Courses

Vanderbilt University, Fall 2017

Divinity 5491 / Religion 5491 Apophatic Thought and Culture  syllabus: apophatic thought.F.2017

Hons 1810W: College Honors Seminar in Humanities and the Creative Arts: Dante and the Foundations of Modern Western Civilization Dante II.5

Vanderbilt University, Spring 2017

Divinity 5492 / Religion 5492. Dante and Theology Dante and Theology.syllabus

Italian / European Studies 3240 Dante’s Divine Comedy Dante I -Spring 2017

Vanderbilt University, Fall 2016

FRENCH 7080. French Theory and Apophatics (Graduate, taught in French) syllabus

DIV 5491. Apophatic Thought and Culture (Divinity, Graduate)  syllabus

ITA / European Studies 3242. Dante in Historical Context (Advanced Undergraduate) syllabus

University of Macao (China), Fall 2015

MA course (ENG767): Special Topics in Literature: Comparative Literature and Philosophy: Theory and Practice of Figurative Language (Metaphor, Allegory & Symbol)                              Wednesdays 7 -10 pm

Course Syllabus: Comparative Literature and Philosophy: Theory and Practice of Metaphor, Allegory & Symbol

University of Macao (China), Spring 2015

PhD course (PHRS802): Special Topics in Philosophy and Religion

PhD and MA seminar: Universals—Cognitive, Cultural, Linguistic, and Imaginative

University of Macao (China), Fall 2014

PhD course (PHRS802): Special Topics in Philosophy and Religion

PhD and MA seminar Fall 2014.2

MA course (ENG767): Special Topics in Literature

University of Macao (China), Spring 2014

PhD Course: Intercultural Philosophy and Religion

PHRS801-001 Intercultural Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy PhD course S2014 in Intercultural Philosophy of the Unsayable.1

William Franke TUE 19:00 22:00 J314 (can be audited by MA students and enrolled by PhD students)

University of Macao (China, SAR), Fall 2013

MAEA 766 Religion and Literature

Macau Daily Times

University of Macao (China, SAR), Spring 2013

MAEA 53 Philosophy and Literature

syllabus
Chinese Classics
UMMoodle Web Resources

Vanderbilt University, Courses for Fall 2012

RLST 140 Great Books of Literature and Religion

syllabus
Introductory Lecture for downloading

Divinity 3551 / Religion 3551: Postmodern Thought in the Wake of the Death of God

syllabus

Vanderbilt University, Courses for Spring 2012

Div 388 / RLST 246  Apophatic Mysticism and Culture

syllabus

Nagarjuna’s 8 Negations
Nishida’s “General Summay” in conclusion to The System of Self-Conscioussens of the Universal

ITA 231/ RLST 231 Dante’s Divine Comedy

syllabus

Vanderbilt University, Courses for Spring 2010

Div 388 / RLST 294  Postmodern Theologies and A/theologies

syllabus

ITA 231/ RLST 231 Dante’s Divine Comedy

syllabus

Vanderbilt University, Courses for Fall 2009

DIV 3910-01 / REL 3910-01 / RLST 294  Apophatic Theology and Culture

syllabus

Revised schedule of readings

RLST 140: Great Books of Religion and Literature: Foundations of Western Humanities Tradition

syllabus

Vanderbilt University, Courses for Spring 2009

RLST 140: Great Books of Religion and LIterature: Foundations of Western Humanities Tradition

syllabus

Italian 231: Dante’s Divine Comedy

syllabus

Vanderbilt-en-Aix, printemps,  2008

FR 211: Textes et Contextes: du Moyen Age à 1850

syllabus

Picture: Laurence et moi

FR 256. Existentialisme en Philosophie, Littérature et Théologie

syllabus

Picture Poem Picture

Vanderbilt-en-Aix, autumn,  2008

Français 220: Introduction à la littérature française

Syllabus

Maupassant, Le Horla

Sartre, “La république du silence”

Français 256: Existentialisme en Philosophie, Littérature, et Théologie

Syllabus

Jean-Paul Sartre, “Existentialisme est un humanisme”
Extraits de L’Être et le néant
Gabriel Marcel, Le mystère ontologique pdf.

Traits communs des existentialistes

Sur Camus et Sartre

Sur Simone de Beauvoir

Vanderbilt University, Courses for Fall 2007

Postmodern Theory Lectures, Vanderbilt 2007

Post-Modern Theory: In the Wake of the Death of God

Div 388/French  William Franke
Fall 2007 Office: 203 Furman
W 3:10-5:00  Hours: W 5-6; T 4-5, and by appt.
Tel: 2-6902; 3-6659

This course will serve as a general introduction to recent theory tailored to students of religion.

If modernism is understood to be the age of the subject, the age that begins when self-consciousness says, “I think, therefore I am” (Descartes, 1638), making itself the foundation of its very existence, postmodernity begins when this postulate of the autonomous, self-grounding subject enters into crisis and collapses. Without the individual subject as secure foundation, the presumably stable values of modern tradition since the Renaissance are undermined in all domains from market economies based on the free choices of independent individuals to aesthetic styles of subjective self-expression familiar, for example, in Romantic and Expressionist art. The new sense of a lack of foundations, of no tangible or knowable reality underlying and grounding the flux of appearances in experience, opens thought and praxis in the diverse directions that have become recognizable as characteristically “postmodern.” Simulacra, inauthenticity, lack of origins or originals, hence proliferating pluralities which nevertheless evince no real distinctions from one another in a consumer society of mass production are some of the typical manifestations of this postmodern milieu. We will undertake to survey important theoretical statements concerning these developments by authors such as Derrida, Baudrillard, and Mark C. Taylor. We will also inquire into the limits and alternatives to postmodernism that may be present on the scene today. Religious sources and manifestations will be particularly emphasized in order to help us comprehend postmodernism as the era of the Death of God.

A couple of films, particularly The Matrix, Part I (1999, dir. Andy and Larry Wachowsky), The Truman Show (1998, dir. Peter Weir), and perhaps Angels in America (2003, dir. Tony Kushner), emphasizing especially the role of religion in postmodernity, will be discussed.
The main text, from which most of the assignments will be drawn, is:
From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology, ed. Lawrence Cahoone (Blackwell 2003)

This text will be supplemented with readings from The Postmodern God: A Theological Reader, ed. Graham Ward (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), abbreviated: PMG.

Also recommended:
Kevin Hart, Postmodernism: A Guide for Beginners (Oneworld Publishers, 2004)
Thomas J. J. Altizer, Godhead and the Nothing (State University of New York Press, 2003)
John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006)
Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology. Eds. John Milbank, Graham Ward, and Catherine Pickstock.  (London ; New York : Routledge, 1998). ISBN 041419699X (pbk)
Secular Theology: American Radical Theological Thought, ed. Clayton Crockett (New York: Routledge, 2001)

Schedule of Readings:

1. Introduction: Postmodernism and its Others
Theoretical Paradigms
2. Definitions of the Postmodern: From the Power of “Now” to the Potencies of “Post”
Lyotard, From The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge 259-77
Ihab Hassan, “POSTmodernISM: A Practical Bibliography” 410-20
Charles Jencks, From “What is Post-Modernism?” 458-63
John Milbank, “Postmodern Critical Augustinianism,” PMG 265
3. The Subversion of the Sign
Ferdinand de Saussure, From Course in General Linguistics, 122-26
Jacques Derrida, “Différance” 225-40
[+ “How to Avoid Speaking” PMG 167]
Wittgenstein, From Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus 143
Michel de Certeau, “How is Christianity Thinkable Today?” PMG 142
4. Death of God and Demise of Values and Civilization
Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Madman,” “How the World Became a Fable,”
“The Dionysian World” 116-17
Michel Foucault, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” and From “Truth and
Power” 241-53
Mark C. Taylor, From Erring: A Postmodern Atheology 435-46
Sigmund Freud, From Civilization and its Discontents 144-49
Jacques Lacan, “The Death of God,” PMG 32
5. Simulations and Alterities
Baudrillard, From Symbolic Exchange and Death 421-34
Jacques Lacan, “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as
Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience” 195-99
René Girard, “The God of Victims” PMG 105
Social/Political/Cultural Applications
6. Postmodern Feminisms
Luce Irigaray, “The Sex Which is Not One” 254-58
Sandra Harding, “From Feminist Empiricism to Feminist Standpoint
Epistemologies” 342-53
Susan Bordo, “The Cartesian Masculinization of Thought and
Sevententh-Century Flight from the Feminine” 354-69
Irigaray, “Equal to Whom?” PMG 198
Rebecca S. Chopp, “From Patriarchy into Freedom: A Conversation
between American Feminist Theology and French Feminism,” PMG 235
7. Constructions of Identity
Iris Marion Young, From “The Scaling of Bodies and the Politics of
Identity” 370-82
Cornel West, “A Genealogy of Modern Racism” 298-301
Judith Butler, “Contingent Foundations: Feminism and the Question of
‘Postmodernism’” 390-401
Michel Foucault, from The History of Sexuality, PMG 123
8. Postmodern Economy and Society
Karl Marx and Frederich Engels, “Bourgeois and Proletarians” 75-82
Daniel Bell, From The Coming of Post-Industrial Society 209-18
Fredric Jameson, “The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” 564-74
[Adam Smith, From The Theory of Moral Sentiments 38-44]
Georges Bataille, From Theory of Religion, PMG 15
9. Postmodern Architecture and Art
Le Corbusier, From Towards a New Architecture 132-38
Charles Jencks, From “The Death of Modern Architecture” 457-58
Robert Venturi, From Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture 403-9
Hal Foster, “Subversive Signs” 310-18
10. Postmodern Science:  Irrealities and Hyper-realities
Max Weber, “Science as a Vocation” 127-31
Thomas Kuhn, From “The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolution”
200-08
David Ray Griffin, From “The Reenchantment of Science” 482-95
Donna Haraway, From “A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology,
and Socialist Feminsim in the 1980s” 464-81
[Niklas Luhmann, “The Cognitive Program of Constructivism and a
Reality that Remains Unknown” 496-511]
[Richard Rorty, “Solidarity or Objectivity?” 447-56]
Genealogies of Postmodernism
11. The Attack on Humanism and Some Alternatives
Heidegger, “Letter on Humanism” 174-94  Brief über den Humanismus Identiät und Differenz
Jean Paul Sartre, From “Existentialism” 169-73
Alasdair McIntyre, “The Virtues, the Unity of a Human Life, and the
Concept of a Tradition” 550-63
Habermas, “An Alternative Way Out of the Philosophy of the Subject:
Communicative versus Subject-Centered Reason” 592-600
12. Crisis of Secular Enlightenment Rationalism and Secular Theology
Edmund Husserl, from The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental
Phenomenology 149-58
Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, from Dialectic of Enlightenment 159-68
Clayton Crockett, Secular Theology
Thomas J. J. Altizer, Godhead and the Nothing
Altizer, Radical Theology and the Death of God
Thomas Altizer, “Apocalypticism and Modern Thinking,” Journal for Christian Theological Research, 2/2 (1997)
13. Radical Orthodoxy  Orthodoxie Radicale
Milbank, Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason, chapter 10: Ontological Violence or the Postmodern Problematic” pp. 278-327
+ chapter 6: “For and Against Hegel”
Radical Orthodoxy. Eds. John Milbank, Graham Ward, and Catherine Pickstock
pp. 1-37
14. Literary and Liturgical Epistemologies
Roland Barthes, “Wrestling with the Angel,” PMG 84
Jean-Ives Lacoste, “Liturgy and Kenosis,” PMG 249
Catherine Pickstock, “Asyndeton: Syntax and Insanity,” PMG 297
Julia Kristeva, from In the Beginning Was Love PMG 223
15. Postmodern Theology as Critique of Philosophy
Emmanuel Levinas, “God and Philosophy” PMG 52
Jean-Luc Marion, “Metaphysics and Phenomenology: A Summary for
Theologians,” PMG 279
Graham Ward, Introduction to PMG (p. xlii)
Wittgenstein, “Lecture on Ethics” 139-42

