1 September 2008

The Self and Its Others: Identity, Difference, and Responsibility

This course explores the notion that subjectivity is not merely given but produced through an encounter with society, language, and other selves, and explores the ethical and political consequences of this possibility. We will examine the construction of ethnic, religious, racial, and gendered difference, the forces that have constituted them as “other” instead of “same,” and the consequences this has for the construction of the self and its obligations and responsibilities. We will set up the theoretical issues by reading Kant, Sophocles, Hegel, and Levinas, but will focus especially on readings from Frantz Fanon, Jean-Paul Sartre, Luce Irigaray, and Gayatri Spivak.

View course syllabus
Download course syllabus (PDF)
Course description (video)