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COMPLIT 367E: Contemporary Theory Lab (ENGLISH 367E, ILAC 367E)

This new graduate seminar examines the question of whether a new canon of theoretical monographs-as opposed to influential standalone essays or papers-has coalesced in recent years. We focus on a post-Foucaultian, post-1989 moment, understanding theory as an autonomous, interdisciplinary enterprise that is not subservient or reducible to philosophy or literary criticism but shares many of the core concerns of each discipline. The seminar provides students with a safe space to discuss cutting-edge ideas, arguing for, with, and against influential trends. We will study six to eight monographs in great detail, at least two of which will be determined by class vote. Of special interest are conceptual formations and methodologies that do not have an institutional home or pursue a narrow political agenda. Topics include anticolonial thinking, new materialism, affect studies, and the shadow of the linguistic turn. We may draw from a roster of thinkers such as Bruno Latour, Saidiya Hartman, Ve more »
This new graduate seminar examines the question of whether a new canon of theoretical monographs-as opposed to influential standalone essays or papers-has coalesced in recent years. We focus on a post-Foucaultian, post-1989 moment, understanding theory as an autonomous, interdisciplinary enterprise that is not subservient or reducible to philosophy or literary criticism but shares many of the core concerns of each discipline. The seminar provides students with a safe space to discuss cutting-edge ideas, arguing for, with, and against influential trends. We will study six to eight monographs in great detail, at least two of which will be determined by class vote. Of special interest are conceptual formations and methodologies that do not have an institutional home or pursue a narrow political agenda. Topics include anticolonial thinking, new materialism, affect studies, and the shadow of the linguistic turn. We may draw from a roster of thinkers such as Bruno Latour, Saidiya Hartman, Verónica Gago, Sianne Ngai, Rob Nixon, Sara Ahmed, Martin Hägglund, Arturo Escobar, Mark Fisher, Wendy Brown, and Fred Moten. Previous experience with theory is recommended. Assignments sequence short papers with revisions, short student presentations, and a final paper. Stanford faculty and outside guests will be a mainstay. Broader community engagement with theory, as well as student integration of the subject matter towards their independent research projects, will be central goals. Open to co-terms, masters, and PhD students in the humanities and social sciences.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5
Instructors: Hoyos, H. (PI)
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