Fall 2019
Division II
Cross-listed STS 273 / PSCI 273 / ENVI 273
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

Are human beings the only beings who belong in politics? And is political involvement a unique or defining aspect of what it means to be human? Such questions are increasingly complex as the boundaries of “the human” become blurred by the rise of artificial intelligence, robotics, and brain implants: shifting attitudes towards both animal and human bodies; and the automation of economic and military decisions (buy! sell! attack! retreat!) that used to be the prerogative of human actors. How do visions of politics without humans and humans without politics impact our thinking about longstanding questions of freedom, power, and right? Can and should the link between humans and politics survive in an age in which “posthuman” or “transhuman” entities become central characters in the drama of politics? This class will consider these questions through readings, films and artifacts that bring political theory into conversation with science fiction, popular literature on the so-called “singularity” (the merger of humans with computers), science and technology studies, evolutionary anthropology, “new materialist” philosophy, and feminist theory.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 1852
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: three 5- to 7-page papers, regular Glow posts, class participation
Prerequisites: please note that this is an introductory-level course with no prerequisites; first-year students and those with no background in political theory are welcome, as are more experienced students
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
STS 273 Division II PSCI 273 Division II ENVI 273 Division II
Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives
ENVI Environmental Policy
PHIL Related Courses
PSCI Political Theory Courses

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