Spring 2016

PSP 760: “Introduction to Psychoanalytic Studies"
F 1:00-4:00 PM

No permission is required for the class.

Content: The course will introduce students to the vast terrain of psychoanalytic theory as articulated by Freud and subsequent theorists, with special emphasis on the Anglo-Saxon and French extensions of psychoanalytic thought. We will explore some of the key concepts of psychoanalysis (the unconscious, repression, drive etc.) as well as the relation between psychoanalytic theory and technique. As we follow some of the major movements of psychoanalytic thought, attention will be paid to the convergences and differences between them. For instance, we will see that French psychoanalytic theory, after Lacan, is far from being univocal. André Green and Jean Laplanche propose theoretical elaborations that significantly differ from each other and from Lacan in their respective questioning of his conception of the unconscious.

Texts may include:

Sigmund Freud: “The Unconscious,”Repression,” "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality" [selections], "The Ego and the Id" [selections], "Beyond the Pleasure Principle"
Melanie Klein:  “A Contribution to the Psychogenesis of Manic-Depressive States,” “Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms,” “The Origins of Transference”
D. W. Winnicott: "Playing and Reality"  [selections], “Hate in the Countertransference,“Fear of Breakdown,” “Ego Distortion in Terms of True and False Self”
Lacan: “The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis”
André Green:  "The Dead Mother,"  "The work of the Negative" [selections]
Jean Laplanche: "New Foundations for Psychoanalysis" [selections], "The Unconscious and the Id" [selections]


CPLT 751 000: "Art and Acts of Justice (Literature, Psychoanalysis and Law)"
M 4:00-7:00 PM

Content: A study of scenes of judgment in literature, art and philosophy, focusing on literature’s specific ways of dealing with injustice (and with trauma) in various literary, psychoanalytic, political and legal circumstances.  We will examine both (great) literary texts and actual trials, dramas of great literary writers brought to court because of their innovative work, perceived as having pushed the boundaries of the accepted social  standards. We will try to understand: What does literature mean, and why is it important, why does it matter?  Why does a pathbreaking work of art provoke each time not just a controversy but a larger cultural crisis? Topics under discussion include the interaction between justice, truth, desire, censorship, testimony, injury, memory, exile, and cross-cultural, global exchanges.

Texts: by Sophocles (Oedipus Rex, Antigone), Molière (Tartuffe), Gustave Flaubert (Three Tales), Charles Baudelaire (The Essence of Laughter, Flowers of Evil), Oscar Wilde (The Artist as Critic, Lady Windermere’s Fan, De Profundis), Moises Kaufman (Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde), Sigmund Freud (from The Interpretation of Dreams), Jacques Lacan (from The Ethics of Psychoanalysis), Jean Anouilh (Antigone), Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird).

Particulars: Two short papers (Spread throughout the semester); weekly reading responses (1-2 pages reflections (draft notes) on the week’s reading assignments); oral presentations; regular attendance; active participation in class discussion.

[Cross-listed with ENG 789, FREN 780, PHIL 789, LAW 621] (Undergrad Permission Only)

CPLT 751 002: "Foucault"
W 2:00-5:00 PM

Content: This course will explore the writings of the French philosopher Michel Foucault. We will focus in particular on his history of madness, his conception of genealogy, the rise of sexuality, the power of normalization, the disciplinary and biopolitical specification of bodies, and the production of deviance in the modern era. The course provides an opportunity to read in depth across a wide range of Foucault’s work rather than to examine how his work has been used by others. It is appropriate for students in a variety of disciplines and interdisciplines, with a primary aim to provide a foundation for assessing how Foucault has contributed to the elaboration of queer and feminist understandings of sexuality.

Texts: Readings include History of Madness, Abnormal, Discipline and Punish, History of Sexuality Volume One, and selected essays.

Particulars: TBA

[Cross-listed with WGSS 589, PHIL 789]

WGS 585: "Gender Activism, Movements"
Tu 2:00-5:00 PM

Content: This collaborate course will explore how the “affective turn,” or the recent move to focus on emotions and affect across the contemporary academy, has been taken up by scholars working at the nexus of Political Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Some likely texts are listed below, but we will spend time together mapping out this field of inquiry and fine tuning the syllabus to reflect class member interests. No prior background required. 

Possible Texts:

Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth, eds., The Affect Theory Reader (Duke, 2010)
Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick, Touching, Feeling: Affect, Performativity, Pedagogy (Duke, 2003)
Kathleen M. Blee, Inside Organized Racism: Women in the Hate Movement (California, 2003)
Sara Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion (Routledge, 2004)
Patricia Clough and Jean Halley, eds., The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social (Duke 2007)
Deborah Gould, Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT-UP’s Fight Against AIDS (Chicago 2009)
Sara Ahmed, The Promise of Happiness (Duke 2010)
Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism (Duke 2011)
Elisabeth R. Anker, Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom (Duke, 2014)
Brian Massumi, Politics of Affect (Duke 2015)
Judith Butler, Senses of the Subject (Fordham, 2015)
Paula Ioanide, The Emotional Politics of Racism (Stanford, 2015)

Particulars:  Active participation in seminar discussions, short weekly writing assignments, and a final seminar paper.

WGS 589: "New Feminist Materialisms"
M 2:00-5:00 PM

Content: In recent years there has been growing attentiveness to questions of materiality or ontology in feminist/queer theory.  This scholarship (perhaps erroneously labeled “new”) has been interested in a number of problematics: signification and materiality; the politics of epistemology and ontology; the agency of objects; the politics of the posthuman or inhuman; the cogency of vitalism. This course will not survey this large and divergent body of research.  Instead it will provide students with a conceptual framework for reading, engaging, using, and critiquing the so-called “turn to materialism” in feminist and queer theory.  In this course we will investigate the “old” materialities (e.g., the linguistic) that the new scholarship is said to supplant, we will engage with the surveys of the field that have been so influential is the emergence of the “new” materialities, and we will closely read a number of key texts (e.g., Karen Barad; Jane Bennett; Catherine Malabou; Elizabeth Grosz; Mel Y Chen) that speak directly to questions of materiality, gender, sexuality, and race. The course will enable students to think critically about what these theories of materiality can, and cannot, do for feminist and queer inquiry.