The Human and Post-Human



Download 55,29 Kb.
Date conversion17.08.2017
Size55,29 Kb.

The Human and Post-Human



Professor: Anna Loutfi

Department of Gender Studies, office: room 513 (Zrinyi 14), loutfia@ceu.hu


Teaching Assistant: Franciska Cettl
Fall 2014, MA, 2 credits

Seminar Meeting Time: Thursdays, 9-10:40

Seminar Room: Z412
Course Description and Learning Goals:
This course investigates “the human” as an idea, as an analytical category, which has had profound impact on the modern era. As a category developed in its modern form during the Enlightenment, it has served as the basis of our conception of political and social rights; it has also defined the relationship people have to that/those which fall outside of its boundaries (such as animals, technology, the environment, etc.). The course takes an historical approach to ask the following central question: Out of what social and political relations did our modern concept of the human develop? To this end, we will look at an interdisciplinary array of materials – historical, philosophical, and scientific – to understand how and why people were defined as a “species” through early Enlightenment taxonomies, as well as through 19th century debates about Darwin’s theory of evolution. We will see the way the human has never been a stable biological category, but rather has functioned as a vehicle for asserting a vision of the social order, political rights and ethics since the dawn of the modern period.

The course will focus on particular borders of the human, specifically the border separating it from the animal and, in less detail, technology. In doing so, we will look at historical motivations and practices through which the human was differentiated from the ape or the “freak”, connecting this history to the power relations which were being shaped by a particular definition of the human, such as colonial relations and race relations. And we will consider these two borders in particular in relation to the posthumanist literature (Donna Haraway, Rosi Braidotti) who argue that the boundary between human-machine-animal should be understood in new ways and that we must rethink our philosophical paradigms of humanism.

By the end of the course, students should be able to explicate the main political debates out of which the human as an idea developed and key terms in the post-humanist, feminist critique. They should be able to identify the difference between the human as presumed to be a biological, universal “fact” and the human as a socio-historically specific idea produced out of Enlightenment shifts in governing. Students must also be able to demonstrate an ability to independently identify and analyze other contemporary or historical debates/issues (of their choice) relevant to the concept of the human (e.g. debates around technology, cloning, science, animal rights, etc.) through discussion of particular topics (presented to them in take-home essay questions). Finally, students will gain experience doing a “reading” of particular (written and visual) texts; such work will involve demonstrating an understanding of another’s central argument(s) and offering critical interventions and, or extending the argument with which they are engaging. These skills will be demonstrated through seminar discussions, oral presentations, as well as independent through independent written analysis.

Assessment:

Seminar Attendance & Participation: 15%

1st take-home essay (8pp): 40% DUE: November 8th

2nd take-home essay (8pp): 45% DUE: December 22nd

Description of Written Assignments:



1st take-home essay (8pp): 40% - Questions will be circulated on Wed, Oct 29nd by email and explained in more detail in class on Oct 30th (week 6). You will be required to answer two questions and submit it by email by due-date November 8th (midnight). You have no assigned reading for Week 7 (Nov 6th) in order to give you more time in your schedule for the assignment. Class will meet Nov 6th however.
2nd take-home essay (8pp): 45% - Each Student must work with the Professor and/or TA to create their own essay question. All essay questions must be submitted to the Professor in writing for approval by Nov 30th. Due date Dec 22nd by email (midnight).

Deadlines: All assignments must be handed in on the due date or else be subject to penalty. Extensions are granted only in the most extreme cases of natural or bodily disaster. Permission to submit late assignments must be received before the day which they are due unless accompanied by a medical certificate.
Readings: All of the required readings are in the course reader available for purchase in the Department of Gender Studies Office (Zrinyi utca 14, 506). A copy of the reader will also be on reserve at the CEU library. Required readings must be done prior to each seminar meeting for which they are listed.
Attendance: Missing more than one seminar meeting will negatively impact your final grade. You are expected to attend every seminar meeting and come prepared to discuss the main argument in the readings assigned for the day, their relationship to other parts of the course materials, and or their relevance to other ideas or phenomena beyond the course syllabus.
Plagiarism: All written assignments must be the student’s individual work and must not include the ideas or written work of others without proper and explicit citations. If a student is found to have plagiarized, he or she will automatically fail the course. Really.