For graduate students in French

:
French theory has in many respects been the driving force of postmodern thought. This course features selections by Lyotard, Derrida, Baudrillard, Irrigaray, Kristeva, Sartre, Deleuze, Le Corbusier, Saussure, Lacan, Levinas, Marion, and others, together with the broader postmodern movement in which they have played a catalyzing role. It is proposed for graduate students in French with the specifications that they should read these authors in French and that their research paper focus on some author(s) or aspect(s) of French literary and/or cultural theory. Graduate students in French are encouraged to write their essays in French.
Irrigaray, “Égales á Qui” Critique 480 (1987): 420-437
“  “Femmes Divines” Critique 454 (1985): 295-308 (supplementary)
“  Ce sexe qu nén est pas un, pp. 23-32
Derrida, “Comment ne pas parler: Dénégations”Psyche, pp. 535-594
“ “La Différance,” Marges de la philosophie, pp. 41-66
Foucault Histoire de la sexualité vol. 1, pp. 76-98
“Nietzsche, la généalogie, l’histoire,” Dits et écrits 1971
Levinas, “Dieu et la Philosophie,” De Dieu qui vient à l’idée, pp. 93-127
Lacan, “La mort de Dieu,” L’Éthique de la psychanalyse, pp. 197-208
Bataille, “Le sacrifice, la fete et les principes du monde sacré,”Oeuvres complètes, vol. VII, pp. 307-318
De Certeau, La Faibless de croire, pp. 208-226
Girard, “Le Dieu des victimes,”La route antique des homes pervers, pp. 225-246
Barthes, “La lutte avec lánge”Oeuvres competes, vol. IV pp. 157-169
Kristeva, Au commencement etait l’amour
Marion, Jean-Luc. “Métaphysique et phénoménologie: une relève pour la théologie,” Bulletin de literature ecclésiastique XCIV/3 (1993): 189-206.

Saussure, Cours de linguistique générale
Le Corbusier, Vers une architecture
Baudrillard, L’exchange symbolique et la mort
Lacan, “Le stade du miroir” http://perso.wanadoo.fr/espace.freud/topos/psycha/psysem/miroir.htm
Lyotard, La condition postmodern, pp. 7-9, 54-68, 98-108

Great Books of Literature and Religion: Foundations of Western HUumanities Tradition

RLST 140   William Franke
Fall 2007 Office: 203 Furman
T R 2:35-3:50 Hours: W 5-6; T 4-5, and by appt.
BT 301   Tel: 2-6902; 3-6659

General Description

This course serves as a general introduction to outstanding “great books” of the Western world. They constitute founding texts of the “humanities.” This intellectual tradition will be traced from its origins in both Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian (Bible) literature. These two cultures will then be viewed in their synthesis in the medieval period.
Our attempt to assimilate these works, which have been basic to liberal education in the West since its inception, will stimulate effort to develop and refine our own powers of reading and interpretation. We will engage the strongly literary quality of the works, moreover, by the exercise of producing writing of our own nourished by critical reflection upon them. Their fundamentally theological vision, expressed in prophetic poetry, will be a constant focus of the lectures.

Basic Texts

(in order of use)
_________ The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha
Homer The Odyssey (Cook translation)
Virgil The Aeneid (Fitzgerald translation)
Augustine  The Confessions (Sheed translation)
Dante The Inferno (Mandelbam translation)

Assignments

8/29 Introduction: The Humanities and Personal Knowledge
Preface
Introductory Lecture Introductory Lecture

9/4 GENESIS, Chapters 1-11 (verse 9) + PSALMS 8, 18, 19, 22-24, 110, 114, 119
9/6 EXODUS, Chapters 1-20, 24, 32-34
9/11 ISAIAH, Chapters 1-14, 34-44, 52-55, 60-62
+ DANIEL, Chapters 2, 3, 7, 10-12
9/13 SONG OF SOLOMON and ECCLESIASTES
Lectures on the Bible
9/18 GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW
9/20 Homer, ODYSSEY Books I-IV

9/25 “ “ Books V-VIII
9/27   Homer, ODYSSEY Books IX-XII
Lectures on the Odyssey
10/2 “  “ Books XIII-XVI
10/4 Homer, ODYSSEY Books XVII-XX
10/9 “   “ Books XXI-XXIV
10/11 Virgil, AENEID Book I-II
DUE: PAPER #1
10/16  “   “   Books II-III
10/18 Virgil, AENEID   Books IV-V  Lectures on the Aeneid

10/23 OCTOBER BREAK

10/25 “ “ Books VI-VII
10/30 Virgil, AENEID   Books VII-IX
11/1 Virgil, AENEID Books X-XII
11/6 Augustine, CONFESSIONS Books I-II Lectures on the Confessions
11/8  Augustine, CONFESSIONS Books III-IV ‘
11/13 “ “ Books V-VII
11/15 Augustine, CONFESSIONS Books VIII-IX
11/20 “   “ Books X-XI
11/22 “  “   Books XII-XIII
11/27 ————THANKSGIVING HOLIDAYS———————–
11/29

12/4 Dante, INFERNO   Cantos I-VIII   Lectures on Inferno
12/6  ” ” Cantos IX-XIX

12/11 Dante, INFERNO   Cantos XX-XXVI
12/13  ” ” Cantos XXVII-XXXIV
Concluding Lecture

FINAL DUE DATE: PAPER #2

Evaluation and Requirements

About every other week there will be a brief quiz consisting in short answer questions to check on basic familiarity with the reading.  The average of the quiz grades will count as the equivalent of a paper in calculating final grades.
Papers are to be expository essays, 5-7 pages in length, interpreting one or more of the works studied. Suggested paper topics will be issued at least a week prior to each due date, however students are free to write on a topic of their own choosing. Each student is required to turn in a total of TWO PAPERS.
Presence and participation of each student in every class is expected.
The Vanderbilt University Honor Code applies to all work submitted for this course.

Recommended Method of Study

The interpretation of assigned texts may begin by the student’s formulating and analyzing main ideas in a notebook at the conclusion of each reading assignment. Another entry likewise composed of 1) summary statements and 2) evaluative remarks–on facing pages–may be made punctually after lectures and discussions of each class. These notes can be reviewed and discussed with instructor for the purpose of focusing essay topics based on the student’s own emergent interests.

Objectives to Keep in Mind

Remember that in reading/writing you are competing only against yourself. The goal is to discover personal significance in the universal human experiences conveyed by great books and to develop your own discourse for articulating your experience of these texts and of life and human concerns generally.

KGV Bible audio on-line

Bible auio français

Aeneid

Confessions

University of Salzburg, Fakultät für katholische Theologie,
Zentrum Theologie Interkulturell und Studium der Religionen

*Postmodernreligionsphilosophien
Ausgehend von klassischen Debatten zwischen Hegel und Kierkegaard, Schleiermacher und Schelling, beziehen sich diese Vorlesungen auf Spannungen unter Religionsphilosophien heute, insbesondere zwischen Amerikanischen säkularisationtheologer in der Nachflolge von der “Death of God” Theologie und der Bewegung der “Radical Orthodoxy,” die von Cambridge, England herströmmt. Die Frankfurter Schule, insbesondere Horkheimer, Adorno, and Habermas, wird auch in Betracht gezogen als bahnbrechend für eine postmoderne kritische negative Theologie. Es wird erklärt, wie eine solche Theologie Dialog zwischen verfeindeten Kulturen ermöglichen kann, bzw. zwischen abendländischen säkularisierten Intellektuellen und radikalen Islamisten.
Im allgemeinen, geht es um postmoderne Theorien und ihre theologische Bedeutung. Die entscheidenden Texte und Ideen seit Saussure, von Foucault, Derrida, Irigaray, Adorno, etc., werden als Ablehnung der Aufklärung angesehen.  Die neuen Perspektiven für religiöses Denken und Leben, die dadurch göffnet sind, werden erprobt.  (Sehe unten “Post-Modern Theory: In the Wake of the Death of God” für detaillierten Inhalt–auch auf dem Syllabus . Vertagung
Übersetzte Bruchstücke aus:
Postmodernism Lectures, Salzburg 2007 Vorlesung 1
Vorlesung 2
Vorlesung 3
*Dantes Paradiso im theologischen Hinblick
Eine “close reading” von dem letzten Teil Dantes “Göttliche Kommödie” fokalisiert auf die Poetik des Schweigens, sowie auf die negative politische Theologie, die Dante vertret in seiner visio Dei. Die geistliche Reise Dantes zur mystischen Anschauung Gottes durch seine dichterische Sprache wird gelesen auf den Hintergrund des mittelalterlichen Mysticismus, aber auch in Bezug zu aktuellem theologischen Denken, besonders im Bereich der negativen Theologie (zum Beispiel von Jean-Luc Marion).

Die göttliche Komödie

Dantes Werke
Deutsche Dante-Gesellschaft:  Texte, Darstellungen, Erläuterungen
Courtney Langdon trans. und Kommentar
*Apophatische oder negative Theologie in der Kultur
Platon und Neuplatonismus; mittelalterlicher Mysticismus; Kabbalah,
Sufis; Baroque Mystiker wie Johann von Kreuz und Silesius Angelus;
Apophasis der Romantiker (Schelling, Kierkegaard, Hölderlin, Emily Dickinson); Denker und Schrifsteller vom Schweigen in der Moderne und Postmoderne, wie Wittgenstein, Derrida, Bataille, Heidegger, Celan, Blanchot, und andere.Vergleiche zu orientalischem Denken insbesondere im Bereich von Indischen Advaita Vedanta und Chinesischen Taoismus.  Es wird betonnt wie die negative Theologie Passagen öffnet zwischen verschiedenen Kulturen jenseits ihren unterschiedlichen Begrifflichkeiten.
Syllabus

Advaita Vedanta

Vedanta Sutren

Brahma Sutras with Commentary by  Sri Adi Sankaracharya

Klassische Upanishaden

Yoga-Texte Was ist Yoga?

Entretiens de Ramakrishna

Lao Tse–Das Tai Te King aus dem Chinesischen Bachofen Übersetzung
Chuang Tzu Zhuangzi Taoismus

Nargajuna, Strophen ueber das Mahayana

Nargajuna und die Logik der Leere von der Leere

Nargajuna, Mahayana Buddhismus, und Schopenhauer

Kejii Nishitani und die Kyoto Schule
Religion and Nothnigness The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism

ZEN

Vanderbilt Courses for Fall 2006

Vanderbilt Lectures on Postmodernism, Fall 2006

Post-Modern Theory: In the Wake of the Death of God

Divinity 3880
Comparative Literature Program
Fall 2006
Office: 203 Furman (tel: 2-6902)
Hours: T 1:30-2:30 & W 2-3:00

This course will serve as a general introduction to recent theory tailored to students of religion.

