CSPT courses and seminars

CSPT students are required to take CSPT 501/601. In addition, they must choose between offered seminars CSPT 500/600, which run in Fall and Spring semesters. These vary in topics, themes and disciplinary orientations from year to year.

Core CSPT course (2017–2018)

CSPT 501: Contemporary Cultural Social and Political Thought I

Instructor: Emile Fromet de Rosany (French)

An exploration of contemporary themes and issues in cultural, social and political thought, with an emphasis on thought that crosses traditional cultural and disciplinary boundaries.

Course outline (coming soon)

Calendar

CSPT 601: Contemporary Cultural Social and Political Thought II

Instructor: Emile Fromet de Rosany (French)

A continuation of CSPT 501, this seminar is designed for students proceeding to a doctoral candidacy examination in Cultural Social and Political Thought. The focus will be on themes and thinkers important to contemporary cultural social and political thought.

Course outline (coming soon)

Calendar

CSPT seminars 2016–2017

Fall 2016

CSPT 500 A01: Media and Materiality: From Marx to Barad

Instructor: Jentery Sayers, Department of English

Informed by new materialism, this seminar surveys critical theory from Karl Marx to Karen Barad to identify historical stress points in the articulation of media and materiality since the 1850s. Our survey will account for how these two terms have been situated in various theories of agency, from historical materialism, semiotics, and symptomatic reading to media archaeology and agential realism.

Course Outline

CSPT 500 A02: Adorno, Benjamin and Frankfurt School Critical Theory

Instructor: Elena Pnevmonidou

The aim of this cross-listed undergraduate/graduate course is to introduce students to Frankfurt School Critical Theory through the writings of some of the School’s leading foundational figures as well as through an exploration of facets of cultural modernism and the German social and political context of the Weimar Period, Fascism and the reconfiguration of the public sphere in the 1950s and 1960s.

Course Outline

Spring 2017

CSPT 500/600: Nietzsche for Our Times

Arthur Kroker

Nietzsche is the premonitory horizon of the 21st century, the remorseless thinker whose writings represent the future, not the past, of contemporary politics, culture and society. To read Nietzsche, particularly On the Genealogy of Morals, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and The Gay Science, is to approach closely, in word and deed, the essence of current politics and society, certainly its palpable anger, nihilism, and fierce ressentiment but also the existential situation of solitary individuals today tensely living between courageous optimism and surges of pessimism.

Course Outline

Core CSPT course (2015–2016)

CSPT 501: Contemporary Cultural Social and Political Thought I

Instructor: Peyman Vahabzadeh (Sociology)

An exploration of contemporary themes and issues in cultural, social and political thought, with an emphasis on thought that crosses traditional cultural and disciplinary boundaries.

Course outline

CSPT 601: Contemporary Cultural Social and Political Thought II

Instructor: Peyman Vahabzadeh (Sociology)

A continuation of CSPT 501, this seminar is designed for students proceeding to a doctoral candidacy examination in Cultural Social and Political Thought. The focus will be on themes and thinkers important to contemporary cultural social and political thought.

Course outline

CSPT seminars 2015–2016

Fall 2015

CSPT 500 A01: Theoria/Poiesis

Dr. Stephen Ross (English) and Emile Fromet de Rosnay (French)

This course asserts that there is a fundamental continuity between modernist cultural practice and late-twentieth-century literary and cultural theory. Literary works frequently inaugurate lines of inquiry that philosophy, theory, and cultural studies later take up. We will both begin from and go beyond the observation that that Gilles Deleuze read D. H. Lawrence, that Alain Badiou read Samuel Beckett, or that Jacques Derrida read James Joyce (there are many other such pairings possible). Instead, students will be encourage to consider whether the later theories propounded by Deleuze, Badiou, Derrida derive from their encounters with modernism.

Course Outline

CSPT 500 A02: Power and Resistance in the 21st Century

Dr. Arthur Kroker

Power and Resistance in the 21st century is an interdisciplinary CSPT/Political Science graduate seminar focused on postcolonial politics, critical race theory and new social movements.
As a way of theorizing power and resistance in the 21st century, the seminar will bring two important theoretical discourses into conversation: the first, postcolonial theory (Franz Fanon, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha,) focused on the genealogy of contemporary patterns of racial, class and sexual domination and, the second, premonitory critical perspectives (Albert Camus, Glen Coulthard, Avery Gordon) that explore the phantasms and hauntologies of power and domination in contemporary times. Here, postcolonial narratives of critical race theory critically engage with ghostly intimations of posthuman violence in a compellingly prophetic vision of theory and events.

