Spring 2009 Capstone Seminar

Image credit: Western Union: Small Boats (Isaac Julien, 2007)

INTP 091. Reworking the Cultural Imaginary

Professors Tamsin Lorraine and Patricia White
Wednesdays 1:15 - 4:00 p.m.
Seminar Room, Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility

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 use film and media for examples and inspiration in considering what form such reworking might take, and the effects it could have.

Image credit: Western Union: Small Boats (Isaac Julien, 2007)