If modernism is understood to be the age of the subject, the age that begins when self-consciousness says, “I think, therefore I am” (Descartes, 1638), making itself the foundation of its very existence, postmodernity begins when this postulate of the autonomous, self-grounding subject enters into crisis and collapses. Without the individual subject as secure foundation, the presumably stable values of modern tradition since the Renaissance are undermined in all domains from market economies based on the free choices of independent individuals to aesthetic styles of subjective self-expression familiar, for example, in Romantic and Expressionist art. The new sense of a lack of foundations, of no tangible or knowable reality underlying and grounding the flux of appearances in experience, opens thought and praxis in the diverse directions that have become recognizable as characteristically “postmodern.” Simulacra, inauthenticity, lack of origins or originals, hence proliferating pluralities which nevertheless evince no real distinctions from one another in a consumer society of mass production are some of the typical manifestions of this postmodern milieu. We will undertake to survey important theoretical statements concerning these developments by authors such as Derrida, Baudrillard, and Mark C. Taylor.

We will also inquire into the limits and alternatives to postmodernism that may be presenting themselves on the scene today. Religious sources and manifestations will be particularly emphasized in order to help us comprehend postmodernism as the era of the Death of God.

A couple of films, such as The Passion of the Christ (2004, dir. Mel Gibson), The Omega Code (1999, dir. Rob Marcarelli), Terminator 2 Judgment Day (1991, dir. James Cameron), Angels in America (2003, dir. Tony Kushner), emphasizing especially the role of religion in postmodernity, may be screened and discussed.

The main text, from which most of the assignments will be drawn is:

From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology, ed. Lawrence Cahoone (Blackwell 2003)

This text will be supplemented with readings from The Postmodern God: A Theological Reader, ed. Graham Ward (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), abbreviated: PMG; and from Religion, Modernity and Postmodernity, ed. Paul Heelas (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), abbreviated: RMP

Schedule of Readings

1. Introduction: Postmodernism and its Others +

Two Paradigms of Divine Death

2. Definitions

Lyotard, From The Postmodern Condition A Report on Knowledge 259-77

Ihab Hassan, “POSTmodernISM: A Practical Bibliography” 410-20

Charles Jencks, From “What is Post-Modernism?” 458-63

John Milbank, “Postmodern Critical Augustinianism,” PMG 265

3. The Subversion of the Sign

Ferdinand de Saussure, From Course in General Linguistics, 122-26

Jacques Derrida, “Différance” 225-40

[+ “How to Avoid Speaking” PMG 167]

Hal Foster, “Subversive Signs” 310-18

Wittgenstein, From Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus 143

Michel de Certeau, “How is Christianity Thinkable Today?” PMG 142

4. Death of God and Demise of Values and Civilization

Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Madman,” “How the World Became a Fable,”

“The Dionysian World” 116-17

Michel Foucault, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” and From “Truth and

Power” 241-53
Mark C. Taylor, From Erring: A Postmodern Atheology 435-46

Sigmund Freud, From Civilization and its Discontents 144-49

Jacques Lacan, “The Death of God,” PMG 32

5. Simulations and Alterities

Baudrillard, From Symbolic Exchange and Death 421-34

Jacques Lacan, “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as

Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience” 195-99

René Girard, “The God of Victims,” PMG 105

6. Postmodern Feminisms

Luce Irigaray, “The Sex Which is Not One” 254-58

Sandra Harding, “From Feminist Empiricism to Feminist Standpoint

Epistemologies” 342-53

Susan Bordo, “The Cartesian Masculinization of Thought and

Sevententh-Century Flight from the Feminine” 354-69

Irigaray, “Equal to Whom?” PMG 198

Rebecca S. Chopp, “From Patriarchy into Freedom: A Conversation

between American Feminist Theology and French Feminism,” PMG 235

7. Constructions of Identity

Iris Marion Young, From “The Scaling of Bodies and the Politics of

Identity” 370-82

Cornel West, “A Genealogy of Modern Racism” 298-301

Judith Butler, “Contingent Foundations: Feminism and the Question of

‘Postmodernism’” 390-401

Michel Foucault, from The History of Sexuality, PMG 123

8. Postmodern Economy and Society

Karl Marx and Frederich Engels, “Bourgeois and Proletarians” 75-82

Daniel Bell, From The Coming of Post-Industrial Society 209-18

Fredric Jameson, “The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” 564-74

[Adam Smith, From The Theory of Moral Sentiments 38-44]

Georges Bataille, From Theory of Religion, PMG 15

9. Architecture and Humanism

Le Corbusier, From Towards a New Architecture 132-38

Charles Jencks, From “The Death of Modern Architecture” 457-58

Robert Venturi, From Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture 403-9
Heidegger, “Letter on Humanism” 174-94

Jean Paul Sartre, From “Existentialism” 169-73  Texte français

10. Postmodern Science: Irrealities and Hyper-realities

Max Weber, “Science as a Vocation” 127-31

Thomas Kuhn, From “The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolution”

200-08

[Donna Haraway, From “A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology,

and Socialist Feminsim in the 1980’s” 464-81]

David Ray Griffin, From “The Reenchantment of Science” 482-95

[Niklas Luhmann, “The Cognitive Program of Constructivism and a

Reality that Remains Unknown” 496-511]

Richard Rorty, “Solidarity or Objectivity?” 447-56

11. Secular Theology, Liberal Atheology, and Post-Christianity

[Zygmunt Bauman “Postmodern religion?” RMP]

Don Cupitt, “Post-Christianity” RMP

Mark C. Taylor, “Terminal Faith” RMP

[Kevin Hart, “The Impossible” RMP]
Edmund Husserl, “Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology” 149-158
Max Horkheimer/Theodor Adorno, from Dialectic of Enlightenment 159-173

12. Radical Orthodoxy

Graham Ward, “Kenosis and naming beyond analogy and towards

allegoria amoris” RMP

John Milbank, “Sublimity: the modern transcendent” RMP

Phillip Blond, “The primacy of theology and the question of perception” RMP

“Radical Orthodoxy’s Critique of Transcendental Philosophy and its Mistaken Mistrust of Negative Theology”

13. Literary and Liturgical Epistemologies

Roland Barthes, “Wrestling with the Angel,” PMG 84

Jean-Ives Lacoste, “Liturgy and Kenosis,” PMG 249

Catherine Pickstock, “Asyndeton: Syntax and Insanity,” PMG 297

Julia Kristeva, from In the Beginning Was Love PMG 223
[Chopp on Kristeva, PMP 240-46]

14. Postmodern Theology as Critique of Philosophy

Emmanuel Levinas, “God and Philosophy” PMG 52

Jean-Luc Marion, “Metaphysics and Phenomenology: A Summary for

Theologians,” PMG 279

Graham Ward, Introduction to PMG (p. xlii)

[Thomas Carlson, from Indiscretion]
[Ludwig Wittgenstein, “Lecture on Ethics” 139-143]

  1. Conclusion

For graduate students in French:

French theory has in many respects been the driving force of postmodern thought. This course features selections by Lyotard, Derrida, Baudrillard, Irrigaray, Kristeva, Sartre, Deleuze, Le Corbusier, Saussure, Lacan, Levinas, Marion, and others, together with the broader postmodern movement in which they have played a catalyzing role. It is proposed for graduate students in French with the specifications that they should read these authors in French and that their research paper focus on some author(s) or aspect(s) of French literary and/or cultural theory. Graduate students in French are encoraged to write their essays in French.

Irrigaray, “Égales á Qui” Critique 480 (1987): 420-437

“  “Femmes Divines” Critique 454 (1985): 295-308 (supplementary)

Ce sexe qu nén est pas un, pp. 23-32

Derrida, “Comment ne pas parler: Dénégations”Psyche, pp. 535-594

“ “La Différance,” Marges de la philosophie, pp. 41-66

Foucault Histoire de la sexualité vol. 1, pp. 76-98

“Nietzsche, la généalogie, l’histoire,” Dits et écrits 1971

Levinas, “Dieu et la Philosophie,” De Dieu qui vient à l’idée, pp. 93-127

Lacan, “La mort de Dieu,” L’Éthique de la psychanalyse, pp. 197-208

Bataille, “Le sacrifice, la fete et les principes du monde sacré,”Oeuvres complètes, vol. VII, pp. 307-318

De Certeau, La Faibless de croire, pp. 208-226

Girard, “Le Dieu des victimes,”La route antique des homes pervers, pp. 225-246

Barthes, “La lutte avec lánge”Oeuvres competes, vol. IV pp. 157-169

Kristeva, Au commencement etait l’amour

Marion, Jean-Luc. “Métaphysique et phénoménologie: une relève pour la théologie,” Bulletin de literature ecclésiastique XCIV/3 (1993): 189-206.

Saussure, Cours de linguistique générale

Le Corbusier, Vers une architecture

Baudrillard, L’exchange symbolique et la mort

Lacan, “Le stade du miroir” http://perso.wanadoo.fr/espace.freud/topos/psycha/psysem/miroir.htm

Lyotard, La condition postmodern, pp. 7-9, 54-68, 98-108

Texts available on-line:

Immanuel Kant, “Beantwortung auf die Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?”

Max Weber, “Wissenschaft als Beruf”

Edmond Husserl,  “Die Krisis des Europäischen Menschentums und die Philosophie”

Jean-Paul Sartre, “L’existentialisme est un humanisme”

Jacques Lacan, “Le stade du miroir

Descartes, Méditations

Pertinent Web Resources:

Radical Orthodoxy online
Radical Orthodoxy – in French

Dialektik der Aufklärung

Authorized Version

Koran

Vedas and Upanishads

Sankaracharya
Sources Textes

Gutenberg Projekt

Religious Philosophy Websites

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY

Humanities/Italian/English 224 William Franke

Fall 2006 Comparative Literature Program

T R 2: 35-3: 50 Office: 203 Furman (tel: 2-6902)

Hours: T 4-5:00 & W 5-6:00

General Description

An introduction to Dante’s 3-part poetic oddysey, the cultural world it embodies, and the literary, philosophical and theological questions it raises. Topics will include the descent into the self in Inferno, the transition from profane to sacred love in Purgatory, and the problematic of language and transcendence inParadise.

Required Text:

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, trans. Alan Mandelbaum

(includes three volumes: Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise)
The Convivio of Dante Alighieri

Assignments

:

8/24/06  Introduction: Dante as “poeta-theologus”

8/29/06  Inferno Convivio I. i [x-xiii]

8/31/06 “

9/5/06 “ Convivio II. i

9/7/06 “

9/12/06  “  Convivio IV. iv-v

9/14/06  “

9/19/06  “

9/21/06  “

9/26.06 Purgatory Convivio III. v

9/28/06 “

10/3/06  “

10/5/06  “  Convivio IV. xii – xiii

10/10/06  “  Convivio IV. xxi

10/12/06 “  Due: Paper #1

10/17/06 “ FALL BREAK

10/19/06  “  “  “

10/24/06  “  Convivio II. ii, xii, and xv

10/26/06  “

10/31/06  Paradiso Convivio III. i-ii, vii

11/2/06 “

11/7/06 “

11/9/06 “

11/14/06 “ Convivio II. xiii-xiv

11/16/06 “

11/21/06 “ Convivio IV. xxii

11/23/06 “

11/28/06  “  THANKSGIVING

11/30/06  “  Convivio II. v

12/5/06 “ Due: Paper #2

Course Requirements

Students will be required to write two 5- to 7-page papers on a topic of their choice. It is recommended that a modest amount of scholarly research (two articles would suffice) be consulted on the topics chosen for papers. In addition to materials made available on reserve in the library and the books on the shelves, articles in the following periodicals will be found to be especially good reference sources: Dante Studies, Lectura Dantis,Quaderni d’italianistica, Italian Quarterly, Modern Language Notes (Italian issue).

