Field Seminar Pol Theory

Term: Spring 2010

Subject Code: GPOL

Course Number: 6301

The field seminar in political theory introduces students to the history of Western political thought from the early modern to the contemporary era. At the same time, it provides a survey of a variety of approaches to the analysis and interpretation of influential texts. While the course will follow a historical progression in the presentation of the texts, the material will also be organized thematically. Every year there is a different theme. At a meta-theoretical level, the course will interrogate the relationship between the political and the theological. This year's more specific thematic emphasis will be on sovereignty and sacrifice. Overall, the course will problematize the idea of a canon and encourage the imagination of different ways of conceptualizing the field of political theory as a whole. Among theorists that will be studied are Machiavelli, Bodin, Hobbes, Spinoza, Lawson, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, Schmitt, Gramsci, Althusser, Foucault. This course is required of all students in the theory track and intended to help them prepare for the comprehensive field examination.

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