John E Toews
Critically examines the formation of modern Western culture, politics, and society through an historical analysis of the work of Karl Marx and the thinkers, artists, and activists who assimilated and transformed Marxian concepts from the late 19th century to the present. Offered: jointly with CHID 309.
The course examines the revolutionary transformation of European society and culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from the perspective of that culture's most radical and influential critics -- Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche. Most of the term will be devoted to an intensive analysis of the content and context of Marx's and Nietzsche's major writings. The course concludes with a discussion of selected groups of Marxists and Nietzscheans who have sustained and transformed the legacy of the great nineteenth century critics in the twentieth century.
Student learning goals
Enhance understanding of the meanings of the texts of Marx and Nietzsche by learning to read and interpret them in their historical contexts
Develop an understanding of the theoretical foundations of the major strands of secular critique of modern western Culture.
Learn to think historically about thinkers of the past as well as about themselves.
Learn to think critically and analytically about human freedom and how it is shaped by systems of labor and networks of power.
General method of instruction
An introductory course or at least some preliminary reading in nineteenth century European history and social theory.
Class assignments and grading
Students will be asked to submit regular response papers to the readings. The diary of responses will be collected and graded at mid-term and at the end of the course. A 8-10 page research and writing project will also be required. This project may involve a classroom presentation.
Response Papers (Midterm and Final) 60% Research and Writing Project 30% Participation in discussion circles and occasional in-class writing assignments 10%