Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Syllabus for Rhetoric 103B: Aesthetics and Politics

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-5, 126 Barrows
Instructor: Dale Carrico (dalec@berkeley.edu)
Leading Discussion: James Harker, Amy Jamgochian
Course Blog: http://interpretatio.blogspot.com

Just which objects are art and what are art’s objects and how do arts voice objection? Over the course of the term we will think through the conversation, antagonism, and co-construction of the aesthetic and the political, especially as these have played out in some characteristic Marxist and postmarxist discourses.

Grade Breakdown:

In-Class Mid-Term Examination: 25%
Short Paper: 25%
Take-Home Final Examination: 25%
Attendance/Participation: 25%

A Provisional Schedule of Meetings


T 16 Introduction (Syllabus/Course Policies)
R 18 Introduction (Some Course Themes)

T 23 Oscar Wilde, "The Soul of Man Under Socialism"
R 25 Marx and Engles: From The German Ideology and Capital, Alienation, Camera-Obscura, Commodity Fetishism

T 30 Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle


R 1 Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle

T 6 Klein, No Logo
R 8 Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"

T 13 Jameson (ed.), Aesthetics and Politics, Ernst Bloch, "Discussing Expressionism," pp. 16-27; Georg Lukacs, "Realism in the Balance," pp. 27-59.
R 15 Jameson (ed.), Aesthetics and Politics, Bertolt Brecht, "Against Lukacs," pp. 68-85, Walter Benjamin "Conversations with Brecht," pp. 86-99.

T 20 Jameson (ed.), Aesthetics and Politics, Correspondence from Adorno to Benjamin, pp. 110-133; Benjamin Replies, pp. 134-141.
R 22 Jameson (ed.), Aesthetics and Politics, Adorno, "Commitment," pp. 177-195.

T 27 Simon Frith, "Art Ideology and Pop Practice"


R 1 Iain Chambers, "Contamination, Coincidence, and Collusion: Pop Music, Urban Culture, and the Avant-Garde"
T 6 Terry Eagleton, "The Critic as Clown"
R 8 Michele Barrett, "The Place of Aesthetics in Marxist Criticism"

T 13 V for Vendetta (in-class screening)
R 15 V for Vendetta (in-class screening)

T 20 Discussion of Film
R 22 In-Class Midterm



T3 Bruce Sterling, Distraction [ISBN: 0553576399]
R5 Bruce Sterling, Distraction

T10 Bruce Sterling, Distraction
R12 Jeanette Winterson, "Art Objects"
Short Paper (4-5pp.) Due

T17 Bill Brown, "Thing Theory"
R19 Jessica Riskin, "The Defecating Duck. or, the Ambiguous Origins of Artificial Life"

T24 Charity Scribner, "Object, Relic, Fetish, Thing: Joseph Beuys and the Museum"
R26 Rey Chow, "Fateful Attachments: On Collecting, Fidelity, and Lao She"


T1 Jacques Ranciere, The Politics of Aesthetics, pp. [9]-41.
R3 Jacques Ranciere, The Politics of Aesthetics, pp. [42]-66.

T8 Final Comments, Turn in Take-Home Final

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