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Graduate Courses

PHIL 500 - Ancient Philosophy Seminar: Confronting the Metaphysics of Sophistry: Plato’s Theaetetus and Sophist 
Marrin, M 4
:00PM-6:45 PM

Content: Within Plato’s “trilogy” of the Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman, the Theaetetus and Sophist form a natural pair. They are united, first of all, by the participation of the young mathematician who gives his name to the first dialogue, but more fundamentally by the discussion of the relativist thesis of Protagoras, which, as reconstructed by Socrates and returned to its Heraclitean roots, argues that everything is the product of the collision of active and passive forces and nothing exists in itself (Tht. 156a), and so prepares us for the Sophist’s entry into the gigantomachia peri tês ousias or “battle of the giants about being” (Soph. 248c). While the Theaetetus ends in aporia, unable to fully explain the promising definition of knowledge as “true opinion with logos,” and so cannot fully overcome the challenge of sophistry, the aim of the Sophist is to show that sophistry as such is only possible thanks to metaphysical assumptions that it rejects. The demonstration of the practical possibility of sophistry amounts to its theoretical refutation. The Sophist’sinterpretation of non-being as otherness and thesis that only the interpenetration of being and non-being can account for the possibility of images and so of error, not only explain the possibility of false statements as deceptive images of the truth, but thereby the possibility of the sophist as the deceptive imitator of the knower. Sophistry is only possible on the non-sophistic premise that beings have a nature in themselves that can then be distorted by sophistic image-making. Starting, then, from the problem of “sophistic metaphysics,” this seminar will be dedicated to a close reading of the two dialogues, analyzing their attempts to define knowledge and logos, the method of diaeresis in the Sophist, and the attempt to find a middle path between Parmenides and Heraclitus through the interweaving of being and non-being, and so contribute to the understanding of philosophy and the philosopher promised but never explicitly delivered by the Eleatic Stranger.



PHIL 530 - 19th Century Philosophy Seminar: Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
Zambrana, TH 1
:00PM-3:45 PM

Content: This course will serve as an introduction to Hegel’s idealism and some strands of its reception history through a reading of his 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit. We will discuss Hegel’s views on modernity, knowledge, action, politics, history, and philosophy, paying particular attention to the role of negativity and dialectics in Hegel’s text. Recommended readings present engagements that build on or criticize Hegel’s text and its legacy.  



PHIL 540 - 20th Century Philosophy Seminar: Deleuze: Difference and Sense
Stuhr, W 1
:00PM-3:45 PM

Content: This seminar is an in-depth study of the ontological, epistemological, and political thought of Gilles Deleuze. Some course readings will be drawn from Deleuze’s work on thinkers such as Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Bergson, Proust, and Foucault as well as some of Deleuze’s other writings such as What is Philosophy? (Qu'est-ce que la philosophie?, 1991) and interviews. However, the focus and great majority of seminar energy and time will be spent on two crucial works: Difference and Repetition (Différence et répétition, 1968) and The Logic of Sense (Logique du sens, 1969). In addition, some attention will be paid to the ways in which these two volumes both inform, and are illuminated by, Deleuze’s collaborations with Félix Guattari in Anti-Oedipus (Capitalisme et Schizophrénie 1. L'Anti-OEdipe, 1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (Capitalisme et Schizophrénie 2. Mille Plateaux, 1980). Along the way, students will be encouraged to review and utilize some small part of the large contemporary literature that draws on Deleuze’s thought.

Objectives: This course has three principal goals. First, it seeks to develop an in-depth and nuanced understanding of the thought of Gilles Deleuze and the philosophical lineages and context of that thought. Second, it aims to provide opportunities for critical assessment of the philosophical strengths, weaknesses, and contemporary values and uses of this philosophy. Third, in the spirit of Deleuzian concept production, it seeks to nurture and help produce informed and original scholarship aimed at, and appropriate for, professional journal publication and/or professional conference presentation.

Format: This course will function as a graduate seminar. Students are required to prepare for, attend, and participate in all class meetings. Generally, each class meeting will include three components: 1)a presentation by the instructor; 2)a close textual reading/discussion/analysis of a key passage or key portions of the assigned reading for the class session; and, 3)a critical discussion facilitated by brief (2pp) student papers on issues raised by readings.

Texts: The main, required texts are Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (trans. Paul Patton, Columbia University Press, 1994) and The Logic of Sense (trans. Mark Lester w/ Charles Stivale, ed. Constantin V. Boundas, Columbia University Press, 1990). All additional assigned readings will be made available electronically via the course’s Canvas site. Relevant texts (whether hard copy or e-texts) always should be brought to seminar meetings.

Particulars: Requirements include seminar participation, weekly short discussion papers on the reading, and (as the principal course requirement) a final paper (aimed at journal submission and publication) on a topic developed in consultation with the instructor.


PHIL 540 - 20th Century Philosophy Seminar: Fanon
Marriott, W 4
:00PM-6:45 PM




PHIL 550 - Contemporary Philosophy Seminar: 
Willett, M 1
:00PM-3:45 PM

Content: Seminar with a focus on the emotional resonances and musical nuances of ethical, social and political forces in human and nonhuman ecosystems. We work through contemporary phenomenologies and social theories of affect, vital energy, resonance, vibrations, atmospheric mood, and what Audre Lorde called eros.


Texts available on Canvas or online links (very tentative)

From CW possible: Hartmut Rosa, Resonance: A Sociology of Our Relationship to the World (excerpts) or order book

Tonino Griffero, The Atmospheric “We”: Moods and Collective Feelings 978-88-6977-333-4

David George Haskell, Sounds Wild and Broken 9781984881540 or excerpts

Audre Lorde, “The Uses of the Erotic”

Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy (Kaufman, trans.) Sections 1-3 (not 4)

Renée Lorraine, "A History of Music" in Feminism and Tradition in Aesthetics (1995)

Birgit Abels, “Meaning and Meaningfulness in Palauan omengeredakl” (2018)

Jay-Z, Decoded (2011) enhanced E-book:

Barbara Ehrenreich’s Introduction and “Joy and the Rock Rebellion” in Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (2006)

Angela Y. Davis, “Strange Fruit” and “When a Man Loves a Woman” in Blues Legacies and Black Feminism (1998)

Daniel Stern, chapters from Forms of Vitality (2010)

James Baldwin “Sonny’s Blues”

LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) Blues People (1948/1963) Intro and Chapter 3

Hartmut Rosa, Resonance (2019) Chapter V “Resonance and Alienation as Basic Categories”

Lee B. Brown, David Goldblatt, Theodore Gracyk, Jazz and the Philosophy of Art (2018) Chapter 4 “Jazz Singing and Taking Wing”

David Rothenberg, Why Birds Sing Chapter 10 “Becoming a Bird” and “Afterward” (2005); and Thousand Mile Song Chapter 9 “Never Satisfied; Getting Through to a Humpback Whale” (2008)

J. Haidt The Pursuit of Happiness “Divinity with or without God”

Herbert Spencer “The Origin of Music” in Mind

D. Trigg “The Role of Atmosphere in Shared Emotion”


PHIL 551 - Topics in Contemporary Philosophy: New Materialism, Speculative Realism, and the Black Anthropocene
Karera, T 1
:00PM-3:45 PM




PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Politics in Deconstruction
Bennington, (Same as FREN 780-2) TH 1
:00PM-4:00 PM

Content: Taking its lead from some of Derrida's later work, this course will follow the twin threads of sovereignty and democracy through some of the great texts of political philosophy in the Western tradition.  We shall attempt to understand why both of these notions, albeit in rather different ways, pose such problems for that tradition, and give rise to all manner of complications and paradoxes, which are however (or so I shall argue) definitive of the conceptual space of the political as such.  We shall wonder why almost all political philosophies are enamored of sovereignty, while almost none has anything very good to say about democracy.  We shall consider the possibility of a non-trivial affinity among the political, the rhetorical, the literary and the animal in their constant tendency to exceed conceptual grasp, and also compare our deconstructive approach to these political questions with some other modern and postmodern theories.

Texts: Classical authors to be discussed may include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Bodin, Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Tocqueville, and Schmitt; more recent theorists to be considered alongside Derrida may include Agamben, Badiou, Foucault, Hardt and Negri, Lyotard, Mouffe and Rancière.

Particulars: TBA

PHIL 524 - Modern Philosophy Seminar: Beyond Dualism
Hasan-Birdwell, M 4
:00PM-7:00 PM

Content: Very few philosophers today would consider themselves dualists, and few metaphysicians would endorse a strict separation between the mind and body. Despite this, we encounter issues of dualism in debates around mental health, education, gender identification, racism, body image and representation, and more. The present course seeks to reconsider the debate around dualism from its inception in the history of modern philosophy. We will reconsider the metaphysical and ethical problems of Cartesian dualism and its decisive impact on other philosophical projects in the seventeenth century.  At its heart, the course itself will contest the assertion made by many contemporary philosopher’s that modern philosophy—particularly Cartesian philosophy—is hostile to the question of embodiment. In fact, embodiment was a central topic of early modern thinkers and a topic of great debate. Given the temporal parameters of the course, we will focus on the momentous (but less often recognized) Correspondencesbetween Elisabeth of Bohemia and Descartes on the mind–body relation, and the ways it shaped Descartes’ later work in The Passions of the Soul (1649). This will not only provide the opportunity for a detailed analysis of a significant historical text and philosophical correspondence, but also for an examination of foundational ideas of the nature of emotions in the early modern period, especially the impact of these ideas on ethical and metaphysical debates that reached beyond the modern period. We will also ask if the transformations of the Cartesian project presented in our studies evolve beyond the version represented in the Meditations (1641).



PHIL 525 - Topics in Modern Philosophy: Thinking With Montaigne (SAME AS FREN 780-1, CPLT 752-2)
Córdova, W 1:00PM-4

Content: Michel de Montaigne (1533-92) has emerged in recent decades as a radical contemporary in ways comparable to the rereading of Descartes in 20th-century phenomenology and French existentialism. This seminar interrogates the reasons and implications of Montaigne's contemporaneity by rereading the Essais (1580-95) in critical dialogue with seminal figures from the history of Western philosophy and theory, such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Bovelles, Descartes, Pascal, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Husserl, Adorno, Heidegger, Foucault, Deleuze, Agamben, Derrida, and Haraway. While studying Montaigne's anachronic place in intellectual history, we will also examine related problems and modes in the visual arts and explore how the unprecedented (anti)philosophical gesture of the Essais resonates with recent posthumanist methods and questions in literature, philosophy, aesthetics, politics, and ecology. *French highly recommended; German desirable.*



PHIL 531 - Modern 19th Century Seminar: German Hellenism: From Winckelmann to Heidegger
Mitchell, T 4
:30PM-7:30 PM

Content: This course examines the German cultural appropriation of Ancient Greece in the 18th through 20th centuries. Topics include: Winckelmann’s instruction to imitate the “noble simplicity and calm grandeur” of the Greeks; Goethe’s rewriting of Euripides’ Iphigenia in Tauris; Hölderlin’s thinking of cross-cultural contact and his striking translations of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Antigone; the place of Ancient Greece in Hegel’s philosophy of history and his interpretation of Sophocles’ Antigone; the invention of the “Aryan” people, understood first as Indian then as Nordic, and the supposed blood relation between Germany and Ancient Greece that this provides; Nietzsche’s conception of the Dionysian, the tragic, and the Aryan; Heidegger’s 1942 lecture course on the proper and the foreign in Hölderlin with his own translation of Antigone; and finally National Socialism’s deployment of Ancient Greek aesthetic models in their sculpture, architecture, eugenics program, and ultimate downfall. 



