Checking date: 22/06/2020

Course: 2020/2021

Theories of the subject and of subjectivity
Study: Master in Theory and Critique of Culture (253)

Coordinating teacher: THIEBAUT LUIS-ANDRE, CARLOS

Department assigned to the subject: Department of Humanities: Philosophy, Language, Literature Theory

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Competences and skills that will be acquired and learning results.
Access to knowledge of the problems and debates about subjectivity in culture and contemporary thought. - Critical and analytical reading of classical texts of philosophy and theory of culture relevant to the question of subjectivity. - Ability to find a philosophical content in literary and cultural productions. - Ability in writing and argumentation about abstract topics, relating both to contemporary culture to that thought. - Acquaintance with the relevant literature on the subject. - Ability to write academic texts related to the subject.
Description of contents: programme
The idea or notion of the "subject" has been central to contemporary philosophical discussions and encompass problems and areas that refer to personal and collective identity, to subjectivity o subjectivities in personal and interpersonal understandings and relational processes. It refers to the individual moment of these relational processes and to the constitution of social spaces and institutions. This course has been developing this approach in the course of the 3 last years a)by exploring a relational idea of the subject, b) underscoring its performative character (Butler), c) centering this performative relationality in specific contexts of negativity and harm and d) focusing on how these proceses appear in the corporal space of the skin and touch. The contents and discussions are not repeated from year to year, but follow the lines of a research program. In 2021, linking the develpments of the last two years, we will focus on the relationship between the subject (understood as just depicted) and her body in the specific context of harm experiences. Thus, we intend to explore how contemporary philosophy (Phenomenology, Deconstruction and Critical Theory) analyses the subject's corporality or the subjectivity of/in the person's embodiment in such negative experiences. With this perspective in mind will be focusing on torture, rape and social dispossesion as processes both of destruction and construction of subjetivity. Evaluation: A final paper, whose subject has to be discussed with the instructor by the end of april, and whose deadline is the last day of the examination period, will be the basis for evaluation.
Learning activities and methodology
For each session there will be a topic and a some readings (see program), which the students should have red previously (except the first day). The texts will be presented in class, either by the teacher, or by students who voluteer to present. There follows a group discussion.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40
Basic Bibliography
  • Adorno . Minima Moralia. various editions.
  • Bernstein, J. . Torture and dignity. U Chicago Press. 2015
  • Butler. Bodies that matter. Routledge. 1993
  • Butler, . The psychic life of power. Routledge. 2000
  • Elaine Scarry. The body in pain . Oxford University Press.
  • Krog, A. . Skinned . Seven Stories (NY). 2013

The course syllabus and the academic weekly planning may change due academic events or other reasons.