|Assessment Type||Assessment length / details||Proportion|
|Semester Assessment||Seminar Performance||10%|
|Semester Assessment||1 x 2,000 word essay||30%|
|Semester Assessment||1 x 3,500 word essay||60%|
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Demonstrate a good understanding of approaches described as poststructural;
Discuss some of the ethico-political questions raised by this work;
Demonstrate a familiarity with key poststructuralist writers, based on a direct reading of their texts.
Research inspired by post-structuralist approaches forms a challenging contribution to recent international relations, political theory and postcolonialism. There are two linked modules that explore this field. This first module allows students to develop a critical appreciation and understanding of poststructural work through a reading of primary writings. They will then be well placed to go on if they wish to study scholars of international politics or other disciplines who draw on this work or continue to pursue a more in-depth study of the poststructural politics literature in the second semester module. The module concentrates on giving a flavour of the excitement of these approaches, rather than examining the debates between postmodernism and its critics. There are no prerequisites, apart from a willingness to read in depth and engage with the material.
Section A: Beyond humanism and historicism
1.Subjectivity and Modern Political Philosophy
2. Beyond Humanism: Althusser's 'Materialism of the Encounter'
3. Beyond Historicism: Nietzsche and the Will to Power
Section B: Poststructural critiques of sovereign politics
4. Biopolitics, Governmentality, Sovereignty: Foucault I
5. Bare life, Sovereignty, Law: Agamben I
6. Community, Immunity, Life: Esposito
Section C: Alternative Notions of Subject and Politics
7. Jamming the Anthropological Machine: Agamben II
8. The Animal, the Human and the Problem of the Other: Derrida
9. Multiplicity and the Body without Organs: Deleuze
10. Ethics, Norms and the Outside: Foucault II
The module begins with a brief examination of Nietzsche and Althusser and then focuses in great detail on the work of five thinkers- Foucault, Derrida, Agamben, Deleuze and Esposito. The course is divided into three sections. The first section engages the theme of subjectivity in modern philosophy. It also examines the decisive steps taken by Nietzsche and Althusser in announcing poststructural work in philosophy and politics. The second section develops the poststructuralist critique of the current conception of politics in the work of Foucault, Agamben and Esposito. The third section looks into the issues of ethics and alternative notions of subject and politics in the work of Agamben, Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze. Lectures introducing key areas are accompanied by seminars based on careful readings of selected texts supported by extensive discussions. The lectures include opportunities for questions and debate. Seminars will be student-led.
10 ECTS credits
This module is at CQFW Level 6