PHIL 554 - Critical Theory:
McAfee, T 1
:00PM-4:00 PM

Content: From its inception, critical theory has been entwined with psychoanalytic thought, first as a tool in understanding the failures of reason to live up to its enlightenment promise and later as a way to attempt to continue the project of enlightenment. More recently, critical theorists have returned to the sting of the negative in psychoanalytic thought as a way to make sense of sociopolitical maladies. This seminar will trace critical theory’s use of psychoanalysis, first through the first three generations of the Frankfurt School and then in contemporary critical theory, including both social theory and literary theory. We will begin by reading Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment alongside Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents. We will then read Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle alongside early Frankfurt School’s reception—and disavowals—of the death drive. Turning to the second generation, we will read Jürgen Habermas’s seeming embrace of psychoanalysis in Knowledge and Human Interests alongside Freud’s essay on The Unconscious, and then we will see how Habermas turned away from Freud toward Kohlberg’s cognitive theory of moral development. Taking up the third generation, we will read Axel Honneth and Jessica Benjamin’s appropriation of DW Winnicott alongside works by Winnicott and Joel Whitebook. In the final weeks of the seminar, we will take up how contemporary critical theorists beyond the Frankfurt School use Lacan as well as Klein as resources for unpacking the anxieties of our current time. 


  • Allen and Ruti, Critical Theory Between Klein and Lacan
  • Fong, Death and Mastery
  • FreudBeyond the Pleasure Principle (Norton Library) Paperback – April 17, 1990
  • Honneth, The Struggle for Recognition
  • Horkheimer and Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment

Available electronically: Freud’s Standard Edition and essays by Winnicott on the PEP web, shorter pieces by Habermas, Whitebook, Benjamin, Zizek, Deleuze, and others via Canvas.

Particulars: One in-depth presentation, one literature review, final seminar paper.

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Critical Whiteness
Yancy, W 4
:30PM-7:30 PM




PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Literary Theories (SAME AS FREN 780, CPLT 750)
Bennington, TH 1
:00PM-3:45 PM

Content: The course explores some of the ways in which an influential way of thinking about language has affected ways of thinking about literature. After investigating the main tenets of structuralist theory, as derived from Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale, we shall go on to see how the internal logic of structuralism led to the rather different positions often referred to as `post-structuralism' and/or `post-modernism', and to a questioning of the position of theory itself.



PHIL 500 - Ancient Philosophy Seminar: "Truth, Justice, Love, and Power in Plato and Aristotle"
Jimenez, M 1
:00PM-4:00 PM

Content: How is truth related to ethics and to politics? How are truth, knowledge, love, and justice relevant to happiness and the good life? Is truth important in our relations to others? And relevant for building healthy communities? What are the effects of lying, appearing, misleading, bullshitting in our private lives and politically? Does life in community (and specifically democracy) require that citizens cultivate certain epistemic attitudes? Is free speech a useful tool against tyranny? In this course we will explore the ways in which questions about truth, and falsehood, knowledge and ignorance, love and justice are at the heart of ethics and politics for ancient Greek thinkers, and we will consider the value of their views from the perspective of our modern world. The goal is to understand the depth of ancient debates about truth, self, philosophy, freedom, community, and democracy and to connect them with contemporary conversations in critical epistemology.


Plato. Complete Works (ed. John M. Cooper & D. S. Hutchinson, Hackett 1997).

Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation, vol. 2 (ed. Jonathan Barnes, Princeton University Press 1984).

- Additional required and optional readings will be available for download through Canvas.

Particulars: Main requirements are: class preparation and participation, weekly written responses, a presentation, and a final paper.

PHIL 550 - Contemporary Philosophy Seminar
Marriott, T 1
:00PM-4:00 PM


The course explores some of the founding texts and contexts of ‘Black Hegelianism’. After considering works by Sartre, Fanon, Kojeve, et al, we will go on to explore how those texts have led to a new questioning of the meaning of “blackness” itself. In relation to which we will reconsider such questions as: “What is Blackness?” and “Why is the ‘is’ of Blackness always in question, or never simply present in its questioning?” It is in the context of such questions that we will then be able to ask: “What is blackness for Hegel? And why is it something that occurs by chance, as though from an encounter with something beyond the subject, something that is exorbitant and yet wholly gratuitous?”

All students are expected to make semi-formal presentations to the class, and to participate actively in discussion.


Bataille, The Bataille Reader (1997)
Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (2008)
Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (2005)
Hartman, Scenes of Seduction (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)
Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit (1977)
Kojeve, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel
Marriott, Whither Fanon? (Stanford: SUP, 2018)
Wilderson, Red, White & Black (Durham: Duke, 2010)

A selection of texts on Electronic Reserve
A selection of texts not listed above will be added on the course’s Canvas site when appropriate.


Final Paper: You are required to write a 12-15 pages final paper on a topic of your choice. Papers must be typed, double-spaced, in Times New Roman font, size 12, and 1” margins (Please, remember to include page numbers). All papers should include a title and your name. Your papers will be submitted electronically. They will also be returned to you electronically.

PHIL 574 - Epistemology Seminar
Sullivan/Lysaker, Th 1
:00PM-4:00 PM

Content: The course will explore various conceptions of justification, touching upon authors working in various traditions such as analytic philosophy, critical theory, feminism, post-structuralism, and pragmatism. We also will look at what role, if any, conceptions of truth play in justification. In addition to exploring justification in the abstract, we will look at justificatory practices in more determinate settings such as artistic interpretation, case law, empirical inquiry, and moral discourse. 


(we also plan to add a text by Robert Brandom, possibly Articulating Reasons.)
  1. Descartes, "First Meditation" & Peirce, "The Fixation of Belief" <this is to explore paradigmatic scenes of justification>
  2. Kristie Dotson, "How is the paper philosophy?" & Stanley Cavell, "Being Odd, Getting Even"
  3. Judith Butler, Giving an Account of Oneself
  4. Richard Rorty, "Pragmatism, Relativism, and Irrationalism" & "The Contingency of Truth"
  5. Susan Hekman, "Truth and Method: Feminist Standpoint Theory Revisited" (and replies from Hartsock, Collins, Harding, and Smith)
  6. Stanley Cavell, "The Wittgensteinian Event" & Donald Davidson, "A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs"
  7. Rainer Forst, Normativity and Power (or selections from The Right to Justification)
  8. Rainer Forst, Normativity and Power (or selections from The Right to Justification)
  9. Rainer Forst, Normativity and Power (or selections from The Right to Justification)
  10. justification in context: TBD
  11. justification in context: TBD
  12. justification in context: TBD
  13. justification in context: TBD
  14. justification in context: TBD


PHIL 777 - Philosophy & Pedagogy
Huseyinzadegan, F 11
:30AM-12:45 PM




PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Meritocracy
Stuhr, W 2
:30PM-5:30 PM


This graduate seminar focuses on three irreducibly inter-related topics in political philosophy: equality and inequality (understood both in economic terms but also in larger cultural senses); meritocracy and dessert (in the context of individuals but also multiple kinds of social groups); and, democracy and authoritarianism (understood both as political but also larger cultural formations). Following an initial examination of notions of equality and inequality in ancient, modern, and more contemporary thought, the seminar will explore the origins and meanings of merit and meritocracy by focusing on recent critical analyses. This will lead to study of the relations between democracy, authoritarianism, and merit and possibilities for democracy to avoid or overcome criticisms of meritocracy. Finally, this will lead back to notions of equality and to new ways of understanding the nature and value of equal opportunity as well as policy implications of these understandings.


First, assigned readings will be drawn principally from the following books. Many of these books are available at no cost in electronic form via Emory’s Woodruff Library. Books that are not available in this way but are central course texts are available in the University Bookstore (as well as other physical and online outlets). These three books***—to purchase or otherwise obtain—are listed with ISBN numbers. Second, some additional readings, especially at the outset of the semester, are from canonical philosophical authors—e.g., Plato and Aristotle, Kant and Rousseau, Mill and Rawls— and will be provided at no cost either via the course Canvas site or through the Library. Finally, some of the readings toward the end of the course will be selected by seminar members and the expectation is that these texts will also be made available on Canvas.

Kenneth Arrow, et. al., Meritocracy and Economic Inequality
Michael Young: The Rise of the Meritocracy*** (978-1560007043)
Michael Sandel: The Tyranny of Merit*** (978-0374911010)
Robert Frank, Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy
Lani Guinier, The Tyranny of Meritocracy
Daniel Markovits, The Meritocracy Trap
Steven McNamee, The Meritocracy Myth
John Dewey, Freedom and Culture and The Public and Its Problems
Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation
Michael Sandel, Democracy’s Discontent
Deidre McCloskey, Why Liberalism Works
Thomas Piketty, The Economics of Inequality
Banerjee and Duflo, Good Economics for Hard Times
Joseph Fishkin, Bottlenecks: A New Theory of Equal Opportunity
Danielle Allen, Education and Equality*** (978-0226566344)
Heather McGhee, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
Danielle Allen, Difference without Domination
Wendy Brown, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism
Eddie Glaude, Begin Again

(The texts by Young, Sandel, and Frank will be especially crucial on the topic of merit and meritocracy; the texts by Dewey, Polanyi, Brown, and Glaude will be crucial on the topic of democracy; and the texts by Piketty, Allen, and Fishkin will have a central place in the discussion of equality)


There are three formal requirements:
1. Preparation for, attendance at, and participation in all class meetings. Preparation includes careful, reflective reading of assigned material. b)Attendance at all seminar meetings is required (unless there is justified absence.) Participation includes thoughtful, responsive speaking (that seeks to advance the learning of all members) and attentive listening (that advances the learning of all members). Participation includes demonstration of intellectual respect and concern for all class members. Each student is expected to contribute to the creation of a shared community of inquirers that explicitly aims to foster the intellectual well-being and growth of each and every member, a teaching and learning community that makes possible the effective, engaged, and equitable thinking, writing, speaking, and listening of all.
2. Weekly Reading Reflection Paper: These 300-word maximum papers—submitted and distributed prior to each week’s seminar meeting—should respond to three questions:
a)What is the author’s central thesis (or small number of plural theses) in the assigned
reading?; b)how does the author argue for, evidence, or otherwise support this thesis?; and, c)what question—stated as a one-sentence question—do you think it is most important and valuable for the seminar to address? These papers are due (via Canvas and the assignments posted there) by 5pm on Tuesdays prior to Wednesday seminar meetings (and should be posted on canvas in response to the assignment each week). Students are encouraged to write a reading reflection paper for all class sessions; however, students as they so choose may skip without penalty up to three of these papers as follows: one paper from among those for weeks 3, 4, or 5; one paper from among those for weeks 7 or 8; and one paper from among those for weeks 9, 10, or 11
3. Final paper: These papers should address a topic centrally related to course issues, readings, and discussions, and must be chosen in consultation with the instructor. These papers must state and defend the student’s view; they should not be merely exposition or explication of other texts). They should aim at standards and quality suitable for, and comparable to, professional journal publication. In this light, they should include and raw on a bibliography of at least 5 works other than assigned readings. These papers are due by 5:30 pm on Wednesday May 4. Students who meet course requirement 1 will receive a course grade based 30% on the reading reflection papers collectively, 30% on seminar participation and contribution, and 40% on the final paper.

