Courses for the academic year, AUT quarter, (22-23) are listed below.  You may also check the AUTUMN 2022 Course Schedules (published by the Registrar) for the most up-to-date information.  Course descriptions from previous years (and previous courses from this academic year) can be found to the left under "Course Archive."

AUTUMN 2022

26002  Literature and Hunger This undergraduate course pursues themes of hunger, the consumption of food, the formation of community, and relation to the sacred, through a sequence of readings in the Western tradition. By reading classic works (The Odyssey, selections from The Hebrew Bible and Christian Scriptures, selections from The Divine Comedy, the Letters of St. Catherine of Siena, sonnets of Shakespeare, Paradise Lost), and modern works by Kafka, Simone Weil, Louise Glück, Frank Bidart, we will examine how different philosophies have imagined the acceptance or rejection of love, life, and the sacred in terms of the symbolism of food. Class work will involve close analysis of literary works, even those in translation; intensive critical writing and revision; and secondary readings in literary criticism, anthropology, theology, and psychology. Undergraduate Seminar.  xENGL 26002, RLST 26002, Warren, R (R 2:00p – 4:50p, F 505)

31716  Xenophon's Socrates  This course is devoted to an introductory reading of Xenophon’s Socratic works, which provide the chief alternative to the account provided by Plato’s Socratic dialogues. We will read and discuss Xenophon’s Apology of Socrates, Symposium, Memorabilia, and if time permits Oeconomicus, make some comparisons to Platonic works, and consider some secondary interpretations. Themes may include piety, teaching and corruption, virtue, justice and law, economics, family, friendship, and eros.  Open to undergraduates with instructor consent. xFNDL 21718, PLSC 31716, Tarcov, N (MW 3:00p – 4:20p, F 305)

31993  Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War  Thucydides' History is the oldest great book in Greek written for publication—as a book trade was just beginning to develop in his time. One symptom of the change is the amount of instruction, explicit and implicit,  he gives the reader on how to read it. As we read these instructions, we come to be in a position to criticize the work. For instance: what were his criteria of relevance? Why does he not tell us his sources? How is it that his conception of the Greek world excludes North Africa, France, the Black Sea? Why was his book never finished? What were his personal feelings, and how are they expressed?  And so on. After some preliminary discussion I intend to focus on Books Six and Seven.  Course most suitable for students with some previous experience of studying this text.  Open to undergraduates with instructor consent. xFNDL 27005 Redfield, J (MW 10:30a – 11:50p, F 305)

36002   Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell  An intensive study of these two poets, whose work differs radically, but whose friendship nourished some of the most enduring and original poetry of the American 20th century. Close attention to the poems, in the light of recent biographical work and new editions.  Open to undergraduates. xENGL 26223/36222, Warren, R (T 2:00p – 4:50p, F 505)

37522  Aristotle's Ethics  The seminar will combine a careful reading of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics with philosophical considerations of fundamental problems involved in being human discussed in the text: happiness, virtue, courage, friendship, decision, political and contemplative life. Consent required.  xFNDL 27522, PHIL 27522/37522, Lear, J (M 1:30p – 4:20p, F 505)

38523 (GRMN)/SCTH 38523  Goethe and Kafka. Criticism and Literary History  This seminar will focus on two novels of unquestionable importance separated by just over a century: Goethe’s Die Wahlverwandtschaften (Elective Affinities) of 1809 and Kafka’s Der Prozess (The Trial), written in 1914-15, but not published until 1925. These works are notable not only for their mysterious depth and narrative complexity, but also for having attracted some of the intellectually most adventurous interpretations in the history of literary criticism. The seminar will consider examples of that criticism from Walter Benjamin’s famous essay on Goethe’s novel and his various pieces on Kafka to recent contributions by Friedrich Kittler, Tony Tanner, Roberto Calasso, and Pascale Casanova. Each work will be submitted to an intensive, detailed interpretation, with particular emphasis on the novelistic rendering of space and time, the relationship between knowledge and unknowingness, the treatment of sexuality, the forms of symbolization employed, and the processing of social energies. In this sense, the seminar is a case study in the poetics of the novel and major positions in the discussion of the novel (Lukács, Bakhtin, Pavel, Moretti, Mazzoni) will therefore provide important points of reference. Command of German is not required, although welcomed. Course is parented by GRMN. Wellbery, D (W 3:30p – 6:20p, F 505)

50128 (PHIL )/SCTH 50128     Logic-Mathematical vs. Logico-Philosophical Conceptions of Logic    The history of philosophy, from antiquity to the early twentieth century, is littered with classic works bearing titles such as The Principles of Logic, The Foundations of Logic, A Theory of Logic, and so on. Most of the major philosophers in this tradition – Aristotle, Avicenna, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, etc. – devote at least one whole treatise to Logic, and in most cases several. These works are, like their other writings, composed of sentences – sentences of Greek, Arabic, Latin or German prose. The object of such works is to elucidate notions such as thought, judgment, negation, inference, and inquiry. Starting in the late 19th- and early 20th century a new kind of work in the theory of logic appeared – published by authors such as Boole, Peano, Frege, Russell, Hilbert, etc. These works contained comparatively little prose and a great many quasi-mathematical symbols in which formulae, axioms, theorems, proofs, etc. were set forward. The latter sorts of work had an enormous influence on how the nature of the discipline of logic itself came to be understood and how its relation, on the hand, to mathematics, and, on the other, to the rest of philosophy, came to be re-conceived. This, in turn, led – through the work of authors such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, Gilbert Ryle, Peter Strawson, etc. – to a series of efforts to challenge the ascendancy of the logico-mathematical conception of logic. The seminar will explore the relation between these two different conceptions of logic. We will be interested in ways in which these conceptions, at least in the hands of some authors, were carved out in a manner that allowed them at least to appear to coincide with one another, as well as ways in which they either tacitly diverged or openly conflicted with one another. The ideas set forth in two works by Wittgenstein – his early Tractatus and his later Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics – will shape our approach to these issues. The readings for the course will include canonical texts from the classic tradition of thought about logic from Aristotle through Kant and beyond, as well as targeted selections from those of Wittgenstein’s contemporaries whom he is most concerned to criticize (especially Frege, Russell, and Hilbert). The seminar will also feature various sidelong glances at parallel developments in the Continental tradition in authors such as Husserl, Heidegger, Jakob Klein, and others.  Course is parented by PHIL.  Conant, J and Kimhi I  (W 3:00pm - 5:50pm, Location TBD)

HIST 64400/SCTH 64400 Colloquium: The Humanities, the Human, and the Nonhuman  In this course, we will read some basic classical and early modern humanist texts in European history and try to relate them to later intellectual developments, such as nineteenth-century humanism, as well as to more recent ideas about the posthuman and the nonhuman. Course is parented by HIST.  xCCCT/KNOW/SALC/SCTH 64400, Chakrabarty, D and Hartog, F (T 2:00pm - 4:50pm, F 107)

 

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