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DSPO 2205A - Introduction to French Theory

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Since the fifties and mainly during the sixties and seventies, a wave of new philosophical and political thinking emerged, producing new methods and tools to analyze the human political existence while overthrowing old orders. The majority of these philosophers and thinkers came from France. French Theory is an allusive term that applies to existentialism, certain aspects of feminism, structuralism, and poststructuralism that is also know as postmodernism. In this course we will read principal texts of French theorists such as Sartre, Camus, Althusser, Barthes, Foucault, de Beauvoir, Irigaray, and Bourdieu. We will try to understand some keys aspects, such as power/knowledge, subjectivity, discourse, center and margins, hegemony, and interpellation. The course will mainly the subject and its formation.


BAR MAYMON, Meir (Enseignant indépendant)

Course validation

The final grade will be composed by 4 grades: 1) 10% participation. 2) 10% expose of selected thinker. 3) 30% mid term exam. 4) 50% final paper.

Required reading

  • Althusser, Louis. Lenin and philosophy and other essays. Aakar Books, 2006
  • Barthes, Roland (1977), 'The Death of the Author', in: Image, music, text, trans. Stephen Heathedn: Hill and Wang, 142-149
  • Barthes, Roland. Mythologies: The Complete Edition, in a New Translation. Macmillan, 1972
  • Beauvoir, Simone de. 1971. The second sex. Translated by Howard Madison Parshley. New York: Knopf
  • Camus, Albert. "The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, trans. Justin O'Brien."New York: Vintage (1955)

Additional required reading

  • Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari. What is philosophy? Columbia University Press, 1994
  • Descartes, René. Discourse on the Method: And, Meditations on First Philosophy. Edited by David Weissman, and William Theodore Bluhm. Yale University Press, 1996
  • Foucault, Michel. 1980. Power/knowledge: selected interviews and other writings, 1972-1977. Brighton, Sussex: Harvester Press
  • Foucault, Michel. The history of sexuality: An introduction. Random House LLC, 2012
  • Irigaray, Luce. 1985. This sex which is not one. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press
  • Kant, Immanuel. "An answer to the question: What is enlightenment? (1784)."Perpetual Peace and Other Essays, trans. Ted Humphrey, Indianapolis: Hackett (1992)
  • Lyotard, Jean-Francois. The postmodern condition: A report on knowledge. Vol. 10. U of Minnesota Press, 1984