PHIL 789 -Topics in Philosophy: Violence and Vulnerability (Same as WGS 586R 1, ANT 585 7, CPLT 751 3)

Sheth, T 2:30PM-5:15 PM

Content: In this course, we will explore logics of violence and vulnerability in relation to race as the war underlying the polity, as Michel Foucault defines it. How does violence manifest itself institutionally? How does vulnerability become imposed through various logics and techniques: of law, of class, or race? Philosophers and sociologists have considered technology in its multiple dimensions: legal, political, social, and phenomenological, to name a few. Each epoch brings with it either new logistics by which technology functions for societal management. Power, violence, vulnerability can be inflicted and challenged through technologies, understood conceptually as instruments by which to accomplish certain ends. We will look beyond immediate/concrete forms of technology to understand their implicit foundations origins in sovereignty and order, and their purposes; for management, vulnerability, and resistance. 

Texts: Readings will include texts by Ida Wells, Chandan Reddy, Stephanie Jones-Rogers, James Baldwin, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Elaine Scarry, and others.


PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Introduction to Derrida (Same as FREN 780 1, CPLT 751 4, ENG 789 3)
Bennington, Th 
1:00PM-4:00 PM

Content: The class aims to come to a general understanding of some basic Derridean 'concepts' and an appreciation of what we might call some of the manners of deconstruction. Each session will concentrate on one or two texts, but the class as a whole will work cumulatively. Some further readings are suggested, but are not obligatory.


De la grammatologie: Editions de Minuit; ISBN : 2707300128

Of Grammatology: Johns Hopkins UP; ISBN: 0801858305

La voix et le phénomène: Presses Universitaires de France ; ISBN : 2130447023

Voice and Phenomenon: Northwestern UP; ISBN: 0810127652 

L’écriture et la difference: Seuil; (Points Essais) ; ISBN : 2020051826

Writing and Difference: University of Chicago Press; ISBN: 0226143295 

La dissémination: Seuil; (Points Essais); ISBN: 2020206234

Dissemination: University of Chicago Press; ISBN 0226143341

Marges de la philosophie: Editions de Minuit; ISBN : 2707300535

Margins of Philosophy : University of Chicago Press; ISBN: 0226143260

Limited Inc. :    Galilée ; ISBN 271860364 Northwestern UP ; ISBN 0810107880

Voyous: Galilée; ISBN 9782718606064

Rogues: Stanford UP; ISBN 0804749515


PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Plato and Platonic Tradition (Same as ICIVS 770 3, CPLT 752R 1)




PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Lyotard's "Differends" (Same as FREN 780 2)
Nouvet, F 
1:00PM-4:00 PM


In The Differend, Jean-François Lyotard sets up a task for philosophical thought: to bear witness to the differend. But what is a “differend” and how does it signal itself? As we explore these questions, we will read some of Lyotard’s earlier writings in which a sensitivity to differends was already at work. We will then turn to his later writings and focus on:

 1) the differend  between what he calls the “affect-phrase” and articulation

 2) his reassessment of the postmodern condition in texts such as Postmodern Fables.


Texts may include:

Lyotard: The Differend (‎ University of Minnesota Press) (selections)

Postmodern Fables (‎ University of Minnesota Press) (selections)

Political Writings ‎ (University Of Minnesota Press) (selections)

“The Affect-phrase”


The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (‎University Of Minnesota Press) (selections)

Particulars: The course will be taught in English. One final paper and one oral presentation.

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Sacrifice and Gift (Same as RLR 700, CPLT 751, )
Robbins, M 1:00-4:00 

Content: In the tradition of the French sociology of religion of Durkheim, Mauss, and Hertz, the conceptual figures of sacrifice and gift have received remarkable immanent readings as “total social facts”. This course explores the pre-war sociological texts on sacrifice and gift with attention to their postwar French philosophical resonances in Bataille, Levinas, Derrida, and Nancy.

Texts: Readings may include Durkheim, Elementary Forms of Religious Life, Mauss, Sacrifice, Mauss The Gift, Derrida, Given Time, Bourdieu, "Structure and Genesis of the Religious Field," Nancy, "The Unsacrificeable."

Particulars: One class presentation and one 15-20 page paper due at end of term.

PHIL 541 - Topics in 20th Century Philosophy 
Karera, T 2
:30PM-5:30 PM

Content: “The border” is a ubiquitous institution. Its global significance now determines the earth’s partition; it informs questions of belongingness and continues to renew ongoing attempts to control mobility.

One might even say, as Achille Mbembe argued recently (2018-20), that the key index of sovereignty in our time consists in the power to contain mobility by shaping and reshaping borders. We know, from the works of the Jacques Derrida or Immanuel Kant, for instance, that offering hospitality is conditioned by both the enactment of a law and the possession of a place of dwelling. Thus, the host must be a recognized and sovereign subject of law who can claim a home from which they may then welcome a guest. The question of hospitality unfolds under these conditions – and such conditions therefore inaugurate a formal, and indeed economical, exchange between the host and their guest. But what happens when the guest exceeds the legally circumscribed fields of ethics and morality that determine the duty of hospitality? Is hospitality a value in itself? Does race dictate the “ethical” parameters of hospitality? Does race determine who can seek refuge and/or be received in the host’s abode? If the guest must remain a foreigner – and therefore recognizable as such from the juridical point of view – can one welcome the radically foreign stranger who is ungraspable by the grammar of foreignness and/or the juridical language of rights? Since, by the end of last decades, the world counted approximately 79.5 million of forcibly displaced individuals, could hospitality be a disguised iteration of a generalized order of confinement, detention, and the ongoing warehousing of migrants and refugees? In this seminar, we shall attempt to face these questions by tracing the history of hospitality and many of its adjacent concepts such as diaspora, cosmopolitanism, human rights, sovereignty, the nation-state, the border, the refugee, and the migrant.


Though we shall spend a considerable amount of time in the 20th century continental philosophy (Heidegger, Arendt, Derrida, Balibar, Nancy), we will begin the course by attending to its canonical precursors like Kant and G.W.F. Hegel. Figures in contemporary philosophy will also include philosophers such as Achille Mbembe, Saidiya Hartman, Jared Sexton, Gayatri Spivak, Denise Ferreira da Silva, and Nadia Yala Kisukidi.


PHIL 571 - Political Philosophy Seminar: Logics of “The People” (Same as PSP 789)
McAfee, M 
2:30PM-5:30 PM


This graduate seminar will bring psychoanalytic theory to bear on contemporary political theories that are grappling with the current and often troubling phenomenon known as populism. At the heart of the debates is a question of whether the formation of a unified people is an achievement or a problem. To the extent that populism is an outgrowth of—or perhaps parasitic on—democracy where “we the people” are to rule ourselves, the problem of what “the people” means and how it is constructed (and what it abjects) is central to all democratic theory and practice. It’s a problem that shows up in debates about identity, about coalitional work, and about efforts that try to bypass governmental institutions and those that try to harness them. In other words, the problem is unavoidable. 

This seminar will draw on psychoanalysis to understand the deep anxieties that give rise to populisms’ we/they and friend/enemy distinctions. Where the discursive approach developed by Ernesto Laclau largely champions these distinctions and the left-wing populisms of Latin America that model them, many contemporary critical theorists are alarmed by their authoritarian tendencies. Laclau himself drew on Lacan to develop his concept of populist reason and he saw the need for a leader who could embody the will of the people; but he thought that so long as “the people” was constructed broadly and inclusively and represented by someone who spoke for them (or it), the result could be democratic. But this intuition has not been borne out. Other psychoanalytic approaches, beginning with Freud’s essay on group psychology and continuing through Kleinian and Lacanian theory, warn against investing so much in the ideal leader/ego ideal.


Carlos de la Torre, ed., Routledge Handbook of Global Populism. Routledge, 2019.

Ernesto Laclau, On Populist Reason. London: Verso, 2007.

Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, Populism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, 2017.

Jan-Werner Müller. What Is Populism? University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.

Jacques Rancière. Hatred of Democracy. Verso, 2006.

Nadia Urbinati. Me The People: How Populism Transforms Democracy. Harvard, 2019.

Readings by Sigmund Freud, Wilfred Bion, Fred Alford, Vamik Volkan, Chantal Mouffe, Andrew Arato, Jean Cohen, and others will be available electronically.

Particulars: Course Requirements: seminar attendance and participation; occasional presentations; final seminar paper.

PHIL 572 - Aesthetics Seminar: Reinventing Life 
Willett & Goodstein, W 
2:30PM-5:30 PM

Content: In the Covid-19 pandemic, non-life called modern lives into question. In rendering “normal life” impossible, the pandemic focused attention on how lifestyles defined by consumption and oriented to individual success reinscribe social injustice and lead to mass death and planetary destruction. Yet the ultimate cultural impact remains highly uncertain, with the same developments that gave birth to BLM and hopes for more inclusive democratic processes provoking reactive waves of racist denial and authoritarian violence. This class aims to resist the call to go “back to normal” by examining a range of contemporary efforts to envision new forms of life and community. We will bring standup comedy, visual arts, music, theatre, and literature into conversation with diverse forms of political, cultural, and social theory and situate current strivings to create meaningful modern lives in longer cultural and historical trajectories. Topics may include humor, atmospheres and soundscapes of burnout and reconnection, artistic economies and avant-gardes, digitization and surveillance, megacities, and the new authoritarianism, as well as self-care and friendship, emotional catharsis, climate change and social justice, ideology and utopia, the future of the arts, and post-work society.

Texts: Hannah Gadsby, Bergson’s Laughter, Simon Critchley’s Humor, New Phenomenology on atmospheres of well-being, Jill Lepore and Kathi Weeks on the problem of work, Lydia Denworth’s Friendship, Richard Shusterman ‘s Thinking through the Body, van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score, David George Haskell’s The Songs of Trees, David Pena-Guzman and Ellie Anderson’s podcast Overthink…

Particulars: Requirements: Term paper and seminar participation

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Foucault (Same as WGS 754, CPLT 751)
Huffer, W 6
:00PM-9:00 PM

Content: The course aims to provide a solid foundation for assessing the many uses of Foucault, especially in contemporary queer and feminist theories. Members of the seminar will be encouraged to connect their readings in Foucault with their own intellectual projects. Note: Master and Undergraduate Students must obtain permission from Dr. Lynne Huffer prior to enrolling in this course. Please email Dr. Huffer at:



PHIL 789 - Topics in Modern Philosophy (Same as CPLT 750, ENG 789, WGS 730)
Bennington, TH 1
:00PM-3:45PM, On-Line

Content: The course explores some of the ways in which an influential way of thinking about language has affected ways of thinking about literature. After investigating the main tenets of structuralist theory, as derived from Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale, we shall go on to see how the internal logic of structuralism led to the rather different positions often referred to as `post-structuralism' and/or `post-modernism', and to a questioning of the position of theory itself.



PHIL 789 - Topics in Modern Philosophy: On Debt 
Zambrana, TH 1
:00PM-4:00 PM


This seminar will explore the structure and strictures of debt as an economic, historical, social, political, and ecological relation. We will reflect on unpayable debt, debt cancellation, debt forgiveness, and the possibilities and limits of reparations/repair. We will also consider the relation between debt and colonialism, slavery, and capitalism (financialized, neoliberal). 

