Current Courses

The following courses are offered in the Fall of 2017.  Click the links to view course syllabi (when available) for more complete descriptions of the course, including Reading Lists.

18-104-01   What Is Philosophy

Topics chosen introduce students to philosophical questions and methods in relation to historical or contemporary issues and often from an interdisciplinary perspective. May be repeated with change in topic. (H)

18-184-01   Theories of Race

An introduction and survey of contemporary race theory, with emphases on intersections with gender, class, nationalism and imperialism. This course also focuses on the ways race has been constructed as a category of identity across various cultures, academic disciplines and historical periods, and on the relationship between race and ethnicity as categories of difference. Also Feminist Studies 04-184 and Race & Ethnicity Studies 37-184. (H) 

18-194-01   Introduction to Feminist Philosophy

An historically informed introduction to key texts in feminist theory. Our approach to the issues and debates will be interdisciplinary and readings will be drawn from a range of disciplines such as philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, cultural studies. Also Feminist Studies 04-124 and Race and Ethnicity Studies 37-194. (H) (SJ)

18-254-01   Media and Narrative Identity

This course examines the role of narrative in the construction of self and group identities and the maintenance of particular world pictures, with a focus on the formation and propagation of value systems in consumer society. We will survey contemporary narrative theory and then explore the significance, structures, and dynamics of mass media communication as a primary vehicle for cultural narratives, including propaganda, with particular attention to media portrayals in marketing and journalism of values, gender, ethnicity, and community. Also Communication Studies 75-634. (H)

18-314-01   Marxisms

An introduction and examination of key concepts and debates in the development of Marxist theory, from Marx to the present day. Particular emphasis will be given to conceptions of class and class struggle, including how class relates to issues of gender and race; questions of political organization (‘the party,’ social movements, etc.); and conceptions of alternatives to capitalism. (H)

18-394-01   Psychoanalysis

An examination of central notions and issues in the development of psychoanalytic theory and a reflection on that theory’s continuing relevance and importance, with a particular emphasis on the works of Freud and Lacan. Also Psychology 33-354. (H)

18-614-01   Critical Histories: Ethos, Identities, Differences

This course will focus on historical understandings of the interactions between individuals and society, especially on the ways in which a society’s ethos, its overarching set of ideals, values and beliefs, relates to the ideals, values and beliefs of individuals within that society. It will examine the ways in which both individual identities and social identities are formed, the extent to which a society constructs individual identity, and vice versa. Further, the course will examine the ways in which differences emerge both within individuals and in society and the extent to which the societal ethos allows and is transformed by difference. Prerequisite: One
course in Philosophy. (H) (CRITICAL HISTORIES)

18-914-01   Colloquium in Philosophy

Capstone course.  Required of majors in Philosophy, normally in their final year. Offered every fall. Prerequisite: Philosophy 18-604. (H) (WA)