Two powerful but conflicting accounts have animated contemporary discussions about violence. On the one side have been critics, from Walter Benjamin to Michel Foucault, who have insisted that violence is intimately related to and even primarily disseminated through discourse. Increasingly powerful in recent years has been a very different view, which ┐ paradoxically ┐ may have emerged from former. In this account, violence is essentially unspeakable, that is, it is resistant to the organizing mechanisms of cognition and representation. What theories of language, violence, cognition and history underwrite these views? In what kinds of political arguments are they enmeshed? What is at stake in claiming that violence is either all we speak, or always unspeakable? The special status of literature and "the fictive" in this debate will be a major focus. This course will trace out these views as they articulated by theorists, novelists, and even some poets. The course will be organized by ┐keywords,┐ which will include Trauma, Terrorism, Torture, Murder and Hate Speech.
COURSE FORMAT: Seminar
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL Grading Mode: Graded
Prerequisites: NONE Links to Web Resources For This Course.
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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