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Fall 2014

C L. 80100 – The Outcome of Classical German Philosophy: From Hegel-Adorno , GC:   M, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Richard Wolin, cross listed with HIST 72400.
C L. 85000 - Existentialism/Phenomenology : Philosophy, Literature and Critique, GC:   W, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Vincent Crapanzano, cross listed with ANT 80900.
C L. 85000 - The Rake’s Progress: Libertinism in Italy/France/England  
GC:   Th, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Paolo Fasoli
C L. 85000-Modern/Postmodern:  Mann, Musil, Kluge, Sebald, GC:  Th, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Caroline Rupprecht
C L. 86000 - A.P. Chekhov: The Context and the Text
GC:   W, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Nadya Peterson, 
C L. 88500 - Antonioni and Fellini:  The Challenge of Post Modernist Cinema
GC:   T, 6:30-10:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi, cross listed with FSCP 81000. 
C L. 89000 – Historicism and Post-Historicism: Benjamin/Aurbach: Origins and Legacies, GC:  M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Martin Elsky
C L. 89100 - Hist Lit Thry and Criticism I 
GC:   T, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Monica Calabritto

Course Descriptions

C L. 80100 – The Outcome of Classical German Philosophy: From Hegel-Adorno –Prof. Richard Wolin

In 1886, Friedrich Engels wrote a perfectly mediocre book, Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy, which nevertheless managed to raise a fascinating and important question that is still being vigorously debated today: how should we go about evaluating the legacy of German Idealism following the mid-nineteenth century breakdown of the Hegelian system? For Engels, the answer was relatively simple: the rightful heir of classical German philosophy was Marx’s doctrine of historical materialism. But, in truth, Engels’ response was merely one of many possible approaches. Nor would it be much of an exaggeration to claim that, in the twentieth-century, there is hardly a thinker worth reading who has not sought to define him or herself via a confrontation with the heritage of Kant and Hegel.   Our approach to this extremely rich material will combine a reading of the canonical texts of German Idealism (e.g., Kant and Hegel) with a sustained and complementary focus on major twentieth-century thinkers who have sought to establish their originality via a critical reading of Hegel and his heirs: Alexandre Kojève, Georges Bataille, Jean Hyppolite, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Theodor Adorno, and Jürgen Habermas. But we will also seek acknowledge the importance of the contemporary North American Hegel renaissance, as exemplified by the work of philosophers such as Robert Pippin, Michael Forster, Terry Pinkard, and Allen Wood.  In his “Discourse on Language” Foucault warns us appositely that, “Truly to escape Hegel involves an exact appreciation of the price we have to pay to detach ourselves from him. It assumes that we are aware of the extent to which Hegel, insidiously perhaps, is close to us; it implies a knowledge that permits us to think against Hegel, of that which remains Hegelian. Thus we have to determine the extent to which our anti-Hegelianism is possibly one of his tricks directed against us, at the end of which he stands, motionless, waiting for us.” Foucault’s insightful caveat will, in many respects, function as our interpretive watchword as we seek to decode and reconstruct the legacy of German Idealism and its most significant contemporary heirs. 
C L. 85000 - Existentialism/Phenomenology : Philosophy, Literature and Critique- Prof. Vincent Crapanzano
This seminar will be devoted to readings in the philosophy, literature, and literary criticism influenced by phenomenology and existentialism. We will consider such questions as intentionality of consciousness, the priority of consciousness over existence or existence over consciousness, other minds, being/Being, nonbeing, bad faith, guilt, freedom, commitment, ethical responsibility, care, and despair. Particular attention will be given to the problem of language in phenomenological description and existential hermeneutics.  Readings will include selections from Husserl, Sartre, Heidegger, Binswanger, and Merleau-Ponty, Bachelard, and Poulet as well as (but not limited to) novels by Blanchot, Sartre, Sarraute, Camus, and Robbe-Grillet.” Students will be encouraged to consider the relationship between phenomenology,  existentialism and social and cultural description,.
C L. 89000 – Historicism and Post-Historicism: Benjamin/Aurbach: Origins and Legacies-Prof. Martin Elsky
This course takes as its starting point the friendship and mutual influence of Walter Benjamin and Erich Auerbach, which reached its full intensity during a time of political extremes in the 30s when they were both in the process of fleeing fascist Europe. They each embodied radically different critical styles and approaches to history that converged in their shared experience. We will examine these two critical traditions and their transformation in the Benjamin-Auerbach relationship during European crisis and collapse, as illustrated by their antithesis, Charles Maurras.  1) We will read Auerbach’s Mimesis and his formative essays (now made available in translation for the first time) in light of the philological-historical tradition he inherited from Hegel, Vico, and Taine; we will consider the rise of historical thinking about literature in the service of empire, nation, and religious ideology.  2) We will read Benjamin on criticism and allegory, as well as the Arcades Project in the tradition of counter-philology, with special attention to his introduction of a new kind of temporality; we will consider his work in light of the anti-historicism which began with Nietzsche’s campaign against philology and its influence among his academic followers. 3) The course will conclude with the current incarnation of these issues in the debate between historicism and post-historicism in transnational literary theory and the movement towards Presentism. Readings will include selections from Agamben, Bhabha, Casanova, and recent theorists of Presentism.
C L. 86000 - A.P. Chekhov: The Context and the Text
Prof. Nadya Peterson
The course will focus Chekhov’s innovations in prose and drama, beginning with the discussion of his early stories and concluding with his mature plays. Chekhov’s writing is uniquely intertwined with the social and literary discourses of his time. Thus the work on the texts will be placed in the context of Chekhov’s time and analyzed around the thematic centers of class, communication, intertextuality, “literaturnyi byt,” and the overarching issue of language.
C L. 88500 - Antonioni and Fellini:  The Challenge of Post Modernist Cinema
Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi
This course will juxtapose the rich and complex film production of two Italian auteurs, Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. While Fellini and Antonioni’s films differ in style, narrative preference, and political orientation, they evidence a common self-reflexive concern for the relationship of cinematic images, sounds, and stories. Neorealism will serve as a starting point for an analysis of Fellini’s postmodern negotiation of autobiographical surrealism as well as Antonioni’s peculiar reframing of cinematic modernism.  This course will analyze Antonioni and Fellini’s most important films, placing their work in (film) historical contexts, and theorizing their interest in the aesthetics of cinematic representation and the politics of storytelling. Students will be asked to watch 2 movies a week, one in class and one at home, so that by the end of the course they will be familiar with the majority of these filmmakers’ work.  Films to be screened include:  Story of a Love Affair (Antonioni, 1950), La Signora Senza Camelie (Antonioni, 1953), The Vanquished (Antonioni, 1953), Love in the City (Antonioni/Fellini, 1953), Le Amiche (Antonioni, 1955), Il Grido (Antonioni, 1957), L’Avventura (Antonioni, 1960), La Notte (Antonioni, 1961), L’Eclisse (Antonioni, 1962), Red Desert (Antonioni, 1964), Blowup (Antonioni, 1966), Zabriskie Point (Antonioni, 1970), The Passenger (Antonioni, 1975), Beyond the Clouds (Antonioni, 1995), Eros (Antonioni, 2004), The White Sheik (Fellini, 1952), I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953), La Strada (Fellini, 1954), Il Bidone (Fellini, 1955), Nights of Cabiria (Fellini, 1957), La Dolce Vita (Fellini, 1960), 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963), Juliet of the Spirits (Fellini, 1965), Satyricon (Fellini, 1969), Roma (Fellini, 1972), Amarcord (Fellini, 1973), Orchestra Rehearsal (Fellini, 1978), And the Ship Sails On (Fellini, 1983), Ginger and Fred (Fellini, 1986). The course will be conducted in English and all films will be screened with English subtitles
C L. 85000-Modern/Postmodern:  Mann, Musil, Kluge, Sebald
Prof. Caroline Rupprecht
In this course, we focus on the relationship between modernism and postmodernism in 20th century German literature. After the caesura of 1945, is there a marked change in cultural production? Should one speak of continuity or discontinuity? And what does it mean to write “before” or “after” the Shoah? What are the means by which writing becomes possible or (seemingly) impossible? – We will begin with canonical author Thomas Mann and his relationship to 19th century realism; then move on to the more recently translated Austrian writer Robert Musil, who depicts modernity in terms of architecture and the city. And, we will spend the second half of the semester on post-war authors Alexander Kluge and W.G. Sebald, whose work includes the visual media of film and photography; and whom we will contextualize in terms of the ‘68er movement. In addition to these primary texts, we will discuss essays by Adorno, Huyssen et al, to expand and complicate our perspective as post-millenial readers who are now “looking back.”

