Le Grand Syllabus 2016/2017
Students are required to submit an essay-outline of 2 pages at the start of session 8 (when the full text of On Revolution will have been read) in which they i) formulate a clear research question/problematic ii) a tentative argumentation strategy / division of paragraphs and iii) a short provisional bibliography. At the beginning of the ninth session, the group is divided in subgroups of about 4 persons. In these smaller groups students give each other feedback and further suggestions for their essay (i.e. an exercise in peer review). Final essay (40%). The ﬁrst Monday of the week after the ﬁnal session, students must submit their essay of 12 to 14 pages before 12 :30. Students will be given a document with evaluation criteria for essays in political theory. Pedagogical method : The course will consist of a weekly 2-hour session. Each session the instructor will give an introductory lecture in which Arendt's narrative of revolutions is connected to her broader political theory as well as other theories of revolution As students start pondering the topic and question of their essay from the ﬁrst session onwards, they should beneﬁt from the instructor's guidance over the landscape of Arendt scholarship (20/30 minutes). Each week, students give a presentation (individually or in pairs) on the assigned readings. Following the presentation, the class will continue to critically analyse the readings. The exegesis of the text has the aim of unpacking its central concepts and unravelling the distinctions Arendt employs (e.g. liberation vs. the foundation of freedom ; power vs. violence). Close readings of crucial passages will give rise to lively debates that amount to both an interpretation and an evaluation of Arendt's arguments (60/70 minutes). Lastly, upon the initiative of both the instructor and students, different media (e.g. press photos, short YouTube clips, newspaper items, art images, pamphlets) bearing upon our theme of politics and revolution will be shared and discussed. This serves the purpose of translating (a tentative understanding of) Arendt's revolutionary thought to the events of our own time (15 minutes). Students and instructor can also post media-items and comments on the readings on the course forum of Google Apps. 602
Course Description : Hannah Arendt is widely regarded as one of the most daring and inﬂuential thinkers of the 20th century. She became renowned amongst both academics and the broader public with the publication of her seminal work The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), which diagnosed the destruction of human freedom and politics under the conditions of totalitarianism. Yet as the world witnessed the Hungarian revolt of 1956, she expressed renewed hope in the power and spontaneity of the human capacity for joint political action. Following her ground-breaking analysis in The Human Condition (1958), she conducted a comparative study on the French and American Revolutions which became her “most sustained encounter with the social contract tradition” of political philosophy and spelled out her conception of modern politics more fully. This course invites students to think through the modern phenomenon of revolution via an in-depth reading of Arendt's On Revolution (1963), which, for its equally bafﬂing and beautiful qualities, stands among the most important works of 20th century political theory. Through our engagements with On Revolution and other relevant writings by Arendt, students will grapple with the meanings of central concepts and categories of our political vocabulary (action and violence ; power and law ; liberation and freedom ; sovereignty, authority and constitution ; etc.). Moreover, the group's analyses and discussions will be brought to bear on the contemporary uprisings, revolutions and civil wars occurring across the world. Required reading : Arendt, Hannah, On Revolution (New York : Penguin Books, 2006).
US SECURITY AND DEFENSE POLICY
Semester : Autumn Number of hours : 24 Language of tuition : English