A series of quizes will test objective command of the text of the poem periodically. Quiz grades will be totalled up as equivalent to a paper. Steady presence and participation of each in their own way is expected.

Web Resources:

Dante Resources on the Internet

Dartmouth Dante Project

Parliamo di opere di Dante

“Dante and the Lyric Past,” Barolini

Classici italiani

Classici latini

 

Works of Dante

Le opere di Dante

Il Convivio

The Convivio (Lansing translation)

La Vita Nuova

Epistolae

Gutenberg Project Göttliche Komödie

Durling edition online

Medieval Source Texts

Latin Library

The Online Medieval and Classical Library

Liber de causis

Lucan, La pharsalia

Macrobius, Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis

Giovanni Villani, Nuova Cronica

Brunetto Latini, Il tesoretto

Latin Vulgate

Authorized Version (KJB)

Patrologiae Grecae

Hong Kong University, Fall 2005 (visiting):

Postmodernism Syllabus

Lectures on Postmodernism 1 to 11

HKU Philosophy Forum Lecture

Vanderbilt Courses not Currently Offered

Courses Not Offered in 2006-07

Undergraduate:

HUM 140 Humanities: Ancient and Medieval Periods

This course serves as a general introduction to outstanding “great books” of the Western world. They constitute founding texts of the “humanities.” This intellectual tradition will be traced from its origins in both Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian (Bible) literature. These two cultures will then be viewed in their synthesis in the medieval period.

Our attempt to assimilate these works, which have been basic to liberal education in the West since its inception, will stimulate effort to develop and refine our own powers of reading and interpretion. We will engage the strongly literary quality of the works, moreover, by the exercise of producing writing of our own nourished by critical reflection upon them.

BASIC TEXTS (in order of use)
_________ The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha

Homer The Odyssey (Cook translation)

Virgil The Aeneid (Fitzgerald translation)

Augustine The Confessions (Sheed translation)

Dante The Inferno (Mandelbam translation)

Fall 2004

HUM 224 Dante’s Divine Comedy

An introduction to Dante’s 3-part poetic oddysey, the cultural world it embodies, and the literary, philosophical and theological questions it raises. Topics will include the descent into the self in Inferno, the transition from profane to sacred love in Purgatory, and the problematic of language and transcendence in Paradise.

Inferno
Purgatorio
Paradiso

Convivio

Spring 2005

Graduate Seminars

:

CLT 340 Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism: Classic Texts and Traditions

Classic works of literary theory and criticism from antiquity to the nineteenth century will be read in an effort to furnish basic conceptual paradigms and grounding in cultural history for students training to work as literary critics and theorists. Readings include founding texts of disciplines such as Philosophical Aesthetics, Rhetoric, Poetics, Scriptural Hermeneutics, Criticism of Genres, and Theory of Fiction, all of which disciplines contribute to and coalesce in current literary theory and criticism. The texts will be read with attention to problems such as literary representation as mimesis, language as figurative and metaphorical, poetic structure and dynamics. The readings will be questioned also for what they say or suggest concerning literature’s relation to ethics and religion, to history, society and its institutions. We will try to distinguish classical, normative principles of literary criticism together with the principle challenges with which they have been faced in the course of tradition. We will extract the key literary theoretical ideas from the various authors and compare them, starting from those that are nearest in historical chronology.

Schedule of Topics and Readings

1. Gorgias, from Encomium of Helen

Plato,  Republic II. 376-383; III. 386-403; VII. 514-518; X595-606
Ion
from Phaedrus

Longinus,  On sublimity  1.1-2.3; 7-17; 22; 29-40

Plotinus, Enneads V. viii (On Intellectual Beauty)

2.  Aristotle, Rhetoric I.2, 3;  II. 1;  III. 2
Poetics

Horace, Ars poetica

Quintilian Institutio oratorio VIII, v. 35, vi.1-28; IX. i. 1-25; ii. 44-49; XII. ii1-28

3.  Augustine, De doctrina christiana I.ii.2; II.i.1, ii.3, iii.4, iv.5, x.15, xi.16;
III.xxix.40,  De trinitate XV.  ix.15; x.1-19; xi.20

Macrobius, Commentary on Dream of Scipio iii.1-3, 5-6, 12, 14 15 17
[+ Cicero, Somnium Scipionis  (De republica VI. 9-29)

+ Chaucer’s dream visions, Hous of Fame]

Hugh of Saint Victor, Didascalicon I. xi on origin of logic and III. iii; V. ii VI.
viii, ix, x, xi
Maimonides,  Introduction to Guide of the Perplexed

4. Geoffrey of Vinsauf  Poetria Nova 1, 2, 3, 4,

Aquinas, Summa Ia q. I, art. 9:  Should Scripture use metaphor?

Dante, Convivio II, i + Letter to Can Grande

Christine de Pizan,  Cité des Dames

Boccaccio  Genealogia  Bk  XIV. v, vii, xii

5. Giraldi, Discorso delle comedie et delle tragedie

Mazzoni, Difesa della divina commedia

Du Bellay, Discourse on the French Language I: 1, 2, 3 , 4. 5. 6, 7,; II: 3, 4,

Ronsard, Brief on the Art of French Poetry

Corneille, Trois discours sur le poeme dramatique

Sidney, Apology for Poetry

6. Vico, New Science 31-36, 51, 331, 342, 349, 361-68,  374-84, 400-402, 404-09, 779

Addison  Spectator , No. 62

Alphra Behn, from The Dutch Lover and Preface to Lucky Chance

Edward Young, Conjectures on Original Composition

Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lie in a Non-Moral Sense”

7. Dryden, from Essay of Dramatic Poesy, from Preface to Troilus and Cressida,
Preface to Sylvaie

Pope, Essay on Criticism

Samuel Johnson, “Of Fiction,” from The History of Rasselas, Prince of
Abyssinia, from Preface to Shakespeare

8. Hume, “Of the Standard of Taste”

Kant, from Critique of Judgment

Burke, Essays on Sublime and Beautiful

9. Lessing, Laocoon, preface, 1, 2, 3, 9, 10 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21

Schiller, Letters on Aesthetic Education  2, 6, 9

Hegel, Aesthetics:  Lectures on Fine Art, intro
Phenonomology 178-196 (Master-Slave dialectic)

Wollstoncraft, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women”

de Staël, Essay on Fictions + “On Women Writers”

10. Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads

Coleridge, from Statesman’s Manual and from Biographia Litteraria

Peacock, The Four Ages of Poetry

Shelley, Defense of Poetry

Emerson, “The American Scholar,” “The Poet”

11. Poe, “The Philosophy of Composition”

Gautier, “Preface to Mademoiselle de Maupin”

Baudelaire, “The Painter of Modern Life”

Arnold, “Function of Criticism” and from Culture and Anarchy

Pater, from Studies in the History of the Renaissance

12.  Mallarmé, “Crisis in Poetry”

James, from The Art of Fiction

Nietzsche, from Birth of Tragedy

Wilde, “Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Critic as Artist”

Fall 2004

CLT 341 Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism: Current Trends

This half of the introductory graduate theory course deals with modern movements and current trends. Seminal texts of criticism and theory from the 20th century will be compared so as to illustrate the range of purposes and cross-purposes to which contemporary critical discourse has been put in relation to literary works and traditions. This will serve as a basic literacy course in theory, as well as for making students conversant with a variety of the most provocative types of critical discourse emerging on the scene today. Currents to be covered include: Formalism and Structuralism, Poststructuralism, New Historicism and Postcolonial Criticism, Marxism and Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Race and Ethnicity Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies and Queer Theory, Hermeneutics and Phenomenology, Reader-Response, Cultural Studies.

Text:  Norton Anthology of Criticism and Theory (2001)

Schedule of Topics and Readings:

1/19  Introduction:  From Arnold and Eliot to New Criticism

1/26  Structuralism and Formalism
Saussure 960-77
Jakobson 1258-69
Levi-Strauss 1419-27
Eichenbaum 1062-88
Todorov 2099-2106
Frye 1445-57
Bakhtin  1190-1219

2/2  Post-structuralism (Deconstruction and New Historicism)
Barthes 1466-75
Derrida 1822-30
De Man 1527-31
Johnson 2319-37
Baudrillard 1732-41
Foucault 1622-47 [1648-70]
Greenblatt 2251-54

2/16  Marxism
Althusser 1480-1509
Lukács 1033-58
Jameson 1937-75
Bourdieu 809-14
Gramsci 1138-44
Trotsky 1005-17
Marx 759-89

2/9  Cultural Studies
Hall 1898-1910
Williams  1567-75
Hebdidge 2448-57
Adorno and Horkeimer 1220-40
Habermas 1745-59
Barthes 1461-70

2/23  Post-Colonial Criticism
Fanon 1578-93
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Taban Lo Liyong, Henry Owuor-Anymba 2092-97
Achebe 1783-94
Said 1991-2012
Spivak 2197-2223
Bhabha 2379-97
[Anzaldúa 2211-23]

3/1  Critical Race Studies
Du Bois 980-87
Hurston 1159-62 [1146-58]
Hughes 1313-17
Baker 2227-40
Gates 2424-32
hooks 2477-85
Vizenor 1977-86

3/8  SPRING BREAK

3/15  Psychoanalysis
Lacan 1285-1311
Deleuze and Guattari 1598-09
Jung 990-1002
Freud 919-56
Bloom 1797-1805
Guber and Gilbert 2033-35
[Davis 2400-21]

3/22  Feminism
Bordo 2362-77
Cixous 2039-56
Kolodny 2146-65
Tompkins 2129-43
Allen 2108-2126
de Beauvoir 1406-15
Woolf 1021-30

3/29  Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Theory
Butler 2485-2501
Rich 1762-81
Wittig 2014-21
Smith 2302-15
Zimmerman 2338-59
Sedgwick 2434-45

4/5  Technologies and Media
Benjamin 1166-86
Haraway 2268-99
Mouthrop 2502-24
Mulvey 2181-93

4/12  Hermeneutics and Phenomenology
Iser 1673-82
Jauss 1550-65
Hirsch 1684-1709
Poulet 1320-33
Sartre 1336-50

4/19  Rhetoric and Pragmatics
Burke 1272-78
De Man 1514-26
Fish 2071-89
White 1712-29
Austin 1430-42

4/26  Theory and the Canon Question
Arnold 806-32
Eliot 1092-98
Graff 2059-67
Smith 1913-32
Eagleton 2240-50
Ohman 1880-94
Christian 2257-66
Extra Topics and Material:

Theory in Question
Knapp and Michaels 2460-75
Christian 2257-66
Ransom 1108-18
Wilde 900-13
Pope 441-58

