Living with Foucault: Power, Body, and Desire in the Study of Religion
104 Heger Hall
Office Hours: 2:30-3:30
Course Description and Goals:
My aim in this course is nothing less than for you to be haunted by your
encounter with Foucault for years to come! The primary goal of the "Living With...." series is for you to
learn to think with some of the most courageous critics of religion.
This year we will be focusing on Foucault's claim that religion does not
go away when Western society becomes 'secular' -- rather, it forms part
of the power-knowledge relations that we live in our bodies.
This will engage with with department goal # 2 -- to question the very concept of religion -- and department learning goal # 3 -- to analyze the social implications of religion.
The over-all goal of this course is for you to learn how to read theory -- which is to say, how to take what can at first seem like abstract reflections on religion and use them as concrete tools for thinking and living. This will engage you with departmental learning goal #2: to learn some different theoretical approaches. Hence our focus on close reading, on interpretive papers, and on secondary scholarship.
But this course also meets distribution
requirements! You will meet
college goal #1. We will focus
particularly on accurately summarizing facts, presumptions, viewpoints
and values' critically analyzing your own thinking by identifying your
own facts, presumptions, viewpoints and values as well as problems and
paradoxes; as well as conceiving alternative hypotheses and viewpoints.
We will also meet
college goal #3 concerning proficiency
in written communication, with focus on: using various sentence forms to
modulate style and tone; compose a paragraph that develops a point;
summarizing, quoting and responding to a text.
Books to purchase:
|Jan 29||Who was Foucault -- and why read him closely?|
|Feb 3||Todd May, The Philosophy of Michel Foucault, "Introduction: Who Are We?"|
|Feb 5||Discipline and Punish, 3-24.|
|Feb 9||Discipline and Punish, 24-31.|
|Feb 12||Discipline and Punish, 32-69 (excerpts).|
|Feb 17||Discipline and Punish, 73-104 (excerpts).|
|Feb 19 -24||Discipline and Punish, 104-131 (excerpts).|
|Feb 26||Discipline and Punish, 135-156.|
|Mar 3||Discipline and Punish, 156-169.|
|Mar 5||Review for mid-term|
|Mar 12||Discipline and Punish, 170-184.|
|Mar 17||Discipline and Punish,184-194.|
|Mar 19||Discipline and Punish, 195-209.|
|Mar 24||Discipline and Punish,209-228.|
|Mar 26||Discipline and Punish, 231-256.|
|Mar 31||Discipline and Punish, 257-292 (excerpts).|
|Apr 2||Discipline and Punish, 293-308.|
|Apr 14||Review for test|
|Apr 16||Test #2|
|Apr 21||Abnormal, Chapter 1 and pages 43-52 from Chapter 2.|
|Apr 23||Abnormal, Chapters 5 and 6.|
|Apr 28||Abnormal, Chapters 7 and 8.|
|Apr 30||Abnormal, Chapters 9 and 10.|
|May 5||Abnormal, Chapter 11.|
|Final exam TBA|
Grading Policies: Studying religion is both an academic and a
personal exercise. In your written assignments you will be graded
on thinking and argumentation. I will not grade your personal
beliefs or non-belief. Nor will I grade or the particular
position you take. I will grade
Late Work Policy: In order to return your writing promptly with detailed and constructive feedback, I do not accept late work. You will earn an F and forfeit your right to feedback. If there is an emergency or a tragedy in your life and you need an exception, you must communicate with me BEFORE the due-date. This includes tests: if you are too sick to attend class on a day when we are scheduled to take a test, you must call and let me know BEFORE class begins that you will not be able to take the test and arrange time for a make-up.
Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism is a serious ethical and professional infraction. Hofstra’s policy on academic honesty reads: “The academic community assumes that work of any kind [...] is done, entirely, and without assistance, by and only for the individual(s) whose name(s) it bears.” Please refer to the “Procedure for Handling Violations of Academic Honesty by Undergraduate Students at Hofstra University” for details about what constitutes plagiarism, and Hofstra's procedures for handling violations.
This course is dedicated to helping you develop your own thinking. Thus I regard plagiarism as a serious violation of the academic compact, because it involves passing off someone else's thought as your own. This can happen by copying someone else's words or re-phrasing someone else's ideas in your words. Neither is your own thought.
-- You handed in work that was not your own.
If you have any concerns regarding a physical, psychological and/or learning disability that may have an impact upon your performance in this course, appropriate accommodations can be made on an individualized, as-needed basis after the needs, circumstances and documentation have been evaluated by the appropriate office on campus. The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities is located in 212 Memorial Hall. Telephone: 516-463-7074. Please see the Hofstra Guide to Pride, or visit their site. All disability-related information will be kept confidential.
|Page written by Ann Burlein 8 September 2008. Back to top|