Blog / ブログ


【UTCP Short Term Program】Methods of Cultural and Aesthetic Criticism

2011.08.26 マーク・ロバーツ, └批評理論の方法, 短期教育プログラム

In this study group, we will examine some of the major topics and methods of twentieth-century critical and literary theory. We will explore and discuss a variety of critical approaches, situating them in larger debates, both historical and contemporary.

M. Downing Roberts (UTCP)

During the winter semester, this study group will meet to discuss selected readings that have informed cultural and aesthetic criticism in the Humanities. In the first meetings, we will engage with theories of experience and interpretation in the works of Heidegger and Gadamer. From there, we will focus on a group of key texts for understanding Marxist aesthetics and theories of ideology, before considering the contributions of post-structuralist thinkers. Finally, we will look at a contemporary work of cultural criticism that uses narrative and critical theory to understand Japanese subculture.

Drawing upon the broad expertise of the members of UTCP, we will take an interdisciplinary approach to the reading of these texts, an approach that goes beyond the confines of purely "aesthetic" or "social" theory. Through a series of close readings and discussions, participants will gain a purchase on some of the foundational discourses on critical and cultural theory.

This study group aims for both a critical understanding of important texts, debates, and theoretical approaches, as well as an assessment of their relevance and utility for contemporary criticism. Towards this end, we will also reflect on our own position as critics and producers of knowledge, discussing the uses (and abuses) of critical and cultural theory, as well as the analytical, research, and writing skills required to employ these theories in persuasive scholarly arguments.

We will meet ten times between the middle of September 2011 and February 2012. The readings will be mostly short essays or sections of books. For each meeting, we will read and discuss a single essay or text, so that we can spend time on close readings.

The study group is limited to UTCP members. Participants are expected to have completed the reading before each meeting, and to have prepared questions or discussion points.

Note: the following dates are provisional and negotiable.

Sep 19 
Heidegger"The Origin of the Work of Art"
Oct 3 
Gadamer"Aesthetics and Hermeneutics"
Oct 17 
Lukács"Specific Particularity as the Central Category of Aesthetics"
Nov 7 
Althusser"Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses"
Nov 21 
Williams"Productive Forces"
Dec 5 
Foucault"What is an Author?"
Dec 19 
Derrida"Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences"
— Excerpt from Amy Ziering's film Derrida (2002)
Jan 16 
JamesonThe Political Unconscious (selections)
Jan 30 
Nancy"Image and Violence"
Feb 13 
AzumaOtaku: Japan's Database Animals

Recent Entries

  • HOME>
    • ブログ>
      • 【UTCP Short Term Program】Methods of Cultural and Aesthetic Criticism