Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics, and the Concept of Address
Philosophers and critical theorists such as Frantz Fanon, Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Maria Lugones, and Barbara Johnson reveal that subjectivity, embodiment, and social difference emerge in the context of relationships of address to and from others. Cultural critics place address at the center of aesthetic, ethical, and political dimensions of artworks and other cultural productions. This course examines the concept of address through a philosophical lens. How do embodied, socially positioned subjects emerge in virtue of the ways they are addressed? What is meant by this idea and how can we understand its ethical and political implications? What follows for the notions of representation and reading? What connections can we recognize between address and desire, experience, power, difference, the public, aesthetic form, perception, materiality, and the senses? These questions will form our point of entry into central texts in twentieth- and twenty-first century philosophy and cultural criticism. Prerequisite: Two courses in Philosophy, Literature, Postcolonial Theory, or the Arts.