Novels and Narration
Bakhtin 1190-1220
James 855-70
Todorov 2097-2106
Allen 2108-26

Poetic Language
Nietzsche 874-84
Mallarmé 845-51
Kristeva 2169-79
Derrida 1830-76
Heidegger 1121-35

New Criticism
Ransom 1108-17
Brooks 1350-70
Wimsatt and Beardsley 1371-1403

Recommended reading

Linda Hutcheon, A Poetics of Postmodernism
Veeser, The New Historicism
Eagleton, Marxism and Literature
Williams, Marxism and Literature
Bhabha, The Location of Culture
Cornel West, Race Matters
Barbara Smith, The Truth that Never Hurts:  Writings on Race, Gender,
and Freedom
Toril Moi, Textual/Sexual Politics
Linda Nicholson, The Second Wave
Christopher Butler, Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction
Irigaray, Speculum of the Other Woman
Butler, Bodies that Matter
Mark Taylor, The Moment of Complexity
Marjorie Perloff, Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media
David Damrosch, What Is World Literature?
Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just
Robert Calasso, Literature and the Gods
Peter Brooks, Psychoanalysis and Storytelling (1994)
Emily Apter, Feminizing the Fetish (1991) and Fetishism as Cultural Discourse (1993)
Rey Chow, Woman and Chinese Identity (1991)
Françoise Lionnet, Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, Self-Portraiture (1989) + Spiralling Tensions: Authenticity, Universality, and Postcoloniality
Elizabeth For-Genovese, Feminism Without Illusions: A Critique of Individualism (1991)
Ralph Cohen, ed., The Future of Literary Theory
Charles Bernheimer, Comparative Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism
Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, Comparative Literature and Comparative Cultural
Studies

Fall 2006

CLT 360 Philosophy and Literature: Poets and Philosophers

Throughout history, and not least in the modern period, where genres and disciplines have become blurred, poets and philosophers have inspired one another reciprocally. Sometimes the philosophers reveal how their most essential insights could never have been reached without the suggestions envisioned by some–at least for them–elect poet. Furthermore, in some cases, powerful philosophical interpretations of poetic masterpieces have founded new modes of thinking and experiencing or shaped entire epochs of culture, defining their distinctive outlooks. We will study a selection of the most provocative and seminal couplings between poets and philosophers in Western intellectual history by reading the poets along with the readings of the philosophers that have contributed significantly to making them what they have become in this tradition. Selections will include:

Nietzsche’s reading of Aeschelus, Sophocles, Euripides, Archelochus, Heine, et al. (Die Gebürt der Tragödie)

Heidegger’s readings of Hölderlin (Erläuterungen zu Hölderlins Dichtung)

Benjamin’s reading of Baudelaire (“Über einige Motive bei Baudelaire” and “Paris, Hauptstadt des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts,” Passagen-Werke)

Blanchot’s readings of Rilke and Mallarmé (L’Espace littéraire)

Derrida’s readings of Celan, Ponge, and Joyce (SchibbolethSignépongeUlysse Grammaphone)

Kristeva’s reading of Proust (Time and Sense: Proust and the Experience of Literature) + Deleuze, Proust and Signs

Adorno and Horkeimer’s reading of Homer (Dialektik der Auferklärung)

+ Porphyry’s reading of Homer, “On the Cave of the Nymphs” Greek Text pdf (Thomas Taylor trans.)

Bernard Silvestris’ reading of Virgil (Commentarium super sex libros Eneidos Virgilii)

(cfr. Servius’s In Verbilli carmina commentarii)

Vico’s and Schelling’s readings of Dante (Scienza nuova & “Ueber Dante in philosophischer Beziehung”)

Hegel on Sophocles’s Antigone (Phenomenologie and Aesthetik)

Unamuno’s reading of Cervantes (Vida de don Quijote y Sancho)

+ Ortega y Gasset’s (Meditaciones del Quijote)

Santayana’s readings of Lucretius, Dante and Goethe (Three Philosophical Poets)

Agamben on Giovanni Pascoli, “Il fanciulino”

Cavell’s readings of Shakespeare (Disowning Knowledge: In Six Shakespearian Plays)

Girard, Monsonge romanesque et romans

Deceit and Desire in the Novel

Spring 2005

CLT 360 (Version #2)  Philosophy and Literature: Criticism as Philosophy

This course will compare classic works of philosophical criticism of literature in a variety of Western traditions, ancient to modern. It will explore these works as a discernible genre of writing which it will attempt to define and assess as to its specific capacities and limits. Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that discusses mainly philosophical ideas and writings, inquiring into general principles concerning art, but philosophical commentary on literature belongs to criticism and articulates itself in constant, close contact with particular literary texts. And yet when practiced by philosophers, it turns into a distinctive method of philosophizing, a distinctive form of inquiry that calls for a different name such as “poetic thinking.” The authors gathered together for comparative study in this course are both practitioners and theorists of thinking that is distinctively literary and poetic in character. This sort of thinking and writing raises age-old questions concerning the ability and aptness of philosophy to interpret literature. By some accounts, philosophy cannot but distort and obscure the specifically literary character of writing due to its penchant for abstraction. By other accounts, only philosophy is capable of penetrating to the deepest and most significant strata of literary meaning.

The attacks on philosophy as a mode of understanding literature have been perennial in the history of Western culture, and they have been renewed and even intensified by some strains within the recent flowering of “theory” in contemporary literary criticism. Some contemporary theory positions itself as a revolt against philosophy and the culture over which philosophy has presided as a regulatory discipline dictating method for well over two millennia. At the same time, ostensibly philosophical readings of literature have also proliferated within this same new cultural milieu.

Is there reason, then, to reformulate and reassert the claims of a philosophical criticism? What are the compelling reasons for a philosophical criticism of literature today? How is a philosophical criticism of literature possible, and is it desirable? What styles of philosophical criticism of literature from the past can serve as models and may prove useful still in fostering this special kind of reflection and inquiry today? To address these challenges, we will construct a genre of philosophical criticism comprised of recognizably classic works of literary criticism by distinguished philosophers. The philosopher-critic has been a paramount figure since Plato and Aristotle and still continues to emerge on the scene in new ways today. We will revisit a few peaks in this tradition focusing on what makes literary criticism philosophical and on what special virtues and liablities such philosophical approaches to literature are likely to entail. Our guiding hypothesis is that in concretely engaging literary texts, philosophical reason thinks in peculiar ways that can illuminate fundamental questions of philosophy as much as the mysteries of literature.

Readings:

1.  Introduction

Hegel, “Das älteste Systemprogramm des deutschen Idealismus”

Gadamer, “Philosophie und Poesie”

2. Cavell, Disowning Knowledge: In Six Shakespearian Plays
(especially Intro and on Lear and Hamlet)

3. Wayne Booth, The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction
(Intro, “Figures That ‘Figure’ the Mind,” “Metaphoric Worlds”)

4. Martha Nussbaum, Love’s Knowledge
(Intro, “Fictions of the Soul,” “Love’s Knowledge”)

5. Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs De antro nympharum (Greek text) Thomas Taylor trans.
Fulgentius, The Exposition of the Content of Vergil According
to the Principles of Moral Philosophy
Bernardus Silvestris, Commentary on The First Six Books of Virgil’s Aeneid

6. Santayana, Three Philosophical Poets: Lucretius, Dante, Goethe

7. Horkeimer and Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment (“Begriff der
Aufklärung” + “Exkurs I: Odysseus oder Mythos und Aufklärung”

8. Weil, The Iliad or the Poem of Force

9. Heidegger, Erläuterungen zu Hölderlins Dichtung

10. Unamuno, Our Lord Don Quixote: Life of Don Quijote and Sancho

[or essay in El sentimiento tragico de la vida]

[ + Ortega y Gasset’s (Meditaciones del Quijote)

Meditations on Quixote]

11. Derrida, Acts of Literature (“The First Session,” “Mallarmé,”

“Ulysses Gramophone,” [from Signsponge, “Aphorism Countertime”])

12. Kristeva, Time and Sense: Proust and the Experience of Literature

13. Deleuze, Proust and Signs

14. Patrick Colm Hogan, Philosophical Approaches to the Study of Literature

Graduate Seminars Not Currently Offered:

The Writing of Silence: Edmond Jabès and Paul Celan (Spring 2002)

Postmodern writers and artists of all sorts have evolved radical new poetics based preeminently on the secret resources of silence. Poets have focused particularly on silences become audible in the tearing of language and the rending of sense. To a significant degree, this is a rediscovery of the oftentimes repressed resources in Western tradition of apophatic discourse, discourse on what cannot be said. Jewish writers have been particularly important in this revival, partly because the traditional biblical interdiction on representations of the divine (“graven images”), denounced as idolatrous, gave Jewish tradition a peculiar attunement to the limits of representation and a special sensibility for the Unrepresentable. Furthermore, the Holocaust experience has become recognized as a cultural code for the unspeakable par excellence. Jabès and Celan, emerging almost contemporaneously out of widely divergeant cultural backgrounds in Egypt and Romania, nevertheless share these fundamental coordinates in common, and each has developed his art to the highest level of eminence on the scene of world literature. Moreover, originating in areas of linguistic diaspora of their respective French and German tongues, both turn out to be peculiarly qualified to express the experience of exile as the archetypal condition of the postmodern writer and as the condition of language itself–a signifier forever severed from its signified.

We will read these eminent poets, architects of postmodern poetics, in the context of theoretical essays that articulate the sorts of intellectual problematics their poetry engages. Thus works by Rosenzweig, Benjamin, Adorno, Arendt, Heidegger, Derrida, Levinas, Blanchot, and Bataille will provide a framework for approaching this poetry of the tearing asunder of the word and the writing of silence. Hölderlin and Rilke will be explored as forerunners of this poetics.

Readings:

Jabès, The Book of Questions: El, or the Last Book

Celan, Collected Poems + “Meridan” in Collected Prose

Heidegger, “Language”

Hölderlin, poems and fragments

Kafka, “On Parables” and “The Song of the Sirens”

Rilke, Duino Elegies 8 & 9 + Sonnets to Opheus 1

Schoenberg, Moses and Aaron II, 5

Rosenzweig, “On the Name of God” from Star of Redemption

Benjamin, “Theses on History,” “The Task of the Translator,” “On Language as
Such and on the Language of Men”

Adorno, “Lyric and Society” + “After Auschwitz” in Negative Dialectics

Arendt, “Metaphor and the Ineffable” in The Life of the Mind, vol. I

Bataille, “Principles of Method and of a Community,” from Inner Experience

Blanchot, “On Being Jewish,” in The Infinite Conversation

Derrida, “Edmond Jabès and the Question of the Book” (also Shibboleth)

Levinas, “Paul Celan” and “Edmond Jabès” in Proper Names + “Saying and Said”
from Otherwise than Being

Beckett, The Unnameable (end)+ Texts for Nothing #8

Wittgenstein, “Lecture on Ethics” + Tractatus 6.4 — 7

CLT 355 Mystical Rhetorics of Silence from Plotinus to John of the Cross (Fall 2001)

Postmodern discourses have testified unmistakably to the resurgent vitality of the Western mystical tradition. The crisis of language so acutely felt in our time has been the common premise of mystical discourses in all times. Bataille, Blanchot, Levinas, Lacan, as well as radical feminist thinkers like Irrigaray, are suddenly illuminated and prove to be highly readable when set against their proper precedents in this tradition. The mystical authors selected belong especially to the “apophatic” tradition of negative theology that has been widely cited as deconstruction “avant la lettre” ever since Derrida’s manifesto address “La différance.” Derrida himself has taken up the topic of deconstruction as negative theology in several extensive texts of the 1990s. Contemporary poets, furthermore, like Celan, Jabès, Stevens, W. S. Merwin, Marlene Norbese Philip–in strict analogy to mystical writers– are obsessed with what language cannot say. Abstract painting from Kandinsky to Malevich, Mondrian, Barnett Newman and Ad Reinhart, and the architecture of Le Corbusier and Mies Van der Rohe, are likewise drenched in the mystical quest for purity of Nothing sought by a stripping away of all determinate form. Something analogous goes for John Cage, the composer of “silence,” and for Arthur Schoenberg. In countless ways, the key to our contemporary Zeitgeist is to be found in this discourse of mysticism that has evolved over millenia secreted in the bosom of Western culture. To understand where we are now we need to wrest this underground culture from seclusion. In so doing we follow the footsteps of leading exponents of postmodern culture, as well as of leading medieval scholars of mysticism like Michel de Certeau and Bernard McGinn, Alois Hass, and Denys Turner.