Course Outline

Spring 2016

CSPT 500/600: Political Theory Graduate Seminar

Dr. Rob Walker

An examination of key issues and debates in the study of political theory. Involves a survey of the major literature in this field of political science.

Course Outline


Core CSPT course (2014–2015)

CSPT 501: Contemporary Cultural Social and Political Thought: I

Instructor: Peyman Vahabzadeh (Sociology)

An exploration of contemporary themes and issues in cultural, social and political thought, with an emphasis on thought that crosses traditional cultural and disciplinary boundaries.

Course outline

CSPT 601: Contemporary Social and Political Thought: II

Instructor: Peyman Vahabzadeh (Sociology)

A continuation of CSPT 501, this seminar is designed for students proceeding to a doctoral candidacy examination in Cultural Social and Political Thought. The focus will be on themes and thinkers important to contemporary cultural social and political thought. Download course outline


CSPT seminars 2014–2015

Fall 2014

CSPT 500/600: Boundaries, Borders, Limits

Dr. Rob Walker

This is an advanced graduate course on the politics of boundaries, especially boundaries that take the form of (geographical but also other kinds of) borders and (legal but also other kinds of) limits. It is thus a course about distinctions, discriminations and classifications, not least among literatures seeking to understand the politics of boundaries, borders and limits. Or perhaps it might be better to say that it is a course about beginnings and endings, and the diverse ways in which claims to origin and destination are inscribed in boundaries, borders, limits, distinctions, discriminations and classifications. 

This course is cross-listed with Poli 533/633

Course outline

CSPT 500/600: Trajectories of the Post-human

Dr. Arthur Kroker

Trajectories of the Posthuman” is an interdisciplinary graduate seminar that will explore the fate of the body in contemporary politics and society through the writings of critical feminist theory, including Judith Butler, Wendy Brown, Jane Bennett, Donna Haraway and Katherine Hayles.

Course outline

Spring 2015

CSPT 500/600: New Materialisms: Affect, Biopolitics, Complexity

Dr. Steve Garlick

This seminar will concentrate on work that traverses the biological, subjective, and social domains via the concepts of affect, biopolitics, and complexity. We will read both foundational and contemporary texts by authors such as Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Michel Foucault, Brian Massumi, Patricia Clough, John Protevi, Nikolas Rose, John Urry, Wendy Wheeler, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Students will be invited to explore linkages, parallels, and divergences among these different approaches to theorizing the ways in which bodies, materiality, and life have become crucial sites for power, politics, and emergent futures.

Course outline


Past CSPT seminars

Spring 2014

CSPT 500/600: Hollywood and Global Megacities in Cinema: West by Southeast
Dr. Lincoln Shlensky (English)

Fall 2013

CSPT 500/600: Power and Resistance: Kafka, Nietzsche, Deleuze and Guattari, and Foucault
Dr. Arthur Kroker

Fall 2012

CSPT 500/600: Ethics and Politics in the Twentieth Century
Dr. Stephen Ross (English)
CSPT 500/600: Bodies and Power
Dr. Arthur Kroker - Political Science (cross-listed with POLI 533/633)

Spring 2012

CSPT 500/600 - Boundaries, Borders, Limits
Dr. RBJ Walker - Political Science (cross-listed with POLI 533/633)

Spring 2010

CSPT 500/600 - Legitimations of Violence
Dr. RBJ Walker - Political Science

Fall 2009

CSPT 500/600 - The Nietzsche Seminar
Dr. Arthur Kroker - Political Science (cross-listed with POLI 533/633)

Spring 2009

CSPT 500/600 - The Culture and Politics of Emotion Theory
Dr. Cheryly Suzack - Political Science

Fall 2008

CSPT 500/600 - Bodies and Power
Dr. Arthur Kroker - Political Science

Spring 2008

CSPT 500/600 - The Politics of Nature in an Era of Pandemic Capital
Dr. Nicole Shukin (English)

Spring 2007

CSPT 500/600 – The Faces of Exile
Dr. Peyman Vahabzadeh (Sociology)