English 203

Graduate Readings: Materiality

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2017 Flynn, Catherine
TTh 2-3:30 186 Barrows Graduate Courses

Book List

Derrida, Jacques: Spectres of Marx; Dolphijn, Rick: New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies; Freud, Sigmund: Civilization and Its Discontents; Lucretius: The Nature of Things; Marx, Karl: Capital; Meillasoux, Quentin: After Finitude; Merleau-Ponty, Maurice: The Visible and the Invisible

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader


In recent years, new theories of materiality have emerged to account for physical processes and eventualities outside of human volition and identificatory categories. In this course, we will examine these theories in relation to the older paradigms—philosophical, psychoanalytic, Marxist, phenomenological and anthropological—on which they build and from which they depart. Exploring materiality in the opposing but interrelated senses of the physical world and of social, productive forces, we will read a set of foundational thinkers, such as Lucretius, Aristotle, Marx, and Freud, along with a series of theorists who respond to them in divergent ways. Two key contemporary directions under consideration will be speculative realism’s shift away from socio-linguistic and anthropocentric modes of thought and, contrastingly, the exploration of consciously queer subjectivities in feminist and other phenomenologies. Readings will be arranged in strands that develop, diverge or reflect critically: for example, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and Sara Ahmed; Descartes, Judith Butler and Diana Coole; Marx, Derrida, and Fredric Jameson; and Hume, Quentin Meillasoux, and Martin Hägglund.

This course satisfies the Group 6 (Non-historical) requirement.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Spring, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/1 Graduate Readings: Radical Enlightenment? Goldstein, Amanda Jo
203/2 Graduate Readings: The Novel in Theory Hale, Dorothy J.
203/3 Graduate Readings: Prospectus and Grant Workshop Thornbury, Emily V.
203/4 Graduate Readings: Digital Humanities for Medieval Studies Nolan, Maura
203/5 Graduate Readings: Contemporary Chicanx/Latinx Novels Gonzalez, Marcial
Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/1 Graduate Readings: Caribbean Literature and Culture Ellis, Nadia
203/2 Graduate Readings: Comparative Colonialisms: Latin America and the U.S. Saldaña, Maria
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/1 Graduate Readings: World Systems Theory and the Asian Anglophone Novel Lye, Colleen
203/2 Graduate Readings: The Political Economy of Life and Death in African American Literature and Culture JanMohamed, Abdul R.
Fall, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/1 Graduate Readings: On Life: Life Philosophy and Culture Jones, Donna V.
203/2 Graduate Readings: Early African American Literature Wagner, Bryan
203/3 Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop Abel, Elizabeth
203/4 Graduate Readings: Lyric, Poetry, Poetics Falci, Eric
Spring, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/1 Graduate Readings: George Eliot and Victorian Science Duncan, Ian
203/2 Graduate Readings: Aesthetics and Politics: Kant and Beyond Goldsmith, Steven
203/3 Graduate Readings: Edmund Spenser Landreth, David
203/4 Graduate Readings: What Does Critical Theory Have to Do with the Postcolonial? Saha, Poulomi

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