The course will trace the various inflections of the tradition of “apophatic” discourse, language about what cannot be said, the Ineffable, from ancient Greek thought across the Christian Middle Ages. In beginning from Plotinus, we recuperate elements from Plato, such as the Good beyond Being (“epekeina tes ousias”), as well as Aristotle’s conception of God as thought thinking itself. The resultant Neoplatonic paradigm fuses with biblical revelation to create the canonical model for Christian mysticism in the Corpus Dionysiacum, the works from the 5-6th century A.D. attributed to Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. We will follow this line of development through Eriugena, Maimonides, Porete, Eckhart and Cusanus to the Spanish baroque mysticism of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. The experience beyond all sensual and even all imaginative experience of a “simple light” beyond the reach of representation, and especially beyond the furthest capabilities of linguistic expression, is approached by all these authors from different angles and on the basis of different cultural matrices. Side-glances at Arabic, Sufi mysticism, particularly Ibn al-Arabi and Rumi, and at the Jewish Kabbalah will help us delineate the essential features of Western mysticism in some of its most distinguished literary incarnations.

The proposed approach to the literature of mysticism will pay special attention to the rhetoric of silence in these texts. It will focus on the lingustic resources accessed or invented by classic writers of the tradition of mystical theology for attempting (and inevitably failing) to say the Unsayable.

Readings:

Plato, Parmenides 137b — 143b (first two hyptheses)

Philo, De somnis I, 11; from De mutatione nominumLegum Allegoria III; De  posteritate Caini 16.

Gnostic Tripartite Tractate

Corpus Hermeticum V. 1, 8, 10, 11 and Asclepius 20

Clement of Alexandria, Stromate V

Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Moses

Plotinus, Ennead V

Proclus, Commentary on the Parmenides

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, Mystical Theology, On Divine Names

John Scott Eriugina, The Division of Nature

Moses Maimonides, Moreh Nevukhim (Guide for the Perplexed): I, 50-58

Kabbala, Zòhar (Book of Splendor)

Ibn al-Arabi, The Bezels of Wisdom

Rumi, Sufi poems from Masnavi

Marguerite Porete, The Mirror of the Simple Annihilated Soul

Meister Eckhart, German Sermons

Nicolus Cusanus, On Divine Ignorance

John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul

Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle

In addition to this cadre of readings, students will be encouraged to explore other sources, especially in connection with their own projects. Particularly relevant are:

Bible: 1 Kings 19. 12-18; II Corinthians 12. 2-6

Albert the Great, Commentary on Dionysius’ Mystical Theology

Bonaventure, Itinerarium Mentis in Deum

Gnostic Tripartate Tractate

Augustine, Confessions, Book IX. x. xxiii-xxv (Vision at Ostia)

Jerome, De decem nominibus dei (Patrologia Latina 23, 1038)

Abraham Abulafia; see Moshe Idel’s books

Thomas Aquinas, “De nominibus Dei,” Summa theologica I, quaestio 13

Richard of St. Victoire, Benjamin Major

Thierry of Chartres, Lectiones in Boethii librum de Trinitatis, ed. N. M.  Haring, AHDLM 30 (1955) Archives d’Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Age

William of St. Thierry, Lettere d’oro

Bernard of Clairvaux, De consideratione and Sermons on Song of Songs

The Cloud of Unknowing

Hadewijch, Mengeldichten or Das Buch der Visionen

Gertrude the Great, Revelationes or Legatus divinae pietatis (Herald of God’s

Loving Kindness)

Jakob Böhme, Von der Gnadenwahl (On the Election of Divine Grace)

Silesius Angelus, from Wandering Cherub (Cherubinischer Wandersmann)

CLT 355-03 On What Cannot Be Said: Apophatic Discourses in Theology, Philosophy, and Literature (Spring 1999 & 2000)

This course examines traditional as well as new and radical currents of thinking about the limits of language and what may or may not lie beyond them. The course is built around literary and philosophical versions of and responses to classic expressions of negative theology in Western culture, that is, the attempt to devise and disqualify ways of talking about God as an ultimate reality beyond the reach of language.

This inquiry necessarily entails an attempt to pry into the nature of language and its creative role with respect to the world and things. A great deal of reflection in this area has revolved around the mysteries of naming and of the Divine Name. There is an especially Jewish tradition of reflection for which any possibility of naming is grounded in the (unnameable) Name of God. The language theories of authors including Derrida, Rosenzweig, Benjamin and Levinas will be examined and backgrounded by biblical revelation and kabbalah speculation as presented especially by Scholem.

Poetic versions of the problem of the unsayable, particularly by Dante, Dickinson, Celan, and Wallace Stevens, will also be featured.

Introduction (poems by Wallace Stevens, Paul Celan and Rainer Maria Rilke)

Rosenzweig, Der Stern der Erlösung (The Star of Redemption) Intro & Part 1

Rosenzweig, Der Stern der Erlösung (The Star of Redemption) Part 2

Rosenzweig, Der Stern der Erlösung (The Star of Redemption) Part 3

Schelling, The Ages of the World (Die Weltalter)

Pseudo-Dionysius, Mystical Theology The Divine Names (De divinis nominibus)

Plato, Parmenides

Plotinus, Enneads, Book V

Meister Eckhart, German Sermons (Deutsche Predigten und Traktate), [esp. 2 (“Intravit Jesus in quoddam castellum”), 52 (“Beati pauperes spiritu”) and “Surrexit Autem Saulus de Terra”] + Aquinas, “On Divine Names”

Marguerite Porete, The Mirror of the Simple Souls Who Are Annihilated and Remain Only in Will and Desire of Love (Le Mirouer des simples ames anienties et qui seulement demourent en vouloir et desire d’amour)

+

Emily Dickinson, Poems (Johnson numbers): 581, 701, 1452,  1563,1651,1668, 1700, also 985, and 1071)

Dante, Paradiso

Lévinas, Time and the Other (Le temps et l’autre)

Derrida, “Denials: How to avoid speaking” (“Comment ne pas parler”) in Derrida and Negative Theology

Derrida, On the Name (Sauf le nom) = “Post-Scriptum” in Derrida and Negative Theology

Silesius Angelus, The Wandering Cherub (Cherubinische Wandersmann)

Scholem, “On the Names of God”

+ Benjamin, “On the Language of Men and on Language as Such”

+ Celan, “Conversation in the Mountains” (“Gespräch im Gebirge”)

CLT The Unnameable and the Sublime (crosslisted with French, team-taught with Marc Froment-Meurice)  (Spring 1998)

Traditional as well as new and radical currents of thinking about the limits of language and what may or may not lie beyond them. The course is built around literary and philosophical versions of and responses to classic expressions of negative theology in Western culture, that is, the attempt to devise and disqualify ways of talking about God as an ultimate reality beyond the reach of language. Theoretical negative theology, moreover, will be brought into relation with contemporary political questions about the “socially unspeakable,” leading to reflections on the reduction to silence of certain groups or concerns and certain kinds of languages today. To this end stimulation will be sought from Claude Lanzmann’s film, “SHOAH.” Readings from:

Plato, Sophist (SOFISTHS)

Plotinus, Enneids V

Longinus, On the Sublime (PERI UCOUS)

Dionysius, The Divine Names (De divinis nominibus)

Meister Eckhart, Deutsche Predigten und Traktate or Reden der  Unterscheidung (“Modicum . . .”, 70, in Die deutschen und lateinischen Werke, vol. III, pp. 189-90).

Silesius Angelus, Wandering Cherub (Cherubinische Wandersmann)

Kant, Critique of Judgment (Kritik der Urteilskraft)

Heidegger, On the Way to Language (Unterwegs zur Sprache)

Shelley, “Mount Blanc”

Dickinson, Poems (Johnsons numbers): 581, 701, 1452, 1563, 1651, 1668, 1700, also 985, and 1071)

Bataille, Inner Experience (L’experience intérieure)

Blanchot, The Step/Not Beyond (Le pas au-delà)

Lévinas, Totality and Infinity (Totalité et infini)

Derrida, On the Name (Sauf le nom)

“How Not to Speak” (“Dénégations: Comment ne pas parler”)

Celan, “Conversation in the Mountains” (“Gespräch im Gebirg”)

Poems from Die Niemandsrose (“Was Geschah,” “Tübingen, Jänner”)

Jean-Luc Nancy, “Des Lieux Divins,” in Qu’est-ce que Dieu? Hommage à l’abbé Daniel Coppieters de Gibson (1929-1983) (Bruxelles: Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis, 1985).

Additional Bibliography

Bloom, Ruin the Sacred Truths

Boileau, Traité du sublime ou du merveilleux dans le discours

Chrysostom, On the Incomprehensible Nature of God, trans. Paul W. Harkins in The Fathers of the Church vol. 72 (Washington D. C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1982)

Cusanus, De docta ignorantia

De Libera, Le problème de l’être chez maître Eckhart: logique et  métaphysique de l’analogie

Dragonetti, “L’Image et l’irreprésentable dans l’écriture de Saint  Augustin,” in Qu’est-ce que Dieu? Philosophie / Théologie. Homages à l’abbé Daniel Coppieters de Gibson.

Givone, Sergio, Storia del nulla(Bari: Laterza, 1995)

Grassi, La preminenza della parola metaforica. Heidegger, Eckhart, Novalis

Guillén, Jorge. “The Ineffable Language of Mysticism: San Juan de la  Cruz.” Language and Poetry. Harvard UP 1961.

Hamacher, Premises. Essays on Philosophy and Literature from Kant  to Celan

Heidegger, “Die Sprache” (“Language”)

Erläuterungen über Hölderlins Dichtung

Beiträge zur Philosophie

Heiser, John. “Saint Augustine and Negative Theology.” In New Scholasticism. vol. LXIII, no. 1 (Winter 1989), pp. 66-80

Iser and Budick, eds., Languages of the Unsayable

Kristeva, Pouvoirs de l’horreur

Lévinas, Emmanuel, L’au-delà du verset: Lectures et discours Talmadiques (Paris: Minuit, 1982)

Lao Tzu, The Way of Life

Lossky, Théologie négative et connsaissance de Dieu chez Maître Eckhart, Paris, 1973

Marion, J.-L., “La vanité d’être et le nom de Dieu,” in Analogie et Dialectique: Essais de Théologie Fondamentale (Geneva: Labor et Fides, 1982).