Texts: Readings will include work by Marx, Nietzsche, Walter Benjamin, David Graeber, Maurizio Lazzarato, Saidiya Hartman, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Fred Moten and Stephano Harney, Verónica Gago and Luci Cavallero among others.


PHIL 525 - Topics in Modern Philosophy: Kant 
Huseyinzadegan, TH 1:00PM-3:55PM, On-Line

Content: This is a graduate seminar on Immanuel Kant’s works organized topically around the following concepts: space/time/geography/history; discursivity and categories; logic and dialectic; transcendental method; beauty and the sublime; good will and the categorical imperative; and race. We will be reading a wide sample of Kant’s writings on epistemology and metaphysics, ethics/morality, aesthetics, and politics, as well as key secondary texts on these writings. The course will accommodate different levels of interest and background in Kant’s work. Weekly seminar meetings will include: brief lecture, discussion, student presentation, and writing exercises. 



PHIL 551 - Topics in Contemporary Philosophy: New Materialism, Speculative Realism, and the Black Anthropocene
Karera, M 1:00PM-3:55PM, On-Line<

Content: Contemporary philosophy has arguably undergone, in the last decade, another mutation. Aiming to defend a radical materialism and a proclaimed speculative realism, key actors in this shift claim to be less interested in conventional commentary on the history of philosophy and are readily inclined to re-open philosophical problems generally considered to have been settled by continental philosophers. What emerges is a philosophical reorientation informed by developments in the cognitive and the natural sciences. This orientation is understood to be both “realist” and “post-humanist”, in the sense that it conceives of matter as agentic and the world as independent from the human mind. And, it is at the center of these debates that the question of the Anthropocene is currently being philosophically adjudicated. This course will thus aim to survey and interrogate the prevailing ethos of new materialist ontology and speculative realism’s return to metaphysics, in order to assess what kind of philosophical, ethical, and political sensibilities the effects of climate change and the ongoing possibility of a “sixth extinction” have ushered in. Ultimately, the course is organized around the attempt to read Anthropocene discourses’ powerful – and perhaps even necessary – disavowal on matters pertaining to racial antagonisms and their ecological violence. Following (while assessing) claims and questions invoked by both traditions, we shall be guided by the falling questions: Can we indeed conceive of the nature of reality independently from thought and humanity? Is speculative realism a return to the dogmatism of pre-critical philosophies? Can we reconcile “speculation” with critique? If both the subject and thought are merely residual products of primary ontological movements, as Deleuze and Guattari suggested in the 70s and 80s, how are we to “speculate” on forms of subjectivity which remain “unthought” in the history of continental philosophy? Does the destruction of meaning and the nihilist welcoming of a chaotic homeless worldliness account for the beings who have never felt at home in the world? Is speculative realism’s new philosophy of relationality capable of accounting for those conditions in which the main relation is precisely “no relation”? Are there truly any structural/metaphysical invariants (like relationality)? Can speculative realism yield new ways of thinking and reading capitalism and racism?



PHIL 558 - Pragmatism 
Stuhr, T 1:00PM-3:55PM, On-Line

Content: This graduate seminar examines critically the development, meaning, warrant, and influence and uses of pragmatism through a primary focus on the philosophies of Charles Peirce, William James, Jane Addams, and John Dewey. These philosophies include issues in philosophical method, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics. Following this study, the seminar will turn to its secondary focus on some more recent thinkers in the pragmatic tradition or deeply influenced by it. These thinkers will span a wide range of issues and may include, for example, writers in analytical, phenomenological, critical theory, and feminist lineages: for example, Quine, Davidson, Putnam, Rorty, Cavell, Bergson, Deleuze, A. Locke, West, Glaude, Habermas, Bernstein, Longino, Seigfried, and Sullivan.

Objectives: This course has two principal goals. First, it seeks to provide students an in-depth and nuanced understanding of pragmatism, a map of the major lineages of influence on, and of, this philosophy, and a critical assessment of its philosophical strengths, weaknesses, and contemporary value. In doing this, it aims also to be resource for rethinking the history of philosophies of the present when those philosophies and their possibilities are conceived or imagined in terms of the categories of “analytical” and “continental” philosophy, “ideal” or “non-ideal” theory, and “critical” or “non-critical philosophy. Second, in the spirit of a pragmatic realization that any unity of theory and practice in practice alone is no real unity, it seeks to nurture and help produce informed and original scholarship aimed at, and appropriate for, professional journal publication and/or professional conference presentation.

Format: This course will function as a graduate seminar. Students are required to prepare for, (remotely) attend, and participate in all class meetings. Generally, each class meeting will include two components: 1)a presentation by the instructor, via an original paper distributed to the seminar in class, and discussion; 2) critical discussion facilitated by a brief (2-3pp.) student papers on issues raised by readings.

Texts: The main, required texts are the critical editions of the writings of Peirce, James, and Dewey, and selections from three key readings by Addams. All of this material will be available to students in electronic form. Additional readings, selected in part on the basis of student interest, also will be made available electronically. Students interested in additional readings should consult with the instructor. Students should have relevant e-texts accessible during class meetings.


1)Preparation for, attendance at, and participation in all seminar meetings

2)Short critical papers drawing on assigned readings

3)A final paper of informed and original scholarship aimed at, and appropriate for, professional journal publication and/or professional conference presentation.

PHIL 789-1 - Topics in Philosophy: Feminist Theory (Same as WGS 751)
Sheth, T 1:00PM-3:55PM, On-Line

Content: Feminist thought has been articulated in many forms, from organized social activism to the oft-attempted, sometimes successful institutional reform of laws and practices, to the contestation of monolithic visions of feminism.  However, common to all of these is the need to think through and beyond institutions and structures.  The readings in this course will explore those fissures and fragmentations through various popular and lesser known texts. Selected texts will address questions of gender, race, sexuality, and agency, against the backdrop of culture, violence, religion, and the polity.



PHIL 789-2 - Topics in Philosophy: The Politics of Emotion (Same as CPLT 751-R9)
Willett & Goodstein, W 4:00PM-7:00PM, On-Line


Reimagining the politics of emotion could not be more urgent. A communication revolution has given birth to new forms of political agency, but also new authoritarian practices; in the midst of a pandemic, the largest-ever global movement for social justice coincides with a resurgence of racism and nativism, and conspiracy theories thrive, feeding widespread distrust of the media and scientific expertise. 

Like political scientists, psychologists, sociologists, and historians, philosophers need to revise inherited models of human being and set aside overly rationalist models of explanation that have justified neglecting and demeaning the politics of passions and kept alive the fantasy of remaking politics itself in the name of reason. We will explore both how emotion matters in politics and how politics shape feeling and identity by reassessing the conceptual and representational foundations of political thought, drawing on music, art, literature and film to disclose new theoretical and practical possibilities. By exploring works and practices that explicitly or implicitly offer a more encompassing view of emotion’s mobilizing force, this seminar aspires to create a space for rethinking the place of feelings, moods, and atmospheres in collective life.

Texts: Caryl Churchill, Durkheim, Freud, Foucault, Kristeva, Massumi, Toni Morrison, José Carlos Mariátegui, David Graeber, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Amiri Baraka, Daniel Stern and the “new phenomenologists”

Particulars: Grading: Class participation; weekly discussion questions and responses; one seminar paper of 12-17 pages

PHIL 789-4 - Topics in Philosophy: Sacrifice and Gift (Same as CPLT 751-R4)
, On-Line

Content: In the tradition of the French sociology of religion of Durkheim, Mauss, and Hertz, the conceptual figures of sacrifice and gift have received remarkable immanent readings as "total social facts". This course explores the pre-war sociological texts on sacrifice and gift with attention to their postwar French philosophical resonances in Bataille, Levinas, Derrida and Nancy. Texts: Readings may include Durkheim, Elementary Forms of Religious Life, Mauss The Gift, Schrift, The Logic of the Gift, Weber, "Social Psychology of World Religions", Bourdieu, Logic of Practice and "Structure and Genesis of the Religious Field," Nancy, "The Unsacrificeable," and selections from Bataille, Derrida, Levinas.


Particulars: One class presentation and one 15-20 page paper due at end of term.

PHIL 789-6 - Topics in Philosophy:Mind, Brain & Image in Film & Fiction(Same as CPLT 751-R3)
Johnston, W 4:00PM-7:00PM, On-Line

Content: In this course we will explore some of the ways that neuroscience and the mind-brain split have figured in recent film, philosophy & prose fiction. We begin with a discussion of the cave drawings and paintings from the upper Paleolithic period (specifically in Chauvet Cave) & the claim that the human mind essentially begins with the creation of these images. (To spur discussion, we'll read a short selection from The Sapient Mind: Archaeology Meets Neuroscience.) We'll then jump to Bergson's theory of the image & brain in his book Matter and Memory, followed by excerpts from Gilles Deleuze's two cinema books, The Movement-Image & The Time-Image, where he argues that "the cinema: never stops tracing the circuits of the brain".

We continue with excerpts from Patricia Pister's cinema book, The Neuro-image, which extends Deleuze's argument to contemporary films, at which point we will discuss two assigned films, Aronofsky's Pi & Bress & Gruber's The Butterfly Effect. We then turn to readings about the brain & the mind-brain distinction, beginning with Catherine Malabou's short book, What Should We Do with Our Brain?, followed by a series of readings authored by actual neuroscientists, specifically: Stanislas Dehaene on consciousness & learning, Olaf Sporns on the brain's networks, & Cris Frith's fairly short Making up the Mind: How the Brain Creates our Mental World. Finally, before turning to the prose fiction, we will read a chapter or two from Jonah Lehrer's Proust Was a Neuroscientist. To conclude the course, we will read one or two novels (depending on how much time we have) which the class will choose from the novels that Marco Roth discusses in his essay 'The Rise of the Neuronovel'.



--Read all of the assigned material and fully engage in class discussion.

--A 20-minute class presentation on a topic of your choice, but that I approve in advance.

--A 15-18 page seminar paper due at the end of the semester

*Counts as elective for NBB Majors

PHIL 500 - Ancient Philosophy Seminar: “Experience, Knowledge, Persuasion, and Power in Plato, Aristotle, and Beyond”
Jimenez, W 1
:00PM-3:55PM, On-Line

Content: This course explores the ways in which epistemology and politics are inseparable for ancient Greek thinkers. The goal is to connect ancient debates about the relationship between experience, knowledge, persuasion, and power with some of the contemporary conversations about those topics in critical epistemology.


Plato. Complete Works (ed. John M. Cooper & D. S. Hutchinson, Hackett 1997).
Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation, vol. 2 (ed. Jonathan Barnes,
Princeton University Press 1984).

- Additional required readings will be available for download through the course website


PHIL 542 - Heidegger 1946-1976
Mitchell, T 6
:00PM-8:55PM, On-Line

Content: This course is an introductory survey of Heidegger’s work from the post-war, second half of his career, loosely organized by decade, from 1946 to 1976. We begin at the end of the 1940s, with the programmatic “Letter on Humanism” (1946) and the centerpiece of his later thought, Insight Into That Which Is (1949), which introduces Heidegger’s thinking of the fourfold (Geviert), the thing, technology, and positionality (Gestell). For the 1950s, we focus on Heidegger’s views of poetic language, identity and difference, and releasement (Gelassenheit). In the 1960s, we take up the lecture “On Time and Being,” the famed Spiegel interview (posthumously published), selected sessions from his Zollikon seminars on existential psychoanalysis, his thoughts on sculpture, cybernetics, and the 1969 seminar in Le Thor, France on technology and replaceability. From the 1970s, we will consider the 1973 Zähringen seminar on phenomenology, and the 1973 text “Argument Against Requirements.” The course concludes with the Hölderlin passages Heidegger chose to be read at his funeral (1976).



