Introduction to Posthumanist Thought - AAALE023AE
Poslední úprava: Mgr. David Vichnar, Ph.D. (03.02.2020)
For more information about the course, click on the link next to "Is provided by" above. Please note, that to enroll in this course you should have a level of C1 in English.
Erasmus students should NOT sign up for the version of this course marked "graded paper".
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the main premises, issues and arguments of posthumanist thinking and the developments it has gone through from the 1990s to the present. It will proceed from a wide definition to posthumanism as a line of thought that depends on redefining the concepts of subjectivity and agency.
The course will present the students with a selection of texts demonstrating the different perspectives from which the humanist subject has been “attacked” and redefined over the last three decades – among others, (xeno)feminism, animal studies, gender studies, environmentalism. Towards the second half of the course the students will get to consider the problem of representation inherent in the posthumanist shift and the representational strategies that allow for destabilization of the subject.
Accordingly, the course will include two sessions devoted to 6 films that will provide the platform to analyze posthumanist representations and serve as an opportunity to revise the material covered in the first part of the course. The end of the course will focus on the contemporary ecological crisis as a problem of thinking and imagination.
Week 1 Introduction: Searching for a definition.
(Feb 18) “What is Posthumanism” in Cary Wolfe, What Is Posthumanism? (2009).
Week 2 Introduction to Posthumanism: After the Subject?
(Feb 25) Jacques Rancière, “After What,” in Who Comes After the Subject? (1991).
Week 3 After the Human
(Mar 3) N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics (1999) – excerpts.
Rosi Braidotti, The Posthuman (2013) – excerpts.
Week 4 After the Animal (1)
(Mar 10) Matthew Calarco, Zoographies: The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida (2008) – excerpts.
Jacques Derrida, “And Say the Animal Responded?” Zoontologies (2003).
Week 5 After the Animal (2)
(Mar 17) Donna J. Haraway, When Species Meet (2007) – excerpts.
Susan McHugh, Animal Stories: Narrating Across Species Lines (2011) – excerpts.
Week 6 After Gender (1)
(Mar 24) Leo Bersani, “Is the Rectum a Grave?” (1987).
Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: An Introduction (1990) – excerpts.
Week 7 After Gender (2)
(Mar 31) Lee Edelman, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004).
Nicole Seymour, Strange Natures: Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination (2013) – excerpts.
Week 8 After Gender (3)
(Apr 7) Helen Hester, Xenofeminism (2018).
Xenofeminism – Guest Lecturer Vít Bohal, M.A.
Week 9 After All: Posthumanism and the Violence of Representation.
(Apr 14) Benjamin Noys, “The Violence of Representation and the Representation of Violence,” Violence and the Limits of Representation (2013).
Judith Butler, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? (2016) – excerpts.
Discussion of movies: Ridley Scott, Blade Runner (1982), Derek Jarman, Edward II (1991), Claire Denis, The Intruder (2004).
Week 10 After All: Posthumanism and the Violence of Representation.
(Apr 21) N. Seymour, “It’s Just Not Turning Up: AIDS, Cinematic Vision, and Environmental Justice in Todd Haynes’s Safe” from Strange Natures (2011)
Discussion of movies: Sally Potter, Orlando (1992); Todd Hayne, Safe (1995), Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, They (2017).
Week 11 The Environmental Crisis: Anthropocene or Capitalocene.
(Apr 28) Val Plumwood, Environmental Culture: the Ecological Crisis of Reason (2002) –
Jason W. Moore, Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (2016).
Week 12 The Environmental Crisis: Ways Out
(May 5) Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene (2016).
Louis Armand, “The posthuman abstract: AI, DRONOLOGY & “BECOMING ALIEN”” (2018).
Week 13 Conclusion. Jacques Derrida, “'Eating well', or the calculation of the subject: an (May 12) interview with Jacques Derrida” (1991).
Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1980).
Derrida, Jacques. The Animal That Therefore I Am (2002).
hooks, bell. Outlaw culture: resisting representations (1994).
Kovel, Joel. The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World? (2012).
Patel, Raj and Jason W. Moore. A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things (2018).
Russo, Vito. The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies (1987).
Žižek, Slavoj Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism (2015).
To obtain credit all students are expected to read the assigned texts, actively participate in the seminar, with a maximum of 3 absences, send an email posting before every session, and submit a final paper, 4 000 words by the end of June (individual extension possible after consultation).
MAILING LIST POSTING
A mandatory part of active participation in the course will be a weekly email posting of a student’s individual critical response (around 200 words) regarding any issue emerging from the week’s primary reading. The posting should be sent to the instructor via email at least one day before the respective session.
Every session (90 minutes) will include:
(1) a brief presentation of the assigned texts by the instructor
(2) a student-led discussion of the texts’ main points and how they fit into the posthumanist framework.
CREDITS AND GRADES
Exam (25% participation, 25% email postings, 50% final paper) / Credits: 5