Mortley, Raoul. From Word to Silence, I: The rise and fall of logos(Bonn: Hanstein, 1986)

____________. From Word to Silence, II The Way of Negation, Christian and Greek (Bonn: Hanstein, 1986).

Moses Maimonides, Moreh Nevukhim (Guide to the Perplexed), esp. “Lashon Benai Adam” (“The Language of Man”) in Goodman, ed.,  Rambam

Plato, Parmenides

Schiller, “Vom Erhabenen” in Kleinere philosophische Schriftenin Werke XII, 1, , ed. R. Boxberger, or in Schillers’Werke 20 pt. 1, ed. Benno von Wiese (Weimar: Hermann Böhlaus Nachfolger, 1962)

Stevens, “Notes Towards a Supreme Fiction”

Theunissen, Michael, The Other

__________________. Negative Theologie der Zeit

Weiskel, The Romantic Sublime: Studies in the Structure and Psychology of Transcendence

Whittaker, John. “Basilides on the Ineffability of God,” in Studies in  Platonism and Patristic Thought (London, 1984).

AAVV, Autour de SHOAH

Vahanian, Dieu anonyme

Weiskel, The Romantic Sublime

Arendt, The life of the Mind, vol. 1, Thinking (esp. c. 13: Metaphor and the Ineffable)

Paintings by Turner or Caspar David Friedrich .

Rationale for course on The Unnamable and the Sublime:

This course proposes to bring some of the most enduringly significant attempts in different disciplines within Western culture to define the limits of language, and perhaps to exceed them, into comparison with one another. The tradition of negative theology will be compared with poetry of the ineffable and philosophical reflections on language that tend to define areas of inviolable silence. Since antiquity this problematic of the unsayable has been linked with that of the sublime, and this topic will serve to counterpoint the investigation of the central issues of negative theology. Such a pervasive problem as the language of the unsayable in Western tradition can best be treated at the intersection between disciplines, signally philosophy, theology, and poetry. It is not the property of any one national tradition nor is it peculiar to any historical period and demands the wide-ranging comparative treatment that this course proposes. Bringing together the different disciplinary and cultural backgrounds of the two instructors–both heavily invested in precisely this topic from widely diverse intellectual matrices–is part of a design to catalyze open dialogue on “what cannot be said” lurking as an ineluctable provocation perhaps in all discourses.

Hegel and the French Connection (crosslisted with Philosophy) (Fall 1999)

This course is designed to provide an introduction to postmodern thought. It focuses on a broad range of the contemporary French thinkers who are most influential in literary theory and other humanities disciplines today. Their refusal of systematicity, their claims on behalf of difference and otherness, have united them in a polemical stance against metaphysics and the whole tradition of Western, philosophical thinking that they generally concur in viewing as epitomized by and culminating in Hegel. In fact, major texts of each of these key thinkers are focused around readings of and confrontations with Hegel. It is especially Hegel’s early philosophical masterpiece, the Phenomenology of Spirit, that has been the center of interest, for this work, while it moves sweepingly towards the embodiment of Hegel’s mature System, is at the same time profoundly marked by ineffaceable resistances to any possible totality, that is, by a sensitivity to the impossibility of its own undertaking and to the inevitability of exclusions. French thinkers have picked up on and exploited precisely the obstacles and exceptions to the totalizing projects of classic philosophical thought that are most completely realized, but are also most effectively questioned, by Hegel. In Of Grammatology Derrida remarks that “Hegel is also the thinker of irreducible difference . . . the last philosopher of the book and the first thinker of writing” (26/ 41). This suggests why Derrida also said in an interview that “we will never be finished with the reading or rereading of the Hegelian text and, in a certain sense, I do nothing other than attempt to explain myself on this point . . . . the movement by means of which the text exceeds what it intends to say, permits itself to be turned away from, to return to, and to repeat itself outside its self-identity” (Positions, 77-78/103-104).

Hegel is taken by contemporary French philosophers of difference as completing the whole course of Western metaphysics, which in modern times, particularly since Descartes, becomes a metaphysics of the subject, the “I” who thinks and posits itself as the foundation of its world. The extreme consequences of precisely this subjective posture are reached in Hegel’s Absolute Spirit, which encompasses all reality in consciousness as absolute knowledge of itself: consciousness knows all nature and history as externalized forms of itself, and by recognizing them as such reappropriates them into unity with consciousness in a total synthesis. This includes a claim to perfect harmony and total unity that has seemed to twentieth-century thinkers delirious and even catastrophic, to the extent that it allows no place for any irreducible otherness but mediates everything into versions of the self and the same. Everything comes to be incorporated in the course of Hegel’s dialectic into the total synthesis of an absolute spirit to which nothing can remain exterior: all knowledge is ultimately self-knowledge, all relation is self-relation. In different ways, recent French thinkers of difference have all endeavored to rupture this total enclosure and immanence that became manifest as a destiny of Western thought definitively realized in Hegel’s System.

The Phenomenology,in its role as “preface” to the Systemstands ambiguously both inside and outside of it. It is the record of Hegel’s own journey towards his all-encompassing order, and it bears the marks of the repressions that the French have been concerned to unearth and valorize as escaping from total domination. Their obsessive themes of difference, excess, transgression, rupture, heterogeneity, otherness are all best understood in relation to the basically Hegelian framework they are conceived in order to break out of and overcome, or at least to interrupt, displace, disarticulate, and dismantle. Yet there is an irony in the extent to which French postmodern thought may still be, despite its posture of contestation, deeply and irremediably Hegelian. Only Hegel and the dialectical identity of identity and difference that characterizes his thought makes possible many of the most peculiarly characteristic moves and modes of this recent French thinking. The totalitarian, dogmatic Hegel, moreover, converts into Hegel the thinker of the “open system” (Labarrière), the last of the great philosophers because still “actual” in his focus on the disquietude of the negative (Nancy) and on freedom as the endless movement of contingency (Weil). Reading through the rhetoric of rejection, and often following overt admissions of dialectical dependence, we will note the indelible indebtedness to Hegel, as well as the “difference” that postmodernism makes. In the end, this course will have provided a general introduction to postmodern thought by exposing some of its deepest drives and basic philosophical motivations.

Poetics and Politics of the Origin of Language (Spring 1999)

As pondered by a certain humanist tradition since antiquity, the order of things in general and of human society in particular is mirrored and to a large extent even established and generated by the order of language. Language is thus a privileged locus for human creative effort in aesthetic, ethical and other domains, though its privilege is also frought with risks and ambiguities. Endeavors to exploit language’s poetic resources have very often been inextricably bound up with theoretical inquiry into the nature and essence of language and its relation to world, self, society, reality, and the beyond. We will follow a number of paths into the nature of language and poetry as illuminating one another reciprocally and as formative for political order but also as beholden to and manipulable by it. Different models of language in the ancient and medieval, as well as the modern, worlds will be analyzed in relation to the poetic and political powers that language is able to claim or that are exerted through it for better and for worse.

The most important ideas about language have sooner or later found expression in myths or accounts of its origin, and this will give us our thematic thread. Discourses about the origin of language become a minor genre in their own right, and the stories told about how language originates are saturated with ideological implications, embodying interpretations of the relation of human beings to nature, to one another in society, to empowerment, and to higher powers. We will consider the question of origins not only anthropologically and etiologically but broadly in terms also of language as itself an origin of world and human, historical life.

1 Introduction

2 Plato, Cratylus + Grassi, “Rhetoric and Philosophy”

3 Cicero, De inventioneTopica +Horace, “Ars poetica” (excerpts) & Quintilian

Rig Veda 10.71

+ Grassi, “Rhetoric as the Ground of Society”

4 Dante, De vulgari eloquentia

5 Dante, Paradiso

6 Grassi, Renaissance Humanism

7 Vico, The New Science, Idea of the Work and Books I & II

Optional: Vico, On the Ancient Wisdom of the Italians taken from the Origins of the Latin Language

8 SPRING BREAK

9 Vico, The New Science, Books II-V

10 Rousseau, On the Origin of Language

Herder, Prize Essay on the Origin of Language

Optional: Herder, “Essay on a History of Lyric Poetry”

11 Derrida, Of Grammatology, Part I

12 Derrida,Of Grammatology, Part II

13 Humboldt, On Language: the diversity of human language

structure and its influence on the mental development of mankind

14 Heidegger, “Holderlin and the Essence of Poetry”

“Language”

“What are Poets For?”

15 Benjamin, “On Language as Such and on the Language of Men”

+ “The Task of the Translator”

Optional: Derrida, “The Towers of Babel”

CLT 350 Applications and Emergencies of Literary Theories (team-taught with Margaret Doody) (Fall 1997)

This course aims to explore fundamental aspects of literary theory as they emerge and are applied not only in theoretical works rooted in diverse disciplines and traditions but also in literary, philosophical, religious, anthropological, etc., works themselves. Focal themes will include the difference made by writing in the stories and discourses that make up a culture as well as in the construction of the history of an individual subject. Thus autobiography as a mode of theorizing about literature will be given special attention. The classical tradition’s wisdom on the construction of plot will be considered in relation to twists to narrative structure in other cultures, particularly the Chinese and Christian.

*Plato, Phaedrus

Ion

*Derrida, Plato’s Pharmacy (in Dissémination)

Sappho, Poems

Barthes, Le plaisir du texte

Scarry, The Body in Pain (Pt. 2, “Pain and Imagining,” “Body and Voice in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures and in Marx)

[Aristotle, Poetics]

[Horace, Ars Poetica and Odes orSatires?]

*Sidney, Apology for Poetry

[Augustine, De doctrina christiana]

[Dante, Paradiso]

*Chaucer, House of Fame x

Tsao Hsueh-Chin and Kao Ngo, The Dream of Red Chamber I

*Teresa of Avilla, The Interior Castle

*Borges, (Cinque ConferenciasLabyrinths

[Kristeva, Histoires d’Amour]

*Goethe, Faust I & II (Kaufman transl.) [Valéry?]

*Coleridge, Biographia Literaria

*Jung, Memory, Dreams, Reflections

+Benjamin, Reflections (Berliner Chronik, Paris, Naples,

[Nietzsche, Ecce Homo]

+Baudrillard, L’Amerique

+Bhakthin, on chronotypes and topos

CLT 350 Applications and Emergences of Literary Theories:

Postcolonial Criticism and Theory

(team-taught with Margaret Doody) (Fall 1998)

Apuleius, Golden Ass

Said, Orientalism

Bhabha, Nation and Narration

Kristeva, Nations without Nationalisms

Gandhi, Hind Swaraj

Baudrillard, America

Rushdie, Midnight’s Children, “Haroun and the Sea of Stories”

Fanon, The Wretched of the EarthPeau noire masques blancs

Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives

Soyinka, Myth, Literature and the African World

Marlowe, Tamberlaine

Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”

Memmi, Portrait du Colonisé

Garcilaso de Vega, Commentarios Reales

Françoise de Graffigny, Lettres d’une Péruvienne

Maryse Condé, in Traversée de la Mangrove

Derrida, “Admiration de Nelson Mandela ou les lois de la réflexion”

Hélène Cixous, “La Venue a L’écriture” in Entre L’écriture

Metaphor

(crosslisted with English) (Spring 1997)

An examination of theories of metaphor supported by interpretations of metaphor at work in literary and other sorts of texts. Questions as to the nature and sources of linguistic innovation, the roles of similarity and comparison, the bases for metaphor in the world and in language, and the question whether all language is metaphorical. These and other questions will be pursued across a range of theories falling under three general paradigms: analytic philosophy of language, structuralism and semiotics, and hermeneutics.