PHIL 551 - Topics in Contemporary Philosophy
Yancy, M 4
:20PM-7:15PM, On-Line

Content: In this course, we will explore what race looks like from a phenomenological perspective.  Our aim is to do what has been termed a "critical phenomenology," where we both draw the limits of traditional phenomenology, and pull from the insights of phenomenology to explore such issues as race as lived, the spatial implications of race, and race as embodied.



PHIL 570 - Ethics Seminar
Lysaker, Th 1
:00PM-3:55PM, On-Line

Content: Trust and forgiveness are central to ethical life but difficult to theorize given each requires us to take steps outside established moral orders. Exploring them thus explores questions that dive to the depths of normative and meta-ethics. We will devote half the class to each phenomenon, drawing upon a wide range of texts, with a clear focus on multiple feminist texts (e.g. Baier, Govier, & Potter), which have been addressing each for the past thirty years. Other readings will include texts by Hegel, Derrida, a poem by Terrance Hayes, and still others to be determined. 



PHIL 789 - Philosophical Problems: Marx and Caribbean Marxisms (Same as HISP 740-1)
Zambrana, T 1
:00PM-3:55PM, On-Line

Content: This course will serve as an introduction to Marx’s thought and its reception in the Caribbean. Readings will provide occasion to discuss the structure and contemporary relevance of basic concepts in Marx’s corpus such as alienation, capital, exploitation, originary accumulation, real and formal subsumption, class struggle, ideology, and emancipation. We will consider the reception history of these concepts in the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora, exploring race/gender as the central technology in the development of and resistance to capitalism.   

Texts: We will read the work of CRL James, Stuart Hall, Frantz Fanon, Eric Williams, Clive Thompson, Aimé Césaire, Claudia Jones, Luisa Capetillo, Sylvia Wynter, Édouard Glissant, among others. 


PHIL 789 - Philosophical Problems: Blackness & Psychoanalysis (Same as WGS 585-2, CPLT 751R-7, ENG 789-5)
Warren, TH 4
:20PM-7:20PM, On-Line

Content: Is blackness an irresistible fetish (caught within the matrix of perversion), the object of a destructive drive, or the inexhaustible (circular) movement of desire? How do our cultural fantasies teach us to desire blackness? Is anti-blackness an unconscious symptom, a corporeal letter written on the `body politic,' and are we resigned to `enjoy our symptom'? Does psychoanalysis offer blackness a powerful intramural hermeneutic or is it best left for the analytic session? This course will stage an encounter between blackness and psychoanalysis; ultimately considering how the encounter transforms/deforms both. We will grapple with the unconscious operations of blackness, the historical absence of blackness in psychoanalytic thought, and the usefulness of psychoanalytic reading practices for Black Studies. The course will rely heavily on Lacanian psychoanalysis (along with readings from Freud and Kristeva). 

Texts:  Readings will include theoretical texts by David Marriott, Hortense Spillers, Franz Fanon, Kalpana Sheshadri-Crooks, Jared Sexton, Frank Wilderson, Slavoj Zizek, Bruce Fink, Tracy Mcnulty, Henry Krips, Adrian Johnson, Serge Leclaire, and Kaja Silverman, among others.   

Particulars: Please Note: this is not an introduction to theory. Prior knowledge of continental philosophy, theoretical humanities, and/or psychoanalysis is required for this

PHIL 789 - Philosophical Problems: Race, Class, and Injustice: Violence and Vulnerability (Same as WGS 586R)
Sheth, T 4
:20PM-7:20PM, On-Line

Content: In this course, we will explore logics of violence and vulnerability in relation to race war, as Michel Foucault defines it. How does violence manifest itself institutionally? How does vulnerability become imposed through various logics and techniques: of law, of class, of race? Philosophers and sociologists have considered technology in its multiple dimensions: legal, political, social, and phenomenological, to name a few. Each epoch brings with it either new logics by which technology functions for societal management. Power, violence, vulnerability can be inflicted and challenged through technologies, understood conceptually as instruments by which to accomplish certain ends. We will look beyond immediate/concrete forms of technology to understand their implicit foundations origins in sovereignty and order, and their purposes; for management, vulnerability, and resistance. 

Texts: Readings may include Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Achille Mbembe, Frank Wilderson, Saidiya Hartman, Jasbir Puar, Ann Stoler, Judith Butler, as well as court cases and archival materials.   


PHIL 541 - Topics in 2oth Century Philosophy: Authenticity. The Sole Existentialist Virtue? Pro and Contra
Flynn, TH 1
:00PM-4:00PM, Bowden 216




PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Structures of Desire (Same as PSP 789-1)
McAfee, T 2
:00PM-5:00PM, Bowden 216

Content: This seminar will take up structures of desire in works by and on Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, André Green, Cornelius Castoriadis, and Julia Kristeva. How do unconscious desires shape who we are? Are these desires our own or have they been deposited into us by the Big Other of our culture, history, and prior generations? Should they be embraced or expunged? Can they be transformed? Are we doomed to be forever wanting? To address these questions we will draw on psychoanalytic and phenomenological accounts of language, affect, and the unconscious in the formation of subjectivity.


Sigmund Freud’s Three Essays on Sexuality, The Unconscious, On Narcissism, Mourning and Melancholia

Jacques Lacan’s Desire and Its Interpretation, Seminar VI

Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

André Green’s On Private Madness

Cornelius Castoriadis, The Imaginary Institution of Society

Julia Kristeva’s Tales of Love, Black Sun, Powers of Horror

Supplementary readings by Nicolas Abraham, Drucilla Cornell, Shoshana Felman, Mari Ruti, Joel Whitebook, Maggie Nelson, Luce Irigaray, and possibly others, all TBD.

Particulars: Two presentations, Annotated bibliography of primary texts and current scholarship on final paper topic, Final paper (18-25 pages)

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Critical Whiteness Studies
Yancy, T 6
:00PM-9:00PM, Bowden 216

Content: In this course, we will explore the structure of whiteness and specifically its meta-philosophical importance to our field. Some of the themes explored will be whiteness as the transcendental norm and its lived historicity, epistemic dimensions of whiteness (epistemology of ignorance and bad faith), whiteness as lived and embodied, which will involve thinking critically about whiteness from a critical phenomenological perspective. This raises issues regarding the racially lived space and time of whiteness and how whiteness positions/situates Black bodies and non-Black bodies of color. Critical whiteness studies within the context of philosophy is still very recent. Our project will be to better understand how whiteness is a binary structure and how best to interrogate its hegemony as both a conscious and unconscious project or historical, epistemic, institutional, and embodied normative process.   



PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Decolonial Thought, Decolonial Feminisms
Zambrana, W 2
:00PM-5:00PM, Bowden 216

Content: This seminar will examine key texts in Decolonial Thought and Decolonial Feminisms, specifically in the Latin American and Caribbean context. It will assess the move from the language of colonialism/decolonization to coloniality/decoloniality. We will consider race/gender/class hierarchies installed by the colonial project of capitalist modernity that continue to operate in altered material and historical conditions, that is, within contemporary colonial and post-colonial contexts. To these ends, the seminar will explore the coloniality of being, knowing, and sensing in the operation of race/gender. It will thus consider conceptions of the human, history, capital, and border.

Texts: Readings will include texts by Maria Lugones, Aníbal Quijano, Sylvia Wynter, Frantz Fanon, Édouard Glissant, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Gladys Tzul Tzul, Sylvia Marcos, Leila González, Yuderkys Espinosa Miñoso, Ochy Curiel, Agustín Lao Montes, Walter Mignolo, Santiago Castro Gómez, Ramón Grosfoguel, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sayak Valencia, Achille Mbembe, Rita Segato, Verónica Gago.

Particulars: presentation, annotated bibliography on final paper topic, final research paper

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: An Aesthetic for Democracy (Same as CPLT 751-4)
Branham, M 2

Content: This course will investigate the many shifts in meaning and function comprehended by the term mimesis from the ancient to the contemporary world. As formulated by Aristotle in opposition to Plato, mimesis functioned as a way of defining the relationship of art to the world (e.g., representation, expression, simulation) that is at the same time a way of defining the human, as when Aristotle calls “man” the “most mimetic animal.” In the 20th century, with the advent of such media as film, gramophone, and typewriter suggesting new ways of modeling the mind, mimesis is repeatedly re-conceived, for example, as “the mimetic faculty” (Benjamin), as “mimetic desire” (Girard), as “economimesis” (Derrida), as “memetics” (Dawkins) or as the effect of “mirror neurons” (cognitive science); but each new conception requires a different form of discourse. Most importantly, language itself as the ultimate source of meaning in literature is subjected to new forms of analysis by the Russian Formalists and the Bakhtin Circle. In this seminar we will survey a selection of the most important conceptual shifts in the meaning of mimesis in both ancient and modern culture, beginning with a revisionist reading of Erich Auerbach's landmark study of the European canon: Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature.



PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Introduction to Derrida (Same as FREN 780-1)
Bennington, TH 1

Content: The class aims to come to a general understanding of some basic Derridean ‘concepts’ and an appreciation of what we might call some of the manners of deconstruction.  Each session will concentrate on one or two texts, but the class as a whole will work cumulatively.  Some further readings are suggested, but are not obligatory.

Texts: Texts to be studied will include: De la grammatologie (tr. Of Grammatology) ; La Voix et le phénomène (tr. Speech and Phenomena) ; L’écriture et la différence (tr. Writing and Difference) ; La dissémination (tr. Dissemination); Marges de la philosophie (tr. Margins of Philosophy); Limited Inc.Voyous (tr. Rogues).


PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Primal Scenes: Psychoanalysis & Literature (Same as FREN 775 1, CPLT 751 7, WGS 585 1, and PSP 789 2)
Marder, W 1

Content: In this course, we shall examine how the two fundamental insights of psychoanalysis (sexuality and the unconscious) put psychoanalysis into a primal relation to literature. Beginning with a close reading The Interpretation of Dreams, we will explore how Freud derives his model of the human psyche through dreams by appealing to literary language, literary figures, theatrical spaces and events as he explains the complex operations of the dream-work. Paying close attention to the privileged place that Freud accords to hysteria (and feminine sexuality) as the bedrock of the human psyche, we will look at how Freud's feminine figures both define and challenge the very conception of the human. Throughout the course, we will focus on Freudian conception of the `primal scene - as a way of examining how psychoanalytic theory challenges traditional conceptions of temporality, repetition, sexuality and desire, writing, mourning, cruelty, and the status of the historical event. 

Texts: Texts may include: Selections of major works by Freud (including: The Interpretation of Dreams (Freud); Case Histories); selected works by Lacan, Seminar VII on Antigone); Theban Plays (especially Antigone), Phèdre (Racine); Madame Bovary (Flaubert) Le Ravissment de Lol V. Stein (Duras); To the Lighthouse (Woolf); Marnie (dir. Alfred Hitchcock); Muriel (dir. Alain Resnais) Additional readings may include works by: Jacques Derrida, Jean Laplanche, Hélène Cixous, Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, André Green, Shoshana Felman, Sarah Kofman. This course will be taught in English. Texts originally written in French can be read either in French or in an English translation.)


PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Kierkegaard and His Readers (Same as CPLT 751 3, RLR 700 5)
Robbins, W 10

Content: How do literary and religious texts pose questions within and to Continental philosophy? In this seminar, we will consider Soren Kierkegaard's phenomenology of mood, his hybrid genre of writing, and the distinctive way in which he deploys biblical texts, such as "the binding of Isaac" (Gn. 22) and the Book of Job, in developing his philosophy of existence. The "trembling" to which the narrator of Fear and Trembling refers is experienced not only by the biblical Abraham, who is in a religious relation to the absolute, and whose orders from God are sealed in secrecy, but also by Kierkegaard's narrator, himself brought to the point of inexpressibility in the face of Abraham's ordeal. In Repetition, the fictional protagonist offers an intensely personal reading of the Book of Job. The book's formulation of the problem of theodicy, the theological justification of suffering, and the example of Job's legendary patience, provide the protagonist with a means of making sense of his broken engagement. The disenchanted and ironic voice of Qoheleth may be heard in Either/Or's first-person description of aesthetic existence and Judge William's ethical diagnosis of it. A sermon appended to William's letters by an unnamed pastor friend supplements Either/Or's account. | We will attend to influential readings of Kierkegaard by Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Blanchot, Sylviane Agacinski, and others.| 

Texts: Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling/Repetition, trans. Hong and Hong (Princeton); Kierkegaard, Either/Or, Part I, trans. Hong and Hong (Princeton); Kierkegaard, Either/Or, Part II, trans. Hong and Hong (Princeton); The Wisdom Books, trans. Robert Alter (Schocken); E. A. Speiser, ed. Genesis (Anchor) and Kierkegaard: A Critical Reader, eds. Ree and Chamberlain (Blackwell).

Particulars: Requirements: one term paper (15-20pp.) and one in-class presentation. 

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Platonism, Neoplatonism (Same as ICIVS 770 3, CPLT 752R 1, RLR 700 8)
Corrigan, T 10


This course will start with Plato—especially the Symposium—and then, together with frequent retrospectives upon Aristotle, and some later figures such as Alcinous—focus primarily upon reading some of Plotinus’ most influential works: On beauty; on the One and the Good; on the Soul—an early work and then three major works on the Soul; on nature, contemplation, Intellect and intellectual beauty; two later works on providence; two of Plotinus’ greatest works—on the demiurge and the Good and on freedom; a later work on the knowing hypostases; and if we have time, an ethical work on happiness that also features on the intentionality/non-intentionality problem.


Henry and H-R. Schwyzer, Plotini Opera, editio major, 3 vols. (Brussels, Paris, and Leiden, 1951-1973, followed by the appearance of the editio minor, 3 vols. (Oxford. 1964-1983).

We shall use the revised version of the editio minor text published with English translation by A. H. Armstrong, Plotinus, 7 vols. Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1966-1988)—copies in class.

Note also:

A German edition with complete translation and notes by R. Harder, revised and with commentary supplied for treatises 22-54 by W. Theiler and R. Beutler (indices together with G. J. P. O’ Daly) (Plotins Schriften, Hamburg, 1956-1971)[see also Werner Beierwaltes, Plotin: Geist – Ideen –Freiheit, introduction and commentary, text, translation of Harder, Theiler, Beutler, (Meiner: Hamburg, 1990)]

An Italian translation by V. Cilento (Plotino: Enneadi, Bari, 1947-1949);

The complete translation of the Enneads into Spanish by Jésus Igal (Porfirio, Vida de Plotino – Plotino, Enéadas I-II, Madrid 1982; Plotino, Enéadas III-IV, Madrid 1985; Plotino, Enéadas V-VI, Madrid, 1998), with the introductions and commentary of the third volume separately completed after the death of Igal.

Brisson, Luc, Pradeau, Jean-François. Plotin Ennéades, Traités 1-6, 7-21, 22-26, 27-29, 30-37, 38-41, 42-44, 45-50, 51-54, Paris, GF, 2003-2010.

In Dutch, Rein Ferwerda (no Greek text) Enneaden. Over het leven van Plotinus en de indeling van zijn traktaten, Amsterdam, 1984.

The first part of Paul Galligas’ Modern Greek translation, initiated in 1994 in Athens, emerged in a new English edition in 2014 (The Enneads of Plotinus: A Commentary, Volume 1, Elizabeth Key Fowden and Nicolas Pilavachi (trs.), Princeton University Press)

Plotinus: The Enneads – May 16, 2019, Ed. Lloyd P. Gerson, Cambridge University Press. 

See also titles with commentary from Parmenides Press.

John M. DILLON and H. J. BLUMENTHAL, PLOTINUS Ennead IV.3–4.29:
Problems Concerning the Soul, Translation, with an Introduction, and Commentary

Gary M. GURTLER, SJ, PLOTINUS Ennead IV.4.30–45 & IV.5
(Ennead IV.1.1–2 & IV.2 in Appendix):
Problems Concerning the Soul, Translation, with an Introduction, and Commentary

On the Voluntary and on the Free Will of the One, Translation, with an Introduction, and Commentary.

See also for reference:

  1. Corrigan, Reading Plotinus: A Practical Introduction to Neoplatonism, Purdue University Press, 2004 [ISBN 1-55753-234-6]

John Dillon and Lloyd P. Gerson, Neoplatonic Philosophy. Introductory Readings, Hackett Publishing, 2004 [ISBN 0-87220-707-2].

  1. T. Wallis, Neoplatonism, Hackett Publishing, 1995 [ISBN: 0-87220-287-9]
P. Gerson, From Plato to Platonism, Cornell, 2013.

The Routledge Handbook of Neoplatonism, eds., Pauliina Remes and Svetlana Slaveva-Griffin, London-New York, 2014.

  1. Corrigan, “Plotinus and Modern Scholarship: From Ficino to the Twenty First Century,” Plotinus’ Legacy, edited by Stephen Gersh, Cambridge, 2019, 257-287.


Class participation (40%): A seminar format is only productive if all members actively participate in group discussion. To this end, it is crucial that you not only read but think about the assigned material in advance of our sessions and that you come to class prepared to exchange ideas. Active participation includes not only the voicing of your ideas but careful listening—respectful attention and thoughtful responses to the comments of others.

Class participation includes three presentations. Twice during the semester you will be responsible for leading a portion of the discussion concerning an assigned reading. In your presentation, provide a concise summary of the argument of the essay(s) or chapter(s) under review (10 minutes, maximum), then guide the discussion based on a set of 3-4 questions that you have prepared in advance. Please circulate a copy of your discussion questions to the rest of the class via email. on the day before your scheduled presentation. In addition to the two reading discussions, everyone will make a formal presentation (15-20 minutes) based on the seminar project during our last class meeting.

Seminar Paper (60%): Seminar papers can focus on any topic as long as this engages some of the readings and concepts we have discussed in the course. Preliminary paper proposals of approximately 500 words are due in class in Week 8, March 6. These should include a brief analysis of a passage from one of the sources you are planning to use in your paper. During the course of the following two weeks, I will have a conversation with each of you about your proposal. A revised and expanded version of the proposal (approx. 7 pages) is due in week 11, April 3. These should provide a succinct summary of your topic, identify the full range of sources on which you are drawing, and outline the argument you are developing. The expanded proposals will then serve as the basis for your project presentation in our final class. Completed papers are to be 4,000-5,000 words in length and are due on April 27, four days after the final class. Your seminar paper should be a polished, professional piece of writing; please start on the project early enough to refine your argument and your prose.   For the final project, I do not require a massive secondary bibliography.  I prefer, always given the particular focus of your work, first, substantial engagement with primary texts or sources, and second, a substantial but necessarily limited familiarity with 3 to 8 secondary sources.  This is not intended to limit your creativity.  If your topic involves a more extensive bibliography, this is fine.  All I want is to ensure that we deal significantly with primary sources.

PHIL 599 - Thesis Research

PHIL 797 - Directed Study

PHIL 799 - Dissertation Research

GRAD 700 - Public Humanities - Reiss and Stolley
T 4


What can humanities do in the world? Public humanities engages debates about the relation of humanistic inquiry to communal engagement and stimulates active, collaborative, research of broad public interest.

At the center of this course will be projects developed in collaboration with community partners in a wide range of fields (theater, archival exhibitions, community advocacy, and business & society) inside and outside the university. These projects engage students with their community partners through socially-meaningful scholarship.  In this course, students will:

  • address ethical questions surrounding the role of humanistic inquiry in contemporary society;
  • find connections between their disciplinary training and socially valuable applications;
  • learn to advocate for humanities research and teaching in the public sphere;
  • discover how their own disciplinary expectations concerning research correspond to those of other disciplines and social institutions;
  • build camaraderie and intellectual networks;
  • enrich Emory’s connections to Atlanta and to other area colleges and universities.

Before the course begins, students will state a preference for work on a particular project; students will ideally be assigned to a research group based on these preferences. The first weeks of the course will feature common readings on the public humanities. Subsequent seminar sessions will include opportunities for students to work on their projects during class time and to reflect on how this public-facing work relates to their own disciplinary training.  Future iterations of the seminar will be taught by faculty members from different humanities fields; each seminar will sponsor three to four projects per semester, varied in organizational type and topical focus. Each project will cultivate a set of skills applicable in a wide range of professional settings

For project descriptions and for permission to enroll, please contact Professors Reiss ( and Stolley (

PHIL 501R - Topics in Ancient Philosophy: Political Emotions in Ancient Greek Thought
Jimenez, We 1:00PM - 4:00PM, Bowden Hall 216

Content: In this course we will study different views on political emotions in ancient Greek thought, with special attention to the role of love, hate, fear, confidence, anger, greed, shame, and pride in the political works of Plato and Aristotle.

The main texts will include not only the explicit discussions of these topics in Plato’s Republic and Laws, and in Aristotle’s RhetoricNicomachean Ethics,Eudemian Ethics and Politics, but also sections of Plato’s GorgiasProtagorasSymposium, and Statesman, and of Aristotle’s biological works. We will also read some selections from texts by other relevant ancient Greek authors such as Antiphon, Thucydides, Democritus, and Isocrates.

To help with our analysis we will draw upon contemporary discussions of political emotions in ancient thought. Scholars to be canvassed will include Danielle Allen, Julia Annas, Hanna Arendt, Ryan Ballot, Agnes Callard, Myisha Cherry, John Cooper, Corinne Gardner, Jon Elster, Michel Foucault, Jill Frank, Zena Hitz, Kazutaka Inamura, Rachana Kamtekar, Richard Kraut, Celine Leboeuf, Mitzi Lee, Mariska Leunissen, Audre Lorde, Martha Nussbaum, Josiah Ober, Rachel Singpurwalla, Adriel Trott, Jennifer Whiting, Josh Willburn, and Bernard Williams.


  • Plato. Complete Works (ed. John M. Cooper & D. S. Hutchinson, Hackett 1997).
  • Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation, vol. 2 (ed. Jonathan Barnes, Princeton University Press 1984).
  • Additional required readings will be available for download through the course website.


