January – March 2010

From Adorno to Zizek: Open lecture and debate sessions on key issues in contemporary philosophy

Participants in the lecture series should read at least one of the primary sources listed for each week. These recommendations are a small selection from the material available in the library. There is also plenty of material available on the web. The lectures introduce key ideas, but those students pursuing the MA Programme in Cultural and Critical Theory will explore these in more detail in their seminar presentations and discussions.

Week 1 : 5 January 2010
From Adorno’s Negative Dialectic to Habermas’s Deliberative Democracy (Mark Devenney)

Adorno, T Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life. Trans. E.F.N. Jephcott. London: Verso, 1974.
Adorno, T Negative Dialectics. Trans. E.B. Ashton. New York: Seabury Press, 1973.
Habermas, J. ‘Modernity: An Incomplete Project’ in Postmodern Culture, (ed. Hal Foster), London, Pluto, 1987
Habermas, J. The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, Cambridge, Mass, MIT Press, 1987, Ch. 11 and 12.

Week 2: 12 January 2010
Althusser and Gramsci: The Politics of Over-determination and Hegemony: Rethinking Marx (Mark Devenney)

Antonio Gramsci, ‘The Revolution against Capital’, in Selections from Political Writings (1910-1920), Lawrence and Wishart, London 1977, pp. 34-7.
Althusser, L., For Marx, Verso, London and New York, 1990, chs 3,4,5 & 7.

Week 3: 19 January 2010
Second Wave Feminisms (Gill Scott)

Firestone, S. The Dialectic of Sex, 1970, Women’s Press, 1979.
Mitchell, J. Woman’s Estate, Harmondsworth, 197.1.

Week 4: 26 January 2010
Structuralism and Semiotics (Mark Devenney)

De Saussure, Ferdinand. Course in General Linguistics. Ed. Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye. Trans. Roy Harris. London: Duckworth, 1983. Introduction (excluding appendix on phonology) and Parts 1 and 2.
Barthes, Roland. ‘Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative’. Image, Music, Text. Trans. Stephen Heath. London: Fontana, 1977. 79-124.

Week 5: 2 February 2010
Deconstruction: The limits of unlimited semiosis (Mark Devenney)

Derrida, Jacques. ‘Signature Event Context’. Trans. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman. Limited Inc. Ed. Gerald Graff. Evanston, IL.: Northwestern University Press, 1988. 1-23.
Derrida, Jacques ‘Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences’. Writing and Difference. Trans. Alan Bass. London: Routledge, 1978. 278-93.

Week 6: 9 February 2010, Reading Week

Week 7: 16 February 2010
Foucault: Power, knowledge and rationality (Mark Devenney)

Foucault, M ‘Truth and Power’ in Power, London, Penguin, 1994, pp. 111-133.
Foucault, M ‘Governmentality’ in Power, London, Penguin, 1994, pp. 201-222.

Week 8: 23 February 2010
Post-structuralist Feminisms: Butler and Cixous on the Politics of Gender (Mark Devenney)

Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, London, Routledge, 1990, (selections). and Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’, London, Routledge, 1994, (selections).
Le Doeuff, Michelle, ‘Long Hair, Short Ideas’ in The Philosophical Imaginary, London, The Athlone Press, 1989, pp. 100-129.

Week 9: 2 March 2010
Giorgio Agamben on Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Mark Devenney)

Agamben, Giorgio Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Stanford University Press, pp. 1-29 and 119-145.

Week 10: 9 March 2010
Zizek: Rethinking ‘Truth’ after Postmodernism (Mark Devenney)

Zizek, S ‘The Obscene Knot of Ideology and How to Untie It’ in The Parallax View, London, MIT Press, 2005, pp. 330-387.

Week 11: 16 March 2010
Laclau and Ranciere: Reconceptualising the Political (Mark Devenney)

Laclau, Ernesto ‘Concluding Reflections’ in On Populist Reason, London, Verso, 2005, pp. 223-250.
Ranciere, Jacques  ‘Who is the Subject of the Rights of Man?’ (http://www.16beavergroup.org/mtarchive/archives/001879.php)
Ranciere, Jacques Disagreement, Minnesota University Press, pp. 95-140.

Week 12: 23 March 2010
Badiou: Love, Art, Science and Politics: The Truth Conditions of Philosophy (Mark Devenney)

Badiou, A ‘Preface’ to Logics of Worlds, London, Continuum, 2009, pp. 1-40.
Badiou, Alain ‘Against Political Philosophy’ and ‘Politics as Truth Procedure’ both in Metapolitics, London, Routledge, 2005.

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