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Reworking the Cultural Imaginary

Spring 2009 Interpretation Theory Capstone

If it is true, as many contemporary theories of the subject suggest, that who we are is deeply informed by our time and place and the social practices through which we live our lives, then how can we bring about positive social change? If not only our beliefs, but our emotions, perceptions, and embodied orientation in the world are shaped by social factors of which we are often unaware, how can we foster collective forms of life we can affirm?

In this course, we will consider psychoanalytic, phenomenological, and poststructuralist theories of the subject that offer varying ways of understanding who we are, why we do what we do, and the kind of changes in collective practices that might constitute a reworking of what some theorists we consider call the "cultural imaginary" that informs us. And we will turn to film for examples and inspiration in considering what form such reworking might take and the kind of effects it could have.

Instructors: Tamsin Lorraine (Philosphy) and Patricia White (Film and Media Studies/>