The Modern Critical Theory Lecture Series - Fall 2014

The Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory will offer a series of public lectures on the history of critical theory. These lectures, each of which will be followed by open discussion, will take place on Tuesdays from 5:15-6:45pm in 1002 Lincoln Hall. The lectures are coordinated with graduate seminars on critical theory in a number of departments, but are also open to other faculty or graduate students who may wish to attend.

All students should purchase Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Kaufmann, trans) which contains readings necessary for the 9/23 lecture. In addition, students may wish to purchase the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Second Edition (2010). 

Week 1 (8/25): No Public Lecture 

Week 2 (9/2): Kant
Lecture: David Sussman, Philosophy, Illinois


Kant, Immanuel. "The Analytic of the Beautiful and the Analytic of the Sublime." Critique of the Power of Judgment. (Selections in Norton)

---. "Preface to the Second Edition [B]." Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. Paul Guyer and Allen Wood. Cambridge, 1998. 106-124.

---. "Preface," "Introduction," and "On the Deduction of the Principles of Pure Practical Reason." Critique of Practical Reason. Trans. Mary Gregor. Cambridge, 1997. 139-149; 173-180.

Week 3 (9/9): Hegel
Lecture: William Schroeder, Philosophy, Illinois


Hegel, G.W.F. "Introduction." Phenomenology of Spirit. Clarendon, 1977. 46-57.

---. "Self-Consciousness." Phenomenology of Spirit. Clarendon, 1977. 104-119.

*Schroeder, William. "Hegel." Continental Philosophy: A Critical Approach. Blackwell, 2005. 30-59.

Week 4 (9/16): Marx and Marxism 
Lecture: Jim Hansen, English, Illinois


Adorno, Theodor W. "On the Fetish Character of Music and the Regression of Listening." The Essential Frankfurt School Reader. Ed. Andrew Arato & Eike Gebhardt. Continuum, 1982. 270-299. 

Benjamin, Walter. "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." (Norton) 

Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels (Selections in Norton)

Week 5 (9/23): Nietzsche 
Lecture: Melissa Orlie, Political Science, Illinois


I. The ascetic ideal and the problem of nihilism 

*Nietzsche, Friedrich. On the Genealogy of Morals. Trans. Kaufmann. Preface section 1; Essay III, sections 1, 2, 11, 23-28.

II. Nietzsche's general ontology of will to power as impersonal matter 

Nietzsche, Friedrich. On the Genealogy of Morals. Essay II, section 12.
---. The Gay Science. Sections 276, 277, and 334.
---. Twilight of the Idols. (Portable Nietzsche) 500-501.

*Please note: Students should purchase this edition, which is widely available in bookstores and online: Nietzsche, Friedrich. On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo. Kaufmann, Walter (trans.).

Week 6 (9/30): Structuralism
Lecture: Robert Dale Parker, English/American Indian Studies, Illinois


de Saussure, Ferdinand. "Course in General Linguistics" (1916). Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies. Oxford, 2012. 37-48.

Parker, Robert Dale. "Ch.3: Structuralism." How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies, Third Edition (2014/2015). 43-84. (Distributed with author's permission.)


Barthes, Roland. "The Death of the Author" (1968). Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies. Oxford, 2012. 83-87. 

Jakobson, Roman. "The Metaphoric and Metonymic Poles" (1956). Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies. Oxford, 2012. 62-68. 

Propp, Vladimir. "The Morphology of the Folktale" (1928). Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies. Oxford, 2012. 58-62. 


Week 7 (10/7): Freud
Lecture: Robert Rushing, Italian/Comparative Literature/Media and Cinema Studies, Illinois 


Freud, Sigmund. "Fetishism." (Norton). 952-956.

---. "Negation." The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Hogarth, 1953. 231-239.

---. "Some Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes." The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Hogarth, 1953. 248-258.

---. "The Uncanny." (Norton) 929-952. Recommended: 

Freud, Sigmund. "From The Interpretation of Dreams." (Norton) 919-929.

Week 8 (10/14): Derrida 
Lecture: Marcus Keller, French, Illinois 


Derrida, Jacques. "Ch. 10: Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences (with notes)." Writing and Difference. Routledge, 2001. 351-370, 443-444.

Derrida, Jacques. "Signature Event Context." Limited Inc. Northwestern University Press, 1977. 2-23.

Derrida, Jacques. "From Specters of Marx." (Norton) 1734-1744.

Week 9 (10/21): Lacan
Lecture: Lilya Kaganovsky, Slavic/Comparative Literature/Media and Cinema Studies, Illinois


Lacan, Jacques. "The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious" and "The Mirror Stage" (Selections in Norton) 


Week 10 (10/28): Foucault
Lecture:    Lauren Goodlad, English, Illinois


Foucault, Michel. (Introduction and all selections from Norton: "What Is an Author?," "[selections from] Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison," "[selections from] The History of Sexuality.")

Foucault, Michel. "Ch. 11: 17 March 1976." Society Must Be Defended, Lectures at the Collège de France 1975-1976: Picador, 2003.


Foucault, Michel. "The Subject and Power." Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics. University of Chicago 1983, pp. 208-228.


Week 11 (11/4): Postcolonial Theory 
Lecture:    Radhika Govindrajan, Anthropology, Illinois


Appiah, Kwame Anthony. "Is the Post- in Postmodernism the Post- in Postcolonial?" Critical Inquiry 17.2 (1991): 336-357.

Hall, Stuart. "When Was the Postcolonial?" The Postcolonial Question. Eds. Ian Chambers and Lidia Curti. Routledge, 1996. 242-260.

Fanon, Franz. "The Negro and Recognition." Black Skin, White Masks. Trans. Charles Lan Markmann. Grove Press, 1967. 163-173.

Said, Edward. "Introduction." Orientalism. Routledge, 1978. 9-36.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. Harvard, 1999. 112-140. 


Week 12 (11/11): Feminist Theory 
Lecture: Vicki Mahaffey, English, Illinois


Benjamin, Jessica. "Master and Slave." Bond of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminisim, and the Problem of Domination. Pantheon, 1988. 51-84. 

Carter, Angela. "Polemical Preface." The Sadeian Woman: An Exercise in Cultural History. Virago, 2006. 3-37. 

Serano, Julia. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Seal, 2007. 315-343. 

Wittig, Monique. "The Category of Sex" and "One is Not Born a Woman." The Straight Mind and Other Essays. Beacon, 1992. 1-20. 

Wolf, Naomi. "Introduction."" The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women. Harper, 2002. 1-8. 

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One's Own, Chapters 1, 2 & 3. (1929) Harvest, 1976. 


Wolf, Naomi. "Sex." The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women. Harper, 2002. 131-178. 

Week 13 (11/18): Queer Theory
Lecture:    Chantal Nadeau, Gender and Women's Studies, Illinois


Chen, Mel Y. "Queer Animation." Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect. Duke, 2012. 57-85.

Cohen, Cathy J. "Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?" GLQ 3.4 (1997): 437-465.

Foucault, Michel. "The Subject and Power." Critical Inquiry 8.4 (Summer 1982): 777-795.

Puar, Jasbir K. "Homonationalism as Assemblage: Viral Travels, Affective Sexualities." Jindal Global Law Review 4.2 (Nov. 2013): 23-43.

Spade, Dean. "Documenting Gender." Hastings Law Journal 59.1 (2008): 731-842.