Schedule of Seminar Meetings – Topics and Assigned Readings:

Week One September 25

Topic: Introduction to the Course & Posthumanism, Technology & Politics
Readings:

  1. Francis Fukuyama, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnical Revolution. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2002. Pp. 3-40.



Further (non-required) Readings on the Human:

  1. Francis Fukuyama, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnical Revolution. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2002. Pp. 4156.

  2. Cary Wolf, “What is Posthumanism?” [handout from the internet]

  3. Erica Fudge, et al., eds. At the Borders of the Human: Beasts, Bodies and Natural Philosophy in the Early Modern Period. 2002. New York: Palgrave. “Introduction: the Dislocation of the Human,” pp. 1-5.

  4. J. Michelle Molina and Donald K. Swearer, eds. Rethinking the Human. U.S.A.: The President and Fellows of Harvard University. 2010.

  5. Jean-Francois Lyotard. The Inhuman. Stanford: Standford University Press. 1988.

  6. Charles Pasternak, ed. 2009. What Makes Us Human? Oxford: Oneworld Publications.



Week Two October 2

Topic: Posthuman, Philosophy and Feminism
Readings:

  1. Rosi Braitdotti, The Posthuman. Cambridge: Polity Press. 2013. Pp. 1-54.


Further (non-required) Readings:

  1. Postgender Website: http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2008/03/postgenderism-beyond-gender-binary.html and http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2008/03/postgenderism-beyond-gender-binary.html

  2. Transgender Website: http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2008/03/postgenderism-beyond-gender-binary.htm



Week Three October 9

Topic: Posthuman Politics – Huxley’s Brave New World
Readings:


  1. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World. 1932. Read full text version of the novel available on the internet.


Week Four October 16

Topic: Challenging the Animal/Human Dichotomy
Readings:

  1. Donna Haraway, 2008. When Species Meet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Chapter One, “When Species Meet: Introductions,” pp. 3-42.



Non-required reading:

  1. Carrie Rohman. Stalking the Subject: Modernism and the Animal. New York: Columbia University Press. 2009.

  2. Sarah Franklin. 2007. Dolly Mixtures: The Remaking of Geneologies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  3. John Berger. Why Look at Animals? New York: Penguin. “Why Look at Animals?” (pp. 12-37) and “Ape Theatre” (pp. 38-53.).


Further (not required) readings:

From the University of Minnesota “Posthumanisties”Series

  1. Cary Wolf, 2009. What is Posthumanism? Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  2. Jakob von Uexkull, 2010. A Forray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  3. Jussi Parikka. 2010. Insect Media. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  4. Nicole Shukin. 2009. Animal Capital: Rendering Life in Biopolitical Times. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  5. David Willis, 2008. Dorsality. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  6. Roberto Esposito, 2008. Bios. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  7. Judith Roof, 2007. The Poetics of DNA. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  8. Michel Serres, 2007. The Parasite. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

AND

  1. Keel Oliver, Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human. 2009. New York: Columbia University Press.



Week Five October 23

HUNGARIAN HOLIDAY – NO CLASS



Reading:

  1. Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. [novel]. Full novel available on internet.

[Essay Questions for Take-home Exam #1 distributed October 29th by email]




Week Six October 30

Topic: Monstrosity and Animality in the Human
Readings:

  1. Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. [novel]. Full novel available on internet.


Week Seven November 6

Topic: Freaks and Wild Children
Reading: No assigned reading [use this time to work on your take-home exams]

Class will still meet.

**** Essay Exams Due: November 8 by email *****
Week Eight November 13

Topic: Freaks and Wild Children continued.
Readings:

  1. Michael Newton, 2002. “Bodies Without Souls: The Case of Peter the Wild Boy” In Erica Fudge, et al., eds. At the Borders of the Human: Beasts, Bodies and Natural Philosophy in the Early Modern Period. 2002. New York: Palgrave. Pp. 196-214.

This reading will be distributed electronically by the TA or course instructor

Further (non-required) Reading:

  1. Julia V. Douthwaite, 2002. The Wild Girl, Natural Man and the Monster: Dangerous Experiments in the Age of Enlightenment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Chapter one “Wild Children: Establishing the Boundaries of Nature and Science.” pp. 11-69.

  2. Jan Bondeson. 2000. Freaks: The Pig-Faced Lady of Manchester Square and Other Medical Marvels. UK: Tempus Publishing Ltd. Chapter 2, “The Hairy Maid at the Harpsichord,” pp. 21-66.