PHIL 541R - Topics in 20th Century Philosophy: Heidegger 1927-45
Mitchell, Tu 1:00PM - 4:00PM, Bowden Hall 216

Content: This course is an introductory survey of Heidegger’s work from roughly the first half of his career, from Being and Time to the close of World War II. The course begins with Being and Time (1927) and other texts from the period of “fundamental ontology,” i.e., the lecture “What Is Metaphysics?” (1929), his reflections on the difference between the animal and Dasein, 1929–30, and the essay “On the Essence of Truth” (1930). A second portion of the course then addresses Heidegger’s embrace of National Socialism in the lectures and speeches from his time as rector of the university (1933–34). We then turn to the works of his prolific middle period, with selections from Contributions to Philosophy (1936–38) and the Black Notebooks (1937–39), as well as the essay “The Origin of the Work of Art.” The course concludes with works from the war years, the essays and lectures on Hölderlin and Nietzsche, as well as his explicit reflections on the war, “Evening Conversation in a Prisoner of War Camp in Russia” (1945). A second part of the course, Heidegger 1945–73, is planned for the future. 



PHIL 556R - Topics in Phenomenology
Susan Bredlau, Tu 6:00PM-9:00PM, Bowden Hall 216


Phenomenological philosophers argue that our understanding of ourselves and our world must be grounded in the careful description of our experience. This course will be centered around our close reading of the Introduction and Part One of Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception. Topics to be discussed include: the phenomenological method, the intentional structure of perception, the embodied character of perception and the interpersonal character of perception.



PHIL 700 - Research Methods, Teaching, Philosophy & Professional Development
Mitchell, Th 11:30AM - 12:45PM, Bowden Hall 216




PHIL 777 - Philosophy And Pedagogy
Jimenez, Tu 11:00AM - 12:15PM, Room Bowden Hall 216




PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Freud for the Liberal Arts (Same as PSP 789-1)
Paul, T 1
:00PM-4:00PM, New Psych Building 225

Content: Freud created the theory and technique of psychoanalysis on the basis of his clinical treatment of the so-called “transference neuroses”, that is, hysteria, phobia, and obsessional neurosis.  It was not long, however, before this highly educated and well-read man turned his psychoanalytic gaze onto a wide range of human phenomena besides the neuroses.  Among the topics to which he turned his attention were such fields as art, literature, religion, anthropology, social critique, biography, everyday life, jokes, humor, creativity, and many more.   Rather than dealing with Freud’s well-known writings on clinical topics, his case studies, or is essays on aspects of psychology more generally, this course will instead focus on reading (some of) the very extensive and varied corpus of Freud’s contributions to what used to be called “applied psychoanalysis” but which may more accurately be described as “psychoanalysis and the liberal arts”.



PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Black Feminist Poethics & Critical Imagination (Same as WGS 585 2, CPLT 751 6)
Warren, M 4
:30PM-6:30PM, Candler Libary 125

Content: Can we imagine black existence without reason, the transparent subject, formalized schemes of knowledge, and being? What is the destructive and reconstructive potential of blackness—as contaminant, plenum, and para-ontology? Must blackness destroy mathematical formalism or perfect its operations to address the “mathematics of the unliving”? What is the function of (un)gendering in shattering time/space, displacing life/death, and reshaping scientific inquiry? How might black artistic production help us decolonize thought and confront epistemic warfare? Black Feminist Poethetics address these difficult inquiries with analytic rigor, capacious imagination, and eclectic methodologies. The seminar foregrounds black feminist poethetics’ contribution to black study and recent developments in continental philosophy. Black art, poetry, literature, and music will guide our exploration into the complexity, exorbitance, and joy of this field.

Texts: The seminar engages work from Denise Ferreira da Silva, Katherine McKittrick, Sylvia Wynter, Christina Sharpe, Amber Musser, Saidiya Hartman, Fred Moten, Nahum Chandler, David Marriott, Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben, Catherine Malabou, among others.

Particulars: Please note: this is not an introduction to theory. Prior knowledge of theory and/or philosophy is required.

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: The Problem of Life & The Philosophy of Life (Same as ENG 789 7, PCPLT 751 5)
Goodstein, T 1
:00PM-4:00PM, Candler Library 212

Content: Philosophical inquiries into the meaning of life are nothing new. But in modernity the category of life became a problem in new ways, and in the interim, the technoscientific developments that have transformed everyday life have altered our relations to life itself. In an era of artificial intelligence and synthetic biology, questions about life center less on its definition, interpretation, and proper conduct than on its malleability, manipulability, reproducibility, and indeed technological producibility. This course will inquire into the philosophical but also historical and cultural significance of this transformation in the meaning of life in the Anthropocene through a genealogy that begins with Aristotle’s epoch-making de Anima. Our principal focus will be the so-called “philosophies of life” that emerged in the latter part of the nineteenth century and the question of their proximity to and distance from contemporary modes of thinking life. We will also consider philosophical, historical, and cultural readings of both the problem of life and the philosophy of life.

Texts: Reading may include Adorno, Agamben, Arendt, Bachelard, Bergson, Canguilhem, Dilthey, Esposito, Foucault, Freud, Hayles, Heidegger, James, Klages, Lukacs, Nietzsche, Plessner, Rose, Simmel, and Thacker

Particulars: Presentations and substantial original paper.

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Foucault (WGS 585 3, CPLT 751 8)
Huffer, T 2
:00PM-5:00PM, Candler Library 125




PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Post Colonial Caribbean Thought (Same as CPLT 751)
Meighoo, W 1:

Content: Given the complicated history of colonialism in the Caribbean, it seems a rather futile attempt to identify a “postcolonial Caribbean” as such.  Some Caribbean nations have been “postcolonial” for a century or two, others have been postcolonial for a few decades, and some territories have never been postcolonial at all.  In this graduate seminar, we will focus on Caribbean thought from the closing decades of the twentieth century to the present.  Considering the significant intellectual contributions to postcolonial theory by various Caribbean thinkers, we will address the question of whether the Caribbean itself might be approached as a postcolonial, postmodern, or even “postcreole” cultural space.


  • Antonio Benítez-Rojo, The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective, trans. James E. Maraniss, 2nd ed. (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996), ISBN 9780822318651
  • Coco Fusco, English Is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas (New York: New Press, 1995), ISBN 9781565842458
  • Édouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation, trans. Betsy Wing (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997), ISBN 9780472066292
  • Richard D.E. Burton, Afro-Creole: Power, Opposition, and Play in the Caribbean (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), ISBN 9780801483257
  • Carolyn Cooper, Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender, and the “Vulgar” Body of Jamaican Popular Culture (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995), ISBN 9780822315957
  • David Scott, Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004), ISBN 9780822334446


  • Four (4) response papers (3-4 pp. each, 40% total)
  • Long essay (15-20 pp., 40%)
  • Attendance and participation (20%)

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy: Augustine, Descartes, Wittgenstein on the First Person "I" (Same as HC 652-1)
Pacini, M 2
:00PM-5:00PM, RARB 447




PHIL 540R - 20th Century Philosophy Seminar
John Stuhr, Mo 6:15pm-9:15pm

Deleuze:  Difference, Sense, Politics

This seminar is an in-depth study of the ontological, epistemological, and political thought of Gilles Deleuze.  

A) Some course readings will be drawn from Deleuze’s work on thinkers such as Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Bergson, Proust, and Foucault as well as some of Deleuze’s other writings (e.g. What is Philosophy? (Qu'est-ce que la philosophie?, 1991)) and interviews.  B) However, the focus and great majority of seminar energy and time will be on two crucial works:  Difference and Repetition (Différence et répétition, 1968) and The Logic of Sense (Logique du sens, 1969).  C) In addition, some attention will be paid to the ways in which these two volumes both inform, and are illuminated by, Deleuze’s collaborations with Félix Guattari in Anti-Oedipus (Capitalisme et Schizophrénie 1. L'Anti-Œdipe, 1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (Capitalisme et Schizophrénie 2. Mille Plateaux, 1980).  

Requirements include seminar participation and a short analytical and short critical paper for seminar discussion.  The principal course requirement is a final paper (aimed at journal submission and publication) on a topic developed in consultation with the instructor.

PHIL 540R - 20th Century Philosophy Seminar
Thomas Flynn,
Tu 2:00PM-5:00PM, Bowden Hall 216

The Dialectic and Four French Philosophers: Sartre adn Merleau-Ponty pro, Deleuze and Foucault con. 

Amoung other issues to be discussed is the comparative advantage and disadvantage of emphasis on time versus space in pursuit of philophical reflection.

Might the resolution be synthesis or the bifocal?

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy
Ralph Buchenhorst, Tu 6:00PM-9:00PM, Bowden Hall 216

Trans-Modernity: Recent Latin American Social Philosophy and Cultural Criticism in the Wake of De-Colonization

Course description:

During colonization and in its aftermath, concepts and institutions that belong to the mindset of European modernity have been transferred to many non-European regions. While the colonizers considered these concept as being universal, a growing intellectual movement in Africa, India, Latin America and the Caribbean, among other regions, criticized them as representing Europe's will to hegemony. From the 1970's on, Latin American authors like Walter Mignolo, Anibal Quijano, Hector Garcia Canclini, Eduardo Mendieta and Enrique Dussel cooperate in a critique of modernity from outside the mechanisms of European models of progress and enlightenment, a critique that has received growing attention in the US and Europe. The fact that circulating ideas and models which originated at some point from the West later return to the West in a translated and politicized form (coining the motto “writing back to the center”) thus has to be understood as an attempt to improve our understanding of central ethical and epistemological concepts in the context of globalization. The course will present the before mentioned authors and those of their texts that specifically deal with a reconceptualization of modernity from a de-colonial perspective. To appropriately achieve this goal, it preliminarily introduces and discusses the philosophical and sociological concept of modernity in a broader sense. Modernity as a sociological/philosophical concept will be the guiding focus throughout the course. Participants do not necessarily need a prior understanding of the discourse of de-colonization. We will introduce the topic by reading the basic texts that established the critical debate on modernity, subsequently attempting to discuss alternative concepts like coloniality, trans-modernity, de-growth and buen vivir.

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy (Same as CPLT 751, ENG 789)
Cynthia Willett and Elizabeth Goodstein
, Th 1:00PM-4:00PM, Callaway C201


This course seeks possible new beginnings in the tragic tradition in a world recognizing the limits of the Anthropocene. We will approach these questions by reading literature in conversation with philosophy and contemporary critical theory, starting with Aristotle, Sophocles, and Euripides, then exploring philosophical interpretations of tragedy (including Schiller, Hegel, and Nietzsche) before moving on to more contemporary issues. We will pay special attention to the tragic emotions and their continuing (and evolving) relevance in an age that has declared classic tragedy dead and to the emergence of unheard voices from tragedy’s origins in the choir, music and the Dionysian. Among topics: grieving, haunted landscapes and epigenetics, and possibilities for rethinking hubris and catharsis in the contemporary.

Readings may include:

Aristotle Poetics,

Beckett, Endgame

Euripides, Bacchae

Ibsen, Enemy of the People

Langer, Philosophy in a New Key

Lear, Radical Hope

Morrison, Beloved

Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

Sophocles, Oedipus and Antigone.

Essays by Adorno, Angela Davis, Freud, Hume, Schiller, Simmel, Kyle Whyte

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy (Same as WGSS 730)
Dilek Huseyinzadegan, Mon 
2:00PM-5:00PM, Bowden Hall 216

Feminisms of Color: Context, History, Politics

In this course we will conduct an introduction to and a survey of feminisms of color, paying special attention to the issues of context, history, and politics, and how feminist ideas circulate around the globe. Some philosophical guiding threads that we will consider are: Black feminisms, intersectionality and its global reach, coloniality of gender, “third world” feminisms, culture and cultural practices in U.S. and non-U.S. contexts, racialization of trans identities, gender and the prison industrial complex, and decolonial feminisms.