A central axis of readings will be formed by the classical rhetorical tradition concerning literary metaphor and the philosophical reflection on metaphor from antiquity through the Renaissance (Aristotle, Quintillian, Cicero, Augustine, De doctrina christiana, Geoffrey of Vinsauf, Poetria Nova, and Henry Peacham, The Garden of Eloquence), to modern philosophical reflection by I. A. Richards,The Philosophy of Rhetoric and Ricoeur, La métahpre vive, and its critique by Derrida (“Le retrait de la metaphor” and “La mythologie blanche: la métaphor dans le texte philosophique”).

Dante’s Paradiso, an inaugural text for metaphor in a modern sense, has been chosen as a starting point and common resource for us. The particular interests and disciplinary backgrounds of each of the seminar’s participants will determine other exemplary texts, formally through an oral presentation. A bibliography and consultations with the instructor are available to help guide the choice of texts and topic.

Introduction

Richards, The Philosophy of Rhetoric

Ricoeur, The Rule of Metaphor 1 & 2

+ Aristotle, Poetics1457b (ch. 21); Rhetoric 1406b, 1410b, 1412a

+ Quintillian, from De Institutione Oratoria Libri Duodecim

+ Dumarsais, from Les figures du discours

Black, “Metaphor,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 55

(1954/55): 273-294

+ Black, “Models and Archetypes” in Models and Metaphors

+ Davidson, “What Metaphors Mean” in Sacks, On Metaphor

Optional: Black, “More About Metaphor,” in Ortony

+ Ricoeur, The Rule of Metaphor 3

Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By

Optional: Kuhn, in Ortony

Sontag, Illness as Metaphor

Eco, “Metaphor and Semiosis,” Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language

Optional: Ricoeur, The Rule of Metaphor 4 and 5

Juri Lotman. “Myth-Name-Culture,” Semiotica 22

Cassirer, Language and Myth

+ Vico, “Poetic Logic”

Optional: Ortega y Gasset

Ricoeur, The Rule of Metaphor 6 & 7

Derrida, “La mythologie blanche” (= “White Mythology”)

Optional: Sarah Kofman, Nietzsche et la métaphore [abbreviated version in Poétique 2 (1971): 77-98])

Nietzsche, “Über Wahrheit und Lüge im aussermoralischen Sinne”

Ricoeur, The Rule of Metaphor 8

Optional: Derrida, “Le retrait de la métaphore” (=”The Retreat of Metaphor”)

Ricoeur, “The Metaphorical Process as Cognition, Imagination, and Feeling,” Critical Inquiry 5 (Autumn 1978)

Grassi, The Primordial Metaphor

Krieger, A Reopening of Closure

Conclusion

CLT 327 The Structuralist Paradigm and its Transformations (Fall 1996)

Seminal for the development of literary theory in this century, especially as led by French writers and thinkers, is the revolution starting from Saussure and his structural understanding of language. Virtually all the humanities disciplines, and literature in particular, have undergone radical transformation in its wake. Our selection of texts and theorists is guided by a central interest in following the development and transformations of the structuralist paradigm as it has been applied to poetic language. The most general questions concerning the grounds and limits of language’s meaningfulness and the powers or impotency of the sign will be approached with special emphasis on the insights that open up from within structuralist and post-structuralist theoretical perspectives trained on the poetry particularly of Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, and Ponge.

Texts:

Classpack at Campus Copy

[+Ross Chambers on Baudelaire’s “A une passante”]

Barthes, Writing Degree Zero/Le degrée zéro de l’écriture

_______, Elements of Semiology (optional)

Derrida, Of Grammatology/De la Grammatologie

______, Dissemination / La dissémination

______, Signéponge (optional)

______, Acts of Literature (optional)

Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language/Révolution dans le language poétique

Mallarmé, Selected Poetry and Prose

Rimbaud, Complete Works

Saussure, Course in General Linguistics/Cours de linguistique générale

CLT/French 327 Theories of Poetic Language (Spring 1995)

New experiences of language and of the worlds it renders accessible have been pioneered by avant-garde movements in poetry, particularly by “les symbolistes” together with their Romantic precursors and modernist heirs. Literary theories to a large extent have been stimulated by these new experiences of poetic language. In this course we will read contemporary literary theorists like Derrida, Kristeva, Barthes, De Man, Blanchot, Jakobson and others in close connection with the sorts of poetic works which have produced the phenomena to be theorized within the new horizon of “language” in our time.

The course is designed to introduce students to classic, key-stone texts and concepts of literary theory, not through a survey of “isms” but rather by concentrating on the question of poetic language; through this specific thematic focus it aims to bring out what the various theoretical approaches–structuralist and deconstructive, hermeneutic and post-modern–really mean in application.

Texts:

Course Reader at Campus Copy

Barthes, Writing Degree Zero/Le degrée zéro de l’écriture

Baudelaire, Selected Poems

Derrida, Of Grammatology/De la Grammatologie

Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language

Mallarmé, Selected Poetry and Prose

Valéry, Selected Writings

SCHEDULE OF READINGS:

1/18 Introduction: The Orphic and the Hermetic Conceptions of Poetic Language

1/25 Heidegger, “Hölderlin and the Essence of Poetry”

Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads

Culler, “Apostrophe”

2/1 de Saussure, “The Nature of the Linguistic Sign,” Cours I, 1

Jakobson, “Linguistics and Poetics”

________, “Charles Baudelaire’s ‘Les Chats’”

Aristotle, Poetics, secs. 20-22 (on metaphor)

2/8 Barthes, Writing Degree Zero

_______, extract from “Le Mythe, Aujourd’hui”

Rimbaud, “Voyelles,” “Le Batteau Ivre,” Lettres du voyant

2/15 Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language, I (“The Semiotic and the Symbolic), pp.1-106

Rimbaud, Illuminations (esp. “Matinée d’ivresse,” “Barbare”)

2/22 Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language, II-IV (Negativity, Heterogeneity, Practice), pp. 107-235

Rimbaud, Une Saison en Enfers + “L’Éternité,” p. 138

2/1 Derrida, Of Grammatology, cc. 1-2

3/8 SPRING BREAK

3/15 Blanchot, “Literature and the Right to Death”

Mallarmé, “Poésies” (esp. “L’Après midi d’un Faune,” “Le vierge, le vivace…”)

Derrida, “The Double Session”

Verlaine, “Art poétique”

3/22 Mallarmé, “Poésies” (esp. “Herodiade,” “Sonnet en x”)

Mallarmé, “Crise de vers,” “Quant au livre,” “Le livre, instrument spirituel,” “Le mystère dans les lettres”

Johnson, “Les Fleurs du mal armé: Some Reflections on Intertextuality”

Plato, “Cratylus”

3/29 Mallarmé, “Igiture,” “Un Coup de dés”

Blanchot, “The Igitur Experience”

Lyotard, excerpt from Discours, Figure on “Coup de dés”

4/5 Valèry, “Le Cimetière marin” et al.

______, “Poetry and Abstract Thought”

______, “Last Visit to Stéphane Mallarmé”

Genette, “Valery and the Poetics of Language”

4/12 Benjamin, “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire”

________, “The Task of the Translator”

Baudelaire, Fleurs du mal (esp. “À une passante”)

4/19 De Man, “The Rhetoric of Temporality”

______, “Anthropomorphism and Trope in Lyric”

Baudelaire, Fleurs du mal (esp. “Correspondances”)

4/26 Baudelaire, Fleurs du mal (esp. “Le Cygne”)

Most, “The Language of Poetry”

Jameson, “Baudelaire as Modernist and Postmodernist: The Dissolution of the Referent and the Artificial Sublime”

Hermeneutics (crosslisted with Philosophy) (1992-95)

This course is meant to serve as a general introduction to a certain current of thinking in continental philosophy, arts criticism and social science known as “hermeneutics.” It takes Heidegger’s thought, both early and late, as ground-breaking for the modern hermeneutic revolution and then reads forwards to contemporary developments of hermeneutics as a philosophical school, especially by Gadamer, as well as backwards to important antecedents for this decisive turning in the history of interpretation. Thus Heidegger’s texts together with Gadamer’s Truth and Method will serve as a central path from which we will branch off to explore a variety of styles of hermeneutic thinking, represented by brief texts from Ricoeur, Foucault, Derrida, Humboldt, Habermas. Along the way, retrospectively, the significance of classics in hermeneutic theory by Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Hegel and St. Augustine will be brought to focus.

REQUIRED TEXTS:

Gadamer, Truth and Method

Heidegger, Being and Time

Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought

Mueller-Vollmer, The Hermeneutics Reader

Course Reader, includes: Augustine, On the Trinity, Book XV; Derrida, “Sendings: On Representation”; Foucault, “Nietzsche, Freud, Marx”; Hegel, Introduction to Phenomenology of Spirit; Ricoeur, “The Task of Hermeneutics.”

OPTIONAL TEXTS:

Bruns, Hermeneutics: Ancient and Modern

Dreyfus, Being-in-the-World: A Commentary of Heidegger’s Being and Time, Division I

Klemm, Hermeneutical Inquiry II

Ricoeur, Interpretation Theory

Steiner, After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation

Weinsheimer, Gadamer’s Hermeneutics

Vanderbilt Courses Archive

Graduate Seminars previously taught   CLT=Comparative Literature

CLT (Comparative Literature) 360  Philosophy and Literature  (Spring 2005)

CLT 341 Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism: Current Trends  (Fall 2003, 2004)

CLT 340 Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism: Classic Texts and Traditions (Spring 2003, 2004)

CLT 355  The Writing of Silence  (Spring 2002)
CLT 355 Mystical Rhetorics of Silence from Plotinus to John of the Cross (Fall 2001)

CLT 355-03 On What Cannot Be Said: Apophatic Discourses in Theology, Philosophy, and Literature (Spring 2000)

CLT 355 Poetics and Politics of the Origin of Language (Spring 1999)

CLT/French 355  The Unnameable and the Sublime (Fall 1999)

CLT/English 355  Metaphor (Spring 1998)

CLT 350 Postcolonial Criticism and Theory: Applications and Emergences of Literary Theories (team-taught with Margaret Doody)  (Fall 1998)

CLT 350 The Soul:  Applications and Emergencies of Literary Theories (team-taught with Margaret Doody) (Fall 1997)

CLT 327  The Structuralist Paradigm and its Transformations (Spring 1997)

CLT 345 / Philosophy 345  Hermeneutics (repeated 1992-1995)

Research Tools

Comparative Literature

Apophatische oder negative Theologie in der Kultur.sylb.doc

Bibliothèque philosophique
Bibliothèque du Cerf


Suarez, Disputationes Metaphysicae

Sacred Texts .com

syllabus ITA 102

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