Module Identifier ENM4320  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator To Be Arranged  
Semester Available semesters 1 and 2  
Other staff Dr Timothy Woods  
Course delivery Seminar   2 hours per week  
Assessment Essay   1 x 5,000 word essay    


This module will offer students a chance to study a variety of influences upon the concept of postmodernism outside the realm of strictly literary. It will concentrate issues such as the function of history and the representation of the past in contemporary culture; the nature of the everyday in contemporary existence; the political role of aesthetic adornment or ornament; the representation of the body and the emergence of new concepts of the human or self; the insistence on metaphors of space in contemporary social experience; and the "textualism" of modern knowledge and life.

1. Alterities
   This session wil consider the current fascination and obsession with the 'other' in contemporary theory.

   Emannuel Levinas 'Ethics as First Philosophy', in S Hand, ed, "The Levinas Reader" (1989): 75-87
   Richard Bernstein "Incommensurability and Otherness Revisited", in "The New Constellation" (1991)

2. Bodies

   What is a body? What is a 'human' body? What is a cyborg? This session will focus on the 'posthuman body' in contemporary
   discussions and representations of men's and women's bodies in the work of performance artists like Stelarc, Orlan and Carolee
   Schneeman, as well as cyberpunk fiction.

   M Carlson, 'Performance and the Postmodern', in "Performance: An Introduction" (1996)
   Donna Haraway, 'A Cyborg Manifesto' in "Simians, Cyborgs and Women" (1991): 149-181
   Lucy Lippard, 'The Pains and Pleasures of Rebirth' in "The Pink Glass Swan" (1995): 99-103

   Carolee Schneemann, 'From More Meat Than Joy', in M Sandford, ed, "Happenings and Other Acts" (1995): 246 & ff.

3. Buildings

   What constitutes as building? How does the metaphor of architecture work in philosophy and conceptual thought? What
   defines an 'inside' from an 'outside'? Looking at such issues, this session will examine how tradition and transgression emerge
   in contemporary ideas of building and dwelling.

   Martin Heidegger, 'Building, Dwelling, Thinking' in "Poetry, Language, Thought" (1971)

   Jacques Derrida, 'Point de Folie - maintenant l'architecture', in Neil Leech, ed, "Rethinking Architecture" (1997): 324-335

   Mark Wigley, 'The Domestication of the House', in P Brunette and D Wills, eds, "Deconstruction and the Visual Arts", (1994):

   Other extracts by Bernard Tschumi, Peter Eisemann, Jacques Derrida, Charles Jencks

4. Space has become a new 'buzzword' in debates about contemporary culture. This session wil consider how it influences
   discussions of the city, bodies and their relation to space, monuments, habitation and the structure of inside/outside and how
   space itself is conceptualised.

   Michel de Certeau, extracts from "The Practice of Everyday Life" (1994)

   Deleuze and Guattari, extracts from "A Thousand Plateaux" (1977)

   Michel Foucault, "Of Other Spaces", "Diacritics" (Spring 1986): 22-27

   Edward Soja, 'Heterotopologies', "Strategies, 3 " (1989): 6-39; also in S Watson and K Gibson, eds, "Postmodern Cities and
   Spaces" (1995): 13-34

   Paul Virilio, 'The Overexposed City', in "Lost Dimension" (1991); also in Neil Leech, ed, "Rethinking Architecture" (1997):

5. Histories

   If space has become the new 'buzzword', what has happened to history? This session will discuss notions of history and
   temporarlity in contemporary debate.

   Frederic Jameson, 'Postmodernismn' or 'The Cutltural Logic of Late Capital', New Left Review, 146 (1984): 53-92

   Keith Jenkins, ed, 'The Postmodern History Reader' (1997)

   David Harvey, 'Time-Space Compression and the Postmodern Condition', in "The Condition of Postmodernity" (1989): 284-307

Primary Reading

Neil Leech, ed, "Rethinking Architecture" (Routledge, 1997)