John E Toews
The Lives of Others: The Question of Ethics after the Death of God and Death of Man.
The participants in the colloquium will engage in an historical examination of attempts to imagine community beyond identity, and to construct a post-metaphysical universalist ethics, in European thought at various moments since the 1930s. Special attention will be given to the analysis of “the other” in the work of “Heidegger’s children” (particularly Levinas, Arendt and Marcuse), among prominent French theorists in the wake of the events of May,1968 (particularly Foucault and Derrida ), in the Discourse Ethics of Habermas and his followers after 1980, within late 20th Century French feminist theory (especially in relation to Lacanian Psychoanalysis), and more generally in Anglo-American literary-cultural theory and human rights discourse after the waning of the Cultural Studies and New Historicist waves of the 1980s. A specific focus on one or more of these topics and groups of texts may emerge from the interests and competencies of the participants in the colloquium. Registered participants will be expected to write one 5-page book review and a 15-20-page historical, contextual analysis of a major text or other cultural artifact. Variable Credit (3-6)
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
This class is intended for history graduate students.
Class assignments and grading
Class assignments and grading will be outlined in the course syllabus.