  3. Christopher Dell. Monsters: A Bestiary of the Bizarre. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. 2010.

  4. Barbara Maria Stafford, 1997. “Conceiving: Barbarisms, or Strangeness Incarnate,” In Body Criticism: Imaging the Unseen in Enlightenment Art and Medicine. Massachusetts: MIT Press. Pp. 211-278.

  5. Umberto Echo, ed. 2004. “The Beauty of Monsters” chapter five. In On Beauty: A History of a Western Idea. Great Britain: Random House. Pp. 131-153.


Week Nine November 20

Topic: Biopolitics and the Anthropological Machine
Readings:

  1. Giorgio Agamben, The Open: Man and Animal. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2002. [this reading focuses on: Human/Animal and the Anthropological Machine]

OR / AND

  1. Michel Foucault, 1997. Society Must Be Defended, “Lecture Four, 28 January 1976.” New York: Picador. pp. 65-84, and “Lecture Eleven, 17 March 1976.” New York: Picador. pp. 239-264. [this reading focuses on theory of biopolitics as a modern form of governance and power]

[NOTE: You decide whether you would like to read one or both of the texts listed above for this week]


Further (non-required) reading:

  1. Giorgio Agamben. Homer Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 1995.


Week Ten November 27

Topic: Evolutionary Theory – Darwin’s Descent of Man
Readings:

  1. Charles Darwin, Evolutionary Writings. Oxford: Oxford University Press. “The Descent of Man”, P.p. 233-333.


Further (non-required) Reading:

  1. 2 x BBC Podcast: Lamarck and Natural Selection; and Human Evolution


Week Eleven December 4 [9 - 10:40 as usual]

Topic: Evolutionary Theory Cont.


Readings:

  1. Charles Darwin, Evolutionary Writings. Oxford: Oxford University Press. “The Descent of Man”, P.p. 233-333


Further (non-required) Reading:

  1. BBC In Our Times podcast: Genetics

  2. Peter J. Bowler. Evolution: The History of an Idea. Chapter three “Evolution in the Enlightenment” Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. 2009 [1983]. pp. 48-95)


Week Twelve (Scheduled Make up Class) December 4 [11 – 12:40 in Z412]

Topic: Biopolitics and Modern Governance: 19th and 20th Century


Readings:

  1. Keith Thomson. Before Darwin. Chapter twelve, “Paley, Malthus and Darwin” (245-265).

  2. Nikolas Rose, 2007. The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-first Century. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press. Pp. 9-40.


Further (non-required) Reading:

  1. BBC In Our Times podcast: Lysenkoism [for those interested in Evolutionary Theory and 20th century Cold War politics]

  2. Judith Butler, 2006. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso.


Final Assignment Due: December 22nd (midnight) by email


Suggestions for Further Reading
Enlightenment and Science:

  1. Peter Dear. The Intelligibility of Nature: How Science Makes Sense of the World. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 2006.

  2. Daniel Cottom. Cannibals and Philosophers: Bodies of Enlightenment. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press. 2001.

  3. George W. Stocking, Jr. Victorian Anthropology. New York: Free Press. 1987.

  4. Jonathan Marks. Why I am Not a Scientist: Anthropology and Modern Knowledge. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. 2009.

  5. Bernard Lightman. Victorian Science in Context. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1997.

Scientific Classification

  1. Michel Foucault, 1973. The Order of Things: An Archeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Vintage Books. Especially Chapter 5 – selections from “Classifying,” pp. 145-165.

  2. Thomas H. Huxley, “On the Zoological Significance of the Brain and Limb Characteristics of the Gorilla, as Contrasted with Those of Man,” 1862. [from The Huxley Files on the internet. A refutation of Prof. Owen]

  3. Carl Linnaeus. Website: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/linnaeus.html

  4. BBC In our Times podcast: The Natural Order

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/iots/all

Dissection:

  1. Helen MacDonald, Human Remains: Dissection and Its Histories. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2005.

  2. Katherine Park. Secrets of Women: Gender, Generation, and the Origins of Human Dissection. New York: Zone Books. 2010.

Apes and the Delineation of the Category of Human

  1. Londa Schiebinger, Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Science. 2006. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. Chapter Three “The Gendered Ape” (pp. 75-114)

  2. Punch (popular) British 19th century periodical: Cartoon and poems.

  3. Londa Schiebinger, Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Science. 2006. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. Chapter Two, “Why Mammals Are Called Mammals,” (pp. 40-74).

