Fall/Winter Timetable

JPD439Y1Y L0101

Graduate Course Code: JPD2037Y1Y L0101

Post-Modern and Contemporary Thought


This course concerns the development of post-modern and contemporary thought, in particular, with its articulation in twentieth century social philosophy. The course begins with a discussion of a number of themes in Western philosophy that underlie postmodernism starting from Nietzsche and Heidegger. Then the thought of Georges Bataille will be discussed briefly through an analysis of his understanding of social exchange. This is extended into other readings of exchange in Derrida's reworking of the 'gift', Lyotard's 'libidinal economy', Baudrillard's analysis of symbolic exchange through 'seduction' or Virilio's understanding of the effects of the technology of speed on the social. The topic of 'virtual reality' will also be discussed. The course may also treat topics in the understanding of psychoanalysis/philosophy/language/writings as articulated in the writings of Foucault, Barthes, Deleuze, Guattari, Kristeva and Irigaray. Finally selected alternate views of postmodernism will be studied in the writings of Sloterdijk, Kroker and Serres or critics such as Jameson, Harvey and Rorty. (Given by the Departments of Political Science and Sociology)


May include Bataille's The Accursed Share, Baudrillard's Symbolic Exchange and Death, Derrida's Given Time, Heidegger’s Fundamental Concept of Metaphysics, selections from Deleuze and Guattari and from the Foucault Reader.

Format and Requirements

One two-hour seminar per week. Course requirements TBA.