Eros and Civilization
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Level: Graduate
Division: The New School for Social Research
Department: Liberal Studies
Course Number: GLIB 6001
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
Topics:
  • Liberal Arts
  • Psychology
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
Description:
This course will introduce students to some of the most significant and influential critical contributions to our understandings of love and desire, from classical times to the present. Through readings from a range of disciplines, we will investigate how changing conceptions of Eros broadly conceived, have shaped key social, psychological, political, philosophical, aesthetic, and economic formulations about history and culture in the West. These readings will form the basis of class discussions designed to help students think through major critical paradigms and a variety of methodologies associated with Liberal Studies at the New School: an intrinsically interdisciplinary approach to intellectual history and critical thought. Tracing the long arc of significant statements on love and sexuality will serve to highlight certain continuities and ruptures in our own self-portraits concerning human nature and culture. Specific themes, topics, and key terms will include mythopoetic origin stories of love, courtly love, strategies of love, seduction, auto-affection, Eros/Thanatos, melancholia, ars erotica/scientia sexualis, libidinal economies, fetishism, the repressive hypothesis, gendered dialectics, jouissance, queer love, liquid love, mediated desire, and desiring machines.
Course Open to: Majors Only