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CHID 390 A: Colloquium In The History Of Ideas

The Politics of Life

Meeting Time: 
TTh 12:30pm - 2:20pm
Location: 
MGH 085
SLN: 
12369
Instructor:
Maria Elena Garcia
María Elena García

Syllabus Description:

Welcome to CHID 390. The CHID colloquium is a reading and discussion course that has traditionally focused on theoretical and practical problems of interpretation and knowledge production. In this course, we will examine ethnographic, philosophical, and historical accounts, as well as theoretical essays and literary texts that demonstrate a range of cross-cultural interpretive strategies. Throughout the quarter we will also explore the “politics of interpretation and representation”: the ways in which different perspectives and practices are tied to intellectual, political, social and economic power.

Our readings and discussions this fall will focus on the broad theme of “life.” More specifically, we will expand discussions of “life” to include non-human others; we will expand our thinking about love, loss, and grief; we will consider the politics of vulnerability; who lives at the margins; who lives in conditions of “slow death” as Lauren Berlant might put it. Other questions we will consider: what happens when we consider the possibility that “rocks listen” and “earth-beings” (such as rivers and glaciers) speak? Are spiders and snails self-aware? Can robots suffer? Are plants intelligent? It is my hope that our rigorous examination of these and other issues will serve as windows through which we can view the workings of alterity and marginalization as well as survey pathways to alternative and better futures. 

You can find the entire syllabus here

Additional Details:

Our course will focus on the broad theme of “life.” More specifically, we will expand discussions of “life” to include non-human others; we will expand our thinking about love, loss, and grief; we will consider the politics of vulnerability; who lives at the margins; who lives in conditions of “slow death” as Lauren Berlant might put it. Other questions we will consider: what happens when we consider the possibility that “rocks listen” and “earth-beings” (such as rivers and glaciers) speak? Are spiders and snails self-aware? Can robots suffer? Are plants intelligent? It is my hope that our rigorous examination of these and other issues will serve as windows through which we can view the workings of alterity and marginalization as well as survey pathways to alternative and better futures.

Catalog Description: 
Basic theoretical issues in the comparative history of ideas as a disciplined mode of inquiry; examination of representative historical figures and problems. Primarily for majors. Prerequisite: CHID 101.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:12am
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