Spring 2023

Contemporary Political Theory

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-480


Thomas L. Dumm (Section 01)


A consideration of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Western political theory. Topics to be considered include the fate of modernity, identity and difference, power, representation, freedom, and the state. This year’s readings may include works by the following authors: Freud, Weber, Benjamin, Heidegger, Arendt, Derrida, Foucault, Berlin, Butler, Connolly, and Agamben.

Requisite: At least one POSC course (200 level or above).

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Dumm.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority will be given to seniors, then juniors, then to sophomores 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 on written work, readings, independent research, oral presentations.

POSC 480 - LEC

Section 01
W 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM CLAR 100

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Homo sacer : sovereign power and bare life Grove Press Giorgio Agamben Amherst Books TBD
The Human Condition The University of Chicago Press Hannah Arendt Amherst Books TBD
Vibrant matter : a political ecology of things Princeton University Press Jane Bennett Amherst Books TBD
Facing the planetary : entangled humanism and the politics of swarming Princeton University Press William E. Connolly Amherst Books TBD
The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction Vintage Books Michel Foucault Amherst Books TBD
One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society Beacon Press Herbert Marcuse Amherst Books TBD
24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep Verso Jonathan Crary Amherst Books TBD
Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty University of Chicago Press Carl Schmitt Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2025