SHUM 4629 - [On Political Authority and the Power to Expose]
Fall. Next offered 2018-2019. 4 credits. Student option grading.
Enrollment limited to: 15 students. Intended for advanced undergraduates and graduate students.
This course focuses on the “exterior” as a political problem in critical theory, architectural theory, and cultural anthropology. The texts we will examine and elaborate on a political distinction between a human “interior” of “culture” or “reason” and a non-human “exterior” made of “natural” processes that are indifferent to human life. We will examine theoretical critiques of the old political notion that the authority of rulers should be like that of architects: leaders are recognized by their capacity to build interior spaces that nourish human modes of living. We will consider a range of cases in which political projects designed to build all-encompassing interiors have exposed humans and non-humans alike to the possibility of outright destruction. In some cases, authorities are recognized as such due to their perceived capacity to expose themselves and their followers to the possibility of annihilation.
For longer description and instructor bio please visit http://societyhumanities.as.cornell.edu/courses.
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