Field Seminar Pol Theory

Term: SPRING 2013

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, this years course will interrogate the relationship between the political and the theological. The course will interrogate the canon historically and attempt to trace how different concepts of sovereignty and subjectivity are articulated within changing modalities of the interrelationship of the political and the theological. Overall, the course will also problematize the idea of a fixed 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 Aquinas, Machiavelli, Bodin, Hobbes, Spinoza, Lawson, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Nietzsche, Schmitt, Althusser, and 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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