ICS Calendar Title: Twentieth Century Postmodern Theories of (Inter)Subjectivity

ICS Course Code: ICS 220903 F19

Instructor: Dr. James Olthuis

Location: ICS Learning Studio, Knox College

Term and Year: Tuesdays 1:45-4:45 pm, Fall 2019

Last Updated: September 9, 2019


1. Course Description

2. Reading Schedule

3. Course Learning Goals  and Course Requirements

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

5. Required Readings

6. Some Recommended Readings

1. Course Description

This seminar will examine the philosophical anthropologies of four 20th Century post-modern  Continental philosophers:  Emmanuel Levinas, Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray and Jacques Derrida.  In addition to focusing on how each thinker develops a view of the human self in reaction to the modernist over-reliance on the thinking self, attention will be paid to considering each of the thinkers contributions to an anthropology in which “be(com)ing a “lover” is the epitome and mark of authentic humanity. Throughout this course we will look to the social and political implications of our anthropological theories and the conception of (inter)subjectivity they espouse.

2. Reading Schedule

First class on  September 16 (not Sept. 9)

September 16         Introductions, James Olthuis, The Beautiful Risk, 25-99; “Creatio ex amore,” in Transforming Philosophy and Religion

Sept. 23    Luce  Irigaray, An Ethics of Sexual Difference,  5-19, 59-71,97-115,133- 150

Sept. 30    Irigaray,  I love to You,1-68

October  7   Irigaray, I Love to You, 97-150

Oct. 14     Julia Kristeva, Tales of Love, 1-55, 170-89

Oct. 21     Kristeva, Tales of Love, 372-383, 234-265

Oct. 28     Emmanuel Levinas, Otherwise Than Being, chps. 1 and 2

November 4  Levinas, Otherwise Than Being, Ch. 3

Nov. 11          Levinas, Otherwise Than Being, Ch. 4

Nov. 18    Levinas, Otherwise Than Being, Ch. 5

Nov. 25   Jacques Derrida, “The Ends of Man,” in Margins of Philosophy

December  2  Derrida, “ There is no One Narcissism,” and “’Eating Well’, or Calculation of the Subject,” in Points 

   Dec. 9   Derrida, “Ulysses Grammaphone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce,” in  Acts of Literature

3. Course Learning Goals  and Course Requirements

Course Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

a)  Understand critically the distinctive features found within postmodern anthropologies in order to be able to write a coherent essay on the character of postmodern thought.

b) Understand critically the uniques features of the theories of (inter)subjectivity spotlighted in the seminar in order to give a presentation about human identity within an intersubjective frame.

c)  Understand the implications of theories of intersubjectivity for thinking about the social and political dimensions of human intersubjective living in order to design a workshop that would promote a more anthropologically aware sense of the social and political world in the formation of our social and political opinions.

Course Requirements

a)  Weekly reading: 30-50 pages; 1250 in total (includes research for course essay)(# of pages)

b) In-seminar leadership: Taking turns leading discussion of assigned materials.              

Description of course project: 4,000-6,000 words (MA); 5,000-7,000 words (PhD) on topic of student’s interest within the purview of the course.

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

i.         Class participation:                                        20%

ii.         In-Seminar Leadership:                                  30%

iii.         Research Project/Paper:                                50%

5. Required Readings

Emmanuel Levinas, Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1998. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B 2430 .L483 A8313 1998]

Luce Irigaray, An Ethics of Sexual Difference. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984.

[ICS Library Reserve Shelf: HQ 32 .I7513]

Luce Irigaray, I love To You. New York: Routledge, 1996.  [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B 824 .18 I7513 1996]

James H. Olthuis The Beautiful Risk. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2006. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BV 4012.2 .O58 2001]

James H. Olthuis. “Creatio ex amore,” in Transforming Philosophy and Religion, Norman Wirzba and Bruce Ellis Benson (eds.), pages 155-170. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2008. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BD 436 .T73 2008]

Jacques Derrida, “The Ends of Man” in Margins of Philosophy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,1982. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B 53 .D4713]

Jacques Derrida, “Eating Well” in Points. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B 2430 .D483 P6513 1995]

Jacques Derrida, “ There is no One Narcissism” in Points. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B 2430 .D483 P6513 1995]

Julia Kristeva, Tales of Love. NY: Columbia University Press, 1987. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BF 575 .L8 K7413 1987]

                       Jacques Derrida, “Ulysses Grammaphone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce,” in  Acts of Literature. New York: Routledge, 1992: 253-309 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: PN 98 .d43 D44 1992]


6. Some Recommended Readings

Christina Howells, Derrida: Deconstruction From Phenomenology to Ethics.  Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1999. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B 2430 .D484 H69 1998 ; Robarts Library: B 2430 .D484H69 1998]

Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1969. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BD 396 .L4313]

Jacques Derrida, Spectres of Marx.  New York: Routledge, 1994. [Robarts Library: HX39.5 .D4613 1994]

Jacques Derrida, Rogues. Stanford,CA: Stanford University Press, 2005. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: JC 497 .D4713 2005]

Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror. New York: Columbia University Press,1982. [Robarts Library: PQ2607 .E834 Z73413]

Julia Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: P 99 .K713 1984]

Kelly Oliver, Reading Kristeva.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: PN 75 .K7 O45 1993]

Luce Irigaray, Key Writings. New York: Continuum, 2004. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B 2430 .I71 I75 2004]

Marian Hobson, Opening Lines. New York: Routledge, 1998 [Pratt Library: B2430 .D484 H63 1998 ; UTL e-resource: http://go.utlib.ca/cat/7964557]

Tina Chanter, Ethics of Eros: Irigaray’s Rewriting of the Philosophers. New York: Routledge, 1995. [Robarts Library: B2430 .I744 C47 1995]

James H. Olthuis “Be(com)ing: Humankind as Gift and Call.” Philosophia Reformata 58 (1993): 153-173. [ICS Library periodical collection ; UTL e-resource: http://go.utlib.ca/cat/10084356]

James K.A. Smith and Henry Isaac Venema, ed. The Hermeneutics of Charity: Interpretation, Selfhood and Postmodern Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2004. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT83.597 .H47 2004]

Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability/health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach me and/or Student Services as soon as possible.

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