C L. 89100 - Hist Lit Thry and Criticism I 
Prof. Monica Calabritto
With readings from Plato, Aristotle, and Longinus to Dante, Sidney, Boileau, Dryden, and Lessing, this course will examine the history and evolution of literary theory in the classical, medieval, and early modern periods. It will also examine such fundamental terms as truth, beauty, nature, and artifact with which pre-Romantic Western critics have attempted to understand literary works of art. This course will also explore the legacy and limitations of these and other terms and their impact on criticism today.

C L. 85000 - The Rake’s Progress: Libertinism in Italy/France/England  
Prof. Paolo Fasoli
If in common parlance the word libertinism conveys a sense of socially disapproved rakishness, then “erudite libertinage” or philosophical free-thinking is a definition that applies to a variety of 17th and 18th thinkers, usually connected through academic circles, who challenged the core cultural, political, and religious institutions of ancien régime Europe. These heterodox philosophers, novelists, and satirists were fierce critics of post-Reformation Catholicism and of then-popular political doctrines (reason of state, absolutism) and, in some cases, of sexual normativity and even of the new epistemological discourses emerging in early modern Europe. Among the authors studied in this course will include Ferrante Pallavicino, Lorenzo da Ponte, Pierre Gassendi, Giulio Cesare Vanini, Gabriel Naudé, Cyrano de Bergerac, Donatien Alphonse De Sade, John Wilmot, and Aphra Behn.