  4. Donna Haraway. Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science. New York: Routledge Press.]

The Visual – Scientific Knowledge and Human anatomy

  1. Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison. Objectivity. New York: Zone Books. 2010. Chapter Three, “Mechanical Objectivity.” Pp.115-190.

  2. Mark Kidel and Susan Rowe Leete, “Mapping the Body.” In Zone: Fragments for a History of the Human Body. New York: Zone Books. Pp. 448-469. [to be provided in class]

  3. Umberto Echo, ed. 2004. “The Aesthetic Idea in Ancient Greece” chapter one, pp 37-52. And “Beauty as Proportion and Harmony” chapter four In On Beauty: A History of a Western Idea. Pp. 99-130. Great Britain: Random House.

At the Intersection of the Human and Literary Criticism:

  1. Felicity A. Nussbaum. The Limits of the Human: Fictions of Anomaly, Race, and Gender in the Long Eighteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  2. James A. Steintrager, 2004. Cruel Delight: Enlightenment Culture and the Inhuman. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Chapters 1-3, “The Model of Moral Monstrosity,” “The Paradox of Inhumanity,” and “Animals and the Mark of the Human.” pp. 3-59.

  3. Mary Shelley. Frankenstein. Penguin Classics.

At the Intersection of the Human and Continental Philosophy

  1. Jacques Derrida. “The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow). Critical Inquiry 28, no. 2 (2002): 369-418.

  2. Keel Oliver, Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human. 2009. New York: Columbia University Press.

  3. Cary Wolfe, 2003. Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

The Brain as the Locale of Our Human Essence:

  1. BBC Podcast In Our Times: The Brain

  2. Fernando Vidal. “Brainhood, anthropological figure of modernity.” History of the Human Sciences, 22. No. 5, 2009. Pp. 5-36.

  3. Raymond Tallis, 2011. “Science and Scientism” chapter one, pp. 15- 49 and “From Darwinism to Darwinitis” chapter four, pp. 147-182. In Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity. Durham, UK: Acumen Publishers.

Vitalism

  1. BBC In Our Times podcast: Vitalism

Evolutionary Theory:

  1. Peter J. Bowler. Evolution: The History of an Idea. Especially chapter six. “The Reception of Darwin’s Theory.” Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. pp. 177-223.

  2. Adrian Desmond and James Moore. Darwin’s Sacred Cause: Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins. London and New York: Penguin Books. 2010.

  3. Daniel C. Dennett. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1995.

  4. Julian Huxley. Evolution. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 2010.

  5. Richard Dawkins. The Selfish Gene. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. 1976 (1989).

  6. Charles Darwin. Evolutionary Writings. Oxford: Oxford University Press. “On the Origin of the Species”, P.p. 105-211.


Henri Bergson and Creative Evolution: Adding a Theory of Consciousness to Evolutionary Theory:

  1. Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution. Chapter two, 98-185

  2. Gilles Deleuze, ed. Bergonsonism, chapters one and two. Pp. 13-50

  3. Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory, chapter two “Of the recognition of images. Memory and the Brain., pp. 9-16 (introduction) and 77-131.

  4. Podcast on Bergson

Evolutionary Biology in the 20th Century

  1. Majorie Grene and David Depew. 2004. The Philosophy of Biology. “Evolution and heredity from Darwin to the Rise of genetics” chapter 8, pp. 221-246 and “The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis and Its Discontents” chapter 9, pp. 247-289.

  2. Sarah Franklin. 2007. Dolly Mixtures: The Remaking of Genealogies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Pp. 1-45.

  3. Website in Human genome Project: http://www.genome.gov/10001772 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Genome_Project

  4. Podcast: Rupert Sheldrake and critique of mechanistic approaches to biology

  5. Paul Rabinow and Talia Dan-Cohen, A Machine to Make a Future, pp. 1-12 and 38-61.

Politics and Science

  1. Bruno Latour. Politics of Nature. Introduction: What is to be Done with Political Ecology?” (pp. 1-8); “Why Political Ecology Has to Let Go of Nature” (pp. 9-52); “Conclusion: What is to be Done? Political Ecology!” (pp. 221-228); “Summary of the Argument (for Readers in a Hurry…)” and “Glossary” (pp. 237-250).

  2. Francis Fukuyama. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. New York: Picador. 2002. Pp. 129-218.



The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2016
send message

    Main page