Philosophy
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

PHIL 391: Special Topics in Philosophy

PHIL 391-002: Philosophy and Antigone
(Spring 2017)

01:30 PM to 02:45 PM MW

Krug Hall 19

Section Information for Spring 2017

Can be used to fulfill the requirement for a course in Continental Philosophy for the Philosophy major.

Cross listed with WMST300-004

Our starting point for this course is Sophocles’ play Antigone, in which Antigone defies the King, Creon, to bury one of her brothers and is sentenced to death as a result. The play raises issues about gender, political power, the individual and the state, kinship structures, ethical responsibility, and desire, as well as life and death (whose lives matter, and whose deaths count).

igone masks

We will start by examining some influential interpretations of the play by key philosophical thinkers (Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Lacan), and go on to re-interrogate those interpretations through feminist and queer readings of Antigone, drawing on the work of thinkers such as Judith Butler.

We will also consider Tina Chanter's argument that slavery is a structuring theme of the play, yet has been marginalized in dominant western interpretations. Building on this, we will consider the ways in which race has inflected recent re-writings and performances of Antigone, including Òsofisan's African rendering of the play, Tègonni; a version of the play set in Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated; and, more recently, its performance in Ferguson, Missouri: http://www.thecenterforsocialempowerment.com/antigone-in-ferguson/

For further information, please contact the course instructor: Dr Rachel Jones rjones23@gmu.edu 

 

Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 1-3

Examines topics of current interest such as death and dying, rights of children, and philosophical controversies in modern physics. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 12 credits.
Schedule Type: Lecture

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