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Politics of Friendship

ENGL 263.401
crosslisted as: COML 262
instructor(s):
TR 10:30-12
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

Artists and philosophers have long recognized how a revised conception
of friendship can invigorate new possibilities for civic life.  "The
Politics of Friendship" will broadly explore this cultural history,
beginning with classical antiquity and subsequent thinkers such as
Montaigne, Nietzsche, Schmitt, and Derrida.  A central concern of the
course will also be how we can learn to talk to others across the
gulfs created by race- and class-based violence in urban communities
such as Philadelphia.  In this respect, we will build upon scholarship
by sociologists such as Elijah Anderson and Alice Goffman, as well as
political theorists such as Danielle Allen. Throughout, we will also
be attentive to contemporary developments such as Facebook and
Twitter, and the effects of these emergent technologies on traditional
understandings of solidarity.