Spring 2023

Twentieth-Century Visions: Beauvoir, Fanon, Marcuse, Foucault

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-343  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-346


Jaeyoon Park (Section 01)


(Offered as SWAG 346 and POSC 343) In this course, we study the political visions of four major twentieth-century theorists: Simone de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon, Herbert Marcuse, and Michel Foucault. What forms of power did each of these thinkers surface? What social transformations did they call for? How did they imagine that transformation could be achieved? Devoting equal parts of the term to each author, we will dwell in, and move between, very different political problematics: the cultural production of “woman”; the psychic effects of racialized colonial rule; the perpetuation of capitalism through the sowing of false needs; the consecration of sex as identity. Yet we will also keep an eye on certain broad questions and themes. These include the production of the human subject by power; the ruses by which contingent social orders such as capitalism or colonialism come to appear as natural, total, or timeless; and the difference between surface and radical freedom. Readings will be drawn from: The Second Sex (Beauvoir); Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth (Fanon); Eros and Civilization and One-Dimensional Man (Marcuse); and Discipline and Punish or The History of Sexuality, Volume One (Foucault).

Requisite: At least one prior course in political science, or a course on social or political theory in any department. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor Park.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority given to political science majors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: An emphasis on written work, readings, in-class discussion.

POSC 343 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM CONV 308
Th 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM CONV 308

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
The second sex Yale University Press Simone de Beauvoir Amherst Books TBD
The Wretched of the Earth Grove Frantz Fanon Amherst Books TBD
Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud Beacon Press Herbert Marcuse Amherst Books TBD
The history of sexuality - Volume One - An Introduction Vintage Books Michel Foucault Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Spring 2025