ENGLISH 630 - Special Topics
Section: 002 Paradigms of Twenty-First Century Thought
Term: FA 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In this inter-disciplinary course we will read recent (twenty-first century) texts that have proven to be important interventions in contemporary debates in the humanities and the humanistically oriented social sciences. Some of the texts are notable for the theoretical/conceptual positions they advance. Others offer significant methodological innovations that have influenced further scholarship. Our discussions will consider both these aspects and we will also read these texts with an eye to their craft. Since our readings will include texts written by historians, anthropologists, literary critics, a philosopher as well as a journalist, we will be interested in asking how differently situated practitioners imagine and address their audiences, how they implicitly or explicitly credentialize themselves with this readership, and the extent to which they work within the prevalent paradigms of their interpretive communities or seek, instead, to challenge them. Thus, while many of these texts share a concern with matters of global flows and networks, our conversations will ideally move beyond a discussion of these themes to more general questions of disciplinary knowledge, inter-disciplinary possibilities, questions of method, of audience, of writing and of the potential reach of the respective works.

Ideally, this course will be of interest to graduate students from across the humanities and the interpretive social sciences allowing us fruitful interdisciplinary conversation and exchange.

Students should be prepared to read a book a week and be fully engaged in class discussions, some portions of which will be student led. In addition to leading class discussions, the assignments will include one short paper (5-6 pages) and one longer paper (15-18 pages).

Readings will most likely include:

    Priya Joshi, In Another Country: Colonialism, Culture, and the English Novel in India. Columbia University Press, 2002. Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory, 2005. W.J.T. Mitchell, What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images. University of Chicago Press, 2005. Anna Tsing, Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection. Princeton University Press, 2005. Kwame Anthony Appiah, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers. Norton, 2006. Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff, Theory From the South, Or, How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa. Routledge, 2011. Arjun Appadurai, The Future as Cultural Fact: Essays on the Global Condition. Verso, 2013. Caroline Levine, Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network. Princeton University Press, 2015. Vivek Bald, Bengali Harlem: The Lost Histories of South Asian America. Harvard University Press, 2015. Achille Mbembe, The Critique of Black Reason. Duke University Press, 2017. Bruce Robbins, The Beneficiary. Duke University Press, 2017. Naresh Fernandes, Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age. Roli Books, 2017.
ENGLISH 630 - Special Topics
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
W 6:00PM - 9:00PM
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