Total Theory (HIS4215.01)

Jonathan Pitcher

Whether we love “theory” or hate it, rejecting it on the basis of a lack of understanding of its esoteric hermeneutics or jargon isn’t really a viable position, and certainly not an excuse. It’d be nice to know why, thus debating it on its own terms and perceiving its implications in all manner of contexts beyond them. The plan is to give at least an introduction to historicism, ideology, and revolution, modernity’s requisite triumvirate, over the first half of term, without which any approach to the second half’s postmodernity would be futile. We will admit to our own shortcomings from the opening day, to the stuff we haven’t read but really should have. There’s no guarantee that such a thorough suspicion of everything will make us any happier, but we’ll inform our convictions nonetheless.


Learning Outcomes:
Doing this reading would already be an achievement.

We should all practice our pronunciation before class.

Initially, my graver concerns tend to revolve around the projects’ internal logic, since although they’re the result of generally charismatic, all-encompassing thought, when dealing, often simultaneously, with change, progress, tradition, faith, redemption, conceptions of time, authority, individuation, power, knowledge, representation, meaning, industry, instinct, intuition, the nature of critique, and indeed rationalization itself, without even broaching more specific areas such as nationalism or capitalism here, it is always advisable to ask whether any idea makes sense within the span of its own pages. I.e., We'll be thinking, a lot, critically, by definition, and certainly enough to be dangerous.


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , History , Fully In-Person
Tags: