Spring 2023

Ethical Imagining

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-338


Lorne Falk (Section 01)


In the 1990s, the importance of ethical exploration in cultural production was often described as a shift from the representation of politics to the politics of representation.  More recently, Canadian cultural theorist and psychoanalyst Jeanne Randolph has explored how we ethically act while participating in a culture of abundance, opulence, and consumerism. This course will explore ethics as a subject in the work of contemporaries across different media and disciplines, and across different cultures. It will consider ethical imagining as a cultural practice—how the imagination is elusive, contingent, yet exceedingly precious, and how it helps us understand changes in human relations that have evolved with twentieth century and twenty-first century materialism. Readings include: Giorgio Agamben, Jane Bennett, Jane Blocker, Octavia Butler, Ann Cvetkovich, Jean-François Lyotard, Kevin Quashie, and Jeanne Randolph.

Requisite: At least one POSC course.

Limited to 24 students. Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Falk.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority first given to fourth-year students, then to a balance of sophomores and juniors, randomly determined, followed by first-year students and 5-college students.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis is on written work, readings, independent research, oral presentations, and group work.

POSC 338 - LEC

Section 01
M 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM CHAP 119

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Seeing witness: visuality and the ethics of testimony Univ Of Minnesota Press Jane Blocker Amherst Books TBD
Parable of the sower Grand Central Publishing Octavia E. Butler Amherst Books TBD
The sovereignty of quiet : beyond resistance in black culture. Rutgers University Press Kevin Quashie Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Fall 2024