CPLT 210: CANONS IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
Course Title: Argument, Rhetoric, and Persuasion in Ancient China and Greece
Prof. Lisa Raphals
This seminar uses primary and secondary texts to examine structures and techniques of argument, persuasion, and rhetoric in early Chinese and Greek texts from a comparative perspective. It surveys key Chinese and Greek texts that address questions of how argument and persuasion are conducted, including key passages from Plato (Gorgias, Phaedrus, Republic, Symposium), Aristotle (Rhetoric, Poetics) and key readings from the Mencius, Zhuangzi, Sunzi’s Art of War, Xunzi and Han Feizi. Key scholarship considers such topics as the “anthropological” reading of classical texts, linguistic relativism, the role of deception, accounts of techniques of psychological persuasion, and perspectives on metaphor.
CPLT 215B: ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY THEORY
Course Title: What is an “I”?
Prof. John N. Kim
This seminar is focused on one question over ten weeks of the Spring Quarter, “What is an ‘I’?” Beginning with essays by the structural linguist Émile Benveniste, this seminar examines the afterlife of a central conceptual distinction between the “subject of enunciation” and the “subject of the enunciated [énoncé; utterance, statement]” attributed to Benveniste but appearing nowhere in his published writings. What began as a crucial distinction between a subject making a statement (énonciation) and the subject posited within a statement (énoncé) has subsequently informed developments in literary theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and cultural analysis in general. This seminar traces this development, in both its explicit and implicit forms, first by re-examining the status of the “I” in three key texts in the history of philosophy (Descartes, Kant, Hegel) and then by turning to contemporary works in critical theory (Agamben, Butler, da Silva, de Man, Esposito, Levinas, Schmitt) as well as literary works by Tawada Yōko. It pursues the proposition that whatever the “I” is or maybe, it is somehow theological, or a fictive force with all of the violence of what Lacan calls “the real.”
CPLT 223: TOPICS IN EAST ASIAN LITERATURE AND FILM
Prof. Jonathan Hall
The last twenty years have yielded a vast field of scholarly writing about Asian visual culture. Harvesting the cream of this uneven crop, we probe what post-structuralist and Marxist theories have had to offer “visual Asia.” We trace what new theoretical paradigms have emerged in conversation with Asian popular and high-art visual culture. And we contemplate newly material and hybrid forms of critical thought. Engaging with film, photography, and installation art from Asia (especially East and Southeast Asia) in addition to literary and critical texts, the course follows these fields: post-colonial visual theory, vernacular modernism, performance, and the archive, global psychoanalysis, feminist criticism, queer Asia, and strategic geopolitics of the visual. Critics and visual artists are paired carefully week-by-week and include Malek Alloula, Ariella Azoulay, Roland Barthes, Bi Gan, Arnika Fuhrmann, Stuart Hall, Miriam Hansen, Ann Hui, Amir Muhammad, Isaac Julien, Gina Kim, Soyoung Kim, Homay King, Latipa, Bliss Cua Lim, Eng-Beng Lim, Lim & Lam, Markus Nornes, Jacques Rancière, Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano, Danh Vo, Wang Bing, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Zhao Liang.