(Other texts will be added based on participants’ interests)

  • Alexander, Jacqui. Pedagogies of Crossing: Meditations on Feminism, Sexual Politics, Memory, and the Sacred.
  • Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
  • Davis, Angela. Women, Race, and Class
  • hooks, bell. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center
  • Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity
  • By Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge
  • Khader, Serene. Decolonizing Universalism: A Transnational Feminist Ethic
  • Lorde, Audre. Sister, Outsider: Essays and Speeches
  • Lugones, María, Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalition against Multiple Oppressions
  • Mahmood, Saba. Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject
  • Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity
  • Narayan, Uma. Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third World Feminism
  • Oyėwùmí, Oyèrónké, The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses
  • Snorton, Riley. Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity
  • Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. Ed. How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy (Same as CPLT 751-2, RLR 700)
Jill Robbins, Wed 1:00-4:00PM

Content: In the tradition of the French sociology of religion of Durkheim, Mauss, and Hertz, the conceptual figures of sacrifice and gift have received remarkable immanent readings as “total social facts”. This course explores the pre-war sociological texts on sacrifice and gift with attention to their postwar French philosophical resonances in Bataille, Levinas, Derrida and Nancy.
Texts: Readings may include Durkheim, Elementary Forms of Religious Life, Mauss The Gift, Merleau-Ponty, Signs, Weber, Sociology of Religion, Bourdieu, "Structure and Genesis of the Religious Field," Nancy, "The Unsacrificeable," and selections from Bataille, Derrida, Levinas.
Particulars: One class presentation and one 15-20 page paper due at end of term.

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy (Same as CPLT 751-3)
Srabanti Bhaumik, Wed 4:00-7:00PM

Theories of Democracy

Democracy has been at the center of both the branches of political philosophy and aesthetics as well as critical theory. The question our course will investigate is how the ideal of kratos (“power”) by the demos (“people”) shifts through various writings. What writings inform and extend our understanding of democracy as an ideal?

This course is divided into two sections. First, we will trace some established elements of democracy in classical philosophy and then learn of its translation into theories of the social contract. Some readings include selections from Thomas Jefferson, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, the Declaration of Independence, John Locke, W.E.B. Du Bois, Hannah Arendt, Thomas Hobbes, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Jean Jacques Rousseau. The second portion of the course will consider how theories of democracy intersect with literature, contemporary critiques of neoliberalism, dispossession, racialized exclusion, migration, decolonization, and critical theory.

Students will be encouraged to think about how critical theories of democracy impact their own research specializations. For instance, writings on democracy become central in the nineteenth-century for Herman Melville and Walt Whitman; postcolonial intellectuals and writers also return to the theme of democracy; Latin American writers during twentieth-century dictatorships explicate the significance of losing rights; critical theorists now return to the topic frequently in essays and debates. You will be able to pursue research in your areas of interest, while drawing upon larger conceptual themes.

Finally, we will read what critical theorists are stating about democracy. Supplementary readings will include writings by Wendy Brown, Melvin Rogers, Angela Davis, Elizabeth Povinelli, Fred Lee, and Bonnie Honig.

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy (Same as ICIVS 770-2)
Kevin Corrigan, Tues 10:00AM-12:45PM

This course will chart out a path from the study of Plato and Aristotle through the birth of Neoplatonism—with Plotinus [I shall also indicate the Christian dimension of this]—and the later Neoplatonic tradition both pagan and Christian, culminating in what I take to be some final logical developments of that tradition in the thought of Nicholas of Cusa.

  1. Introduction
  2. Heraclitus, Parmenides
  3. Socrates, Plato: ApologyCrito, Phaedo
  4. Plato: Symposium, Phaedrus
  5. Aristotle: Metaphysics
  6. Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics
  7. From Middle Platonism [Alcinous, Handbook of Platonism] to Neoplatonism: Plotinus and Porphyry [Origen]
  8. Plotinus: Enneads 1 6 [1]; VI 9 [9]
  9. Understanding and discursive thought: Enneads III 8 [30]; V 8 [31]; V 5 [32]
  10. Creation/production; soul-body: VI 7 [38]; IV 7 [7] 85
  11. Porphyry: Sententiae, etc. Iamblichus, De Mysteriis
  12. Gregory of Nyssa: De hominis opificio
  13. Proclus: Elements of TheologyLiber de Causis
  14. Dionysius: Divine Names
  15. Nicholas of Cusa: De Docta Ignorantia, De Apice Mentis

Plato: Complete Works

by Plato and John M. Cooper, Hackett, 1997.

Course Booklet

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy (Same as FREN 775-1, PSP 789)
Elissa Marder, Tues 1:00PM-4:00PM

Revolutionary Perversions: Literature, Sexuality, Anachrony

In this course, we shall examine how representations of “non-normative” sexuality in several major nineteenth-century works relate to the problem of representing history in the aftermath of the French revolution.  Many of the most famous canonical literary texts written in French prior to 1871 include references to impotence, lesbianism, hysteria, cross dressing, bestiality, masturbation and prostitution in the context of narratives that re-write or un-write the legacy of the French revolution. By focusing on the literary treatment of these ‘perverse’ forms of sexuality, we shall attempt to see how they encourage us to think differently about questions of historical transmission, language, gender, and sovereignty. Possible texts include: La Philosophie dans le boudoir (Sade), René (Chateaubriand), Ourika, Mme de Duras, Armance (Stendhal), Le Père Goriot and La Fille aux yeux d’or (Balzac), L’Education sentimentale (Flaubert), “Le Secret de l’Echafaud” (Villiers de L’Isle-Adam), and selections from Baudelaire’s prose poems. Critical readings may include works by Freud, Marx, Benjamin, Blanchot, Daniel Arasse, Derrida, and others. 

PHIL 531R - Topics in 19th Century Philosophy
Andrew Mitchell, Mo 2:00PM-5:00PM, Bowden Hall 216

Fichte and Romantic Literature

This course examines the influence of the philosopher J.G. Fichte (1762–1814) on the literature of German Romanticism. We will read one of Fichte’s key statements of his philosophy, The Vocation of Man (1800), as well as his ruminations on aesthetics, before turning to the philosophical and literary work of his contemporaries: Novalis (1772–1801), Friedrich Schlegel (1772–1829), and Karoline von Günderrode (1780–1806). For each of these authors we will read their own commentaries on Fichte before turning to their literary works. For Novalis, we will read selections from his extensive Fichte Studies and his novel Henry von Ofterdingen; for Schelgel, we will read his fragments on Fichte, his lectures on transcendental philosophy, and his novel Lucinde; for Günderrode, we will read her notes on Fichte’s Vocation as well as her plays “Magic and Destiny” and “Muhammad, the Prophet of Mecca.” In each case, our aim will be to see how Fichte’s thought is received both philosophically and literarily. Themese to be considered thus include self-reflection, performativity, the absolute, determinacy, and vocation, among others.


Johann Fichte, The Science of Knowledge [1794], ed. and trans. Peter Heath and John Lachs (Cambridge: Cambridge, 1982), 89–119. PDF.

________. “On the Spirit and the Letter in Philosophy” [1794], trans. Elizabeth Rubenstein, in German Aesthetic and Literary Criticism, ed. David Simpson (Cambridge: Cambridge, 1984), 74–93. PDF.

________. The Vocation of Man [1800], trans. Peter Preuss (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1987).

Novalis, Fichte Studies [1795–96], ed. and trans. Jane Kneller (Cambridge: Cambridge, 2003).

________. Henry von Ofterdingen [1800], trans. Palmer Hilty (Long Grove, IL: Waveland, 1990).

Friedrich Schlegel, Selected Fragments on Fichte [1798–1800], from Lucinde and the Fragments, ed. and trans. Peter Firchow (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1971).

________. “Introduction to the Transcendental Philosophy” [1800], in Theory as Practice: A Critical Anthology of Early German Romantic Writings, ed. and trans. Jochen Schulte-Sasse et. al. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), 240–67. PDF

________. “Philosophical Lectures: Transcendental Philosophy” [1800], in The Early Political Writings of the German Romantics, ed. and trans. Frederick C. Beiser (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 143–58. PDF

________. Lucinde [1798], in Lucinde and the Fragments, ed. and trans. Peter Firchow (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1971), 42–140.

Karoline von Günderrode, “Selected Studies: Fichte, The Vocation of Man” [~1803], trans. Anna Ezekiel. PDF.

________. Muhammad, Prophet of Mecca [1804], in Poetic Fragments, ed. and trans. Anna Ezekiel (Albany: SUNY Press, 2016), 121–299.

________. Magic and Destiny [1805], trans. Anna Ezekiel. PDF. 


Attendance & Participation 10%

3 Short Write Ups (2 pages) 15%

In Class Presentation 25%

Final Paper (20 pages) 50%

PHIL 540R - Topics in 20th Century Philosophy Seminar
Noelle McAfee, Tu 2:00PM-5:00PM, Bowden Hall 216

This graduate seminar will explore non-instrumental theories of the political, which take as their starting point the generative power of speech and action. Our primary focus will be the works of Hannah Arendt, Jürgen Habermas, and Iris Young. In the course of understanding their theories, we will draw on many who who engage or complement their ideas. The themes of the seminar are the project of political theory, the political, the public sphere, power, speech, communication and judgment.

In approaching the material at each seminar meeting, we will aim to proceed in this order: 1) understanding the context, 2) understanding the text, 3) taking up criticisms, and 4) considering new approaches and trajectories.

Course Requirements: Attendance and participation in all class meetings (25%). Exceptions granted only on a case by case basis. Come to class having read all the material and prepared to contribute to class discussion. Final seminar paper of about 5,000 words, including footnotes (75%).

Texts: Readings will be available electronically, though it could be very helpful to order Arendt’s The Human Condition, as well as her Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy, Habermas’s Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action and also his Between Facts and Norms.

PHIL 556R - Topics in Phenomenology
Susan Bredlau, Tu 6:00PM-9:00PM, Bowden Hall 216

Phenomenological philosophers argue that our understanding of ourselves and our world must be grounded in the careful description of our experience. This course will be centered around our close reading of selections from Husserl’s Ideas I and Part Two of Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception. Topics to be discussed include: the phenomenological method, the intentional structure of perception, the embodied character of perception and the interpersonal character of perception.

PHIL 558R - Topics in Pragmatism
Michael Sullivan, Th 1:00PM-4:00PM, Bowden Hall 216

PHIL 599R - Thesis Research
Andrew Mitchell

PHIL 700 - Research Methods, Teaching, Philosophy & Professional Development
John Lysaker, Th 11:00AM - 12:15PM, Bowden Hall 216

PHIL 777 - Philosophy And Pedagogy
Andrew Mitchell, Th 11:30AM - 12:45PM, Room Bowden Hall 216

PHIL 789 - Topics in Philosophy
George Yancy, We 6:00pm-9:00PM, Bowden Hall 216

Identity and Race through African American Literature

Within this course, we will explore the intersections of identity, race, and Black-being-in-the-world through a close reading of conceptually complex and rich narrative literary texts (books, essays, autobiographies). Hence, we will explore selected works by Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Richard Wright, Octavia Butler, James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, and others. 

PHIL 797R- Directed Study
Andrew Mitchell