Post-humanism: The End of Man

Post-humanism: The End of Man

Fall Semester
Dr. Robin Shochat Bagon
Office Hours: by appointment


Short description:

‚Äč“Man is an invention of recent date” observes Michel Foucault. “And one perhaps nearing its end.” He goes on to note that under the right conditions, “man would be erased, like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea.” This course starts from the premise that “man” is a construct which has been invented by the discourses of humanism. We will explore the ways in which the borders of “man” have been secured in opposition to the nonhuman, specifically “animals” and machines, and we will interrogate the effects and consequences of this set of exclusions. Of particular interest will be the violent manner in which nonhumans have been excluded in order to secure the supremacy of the human animal. As with all limits, there is a fascinating contamination and comingling between the human and the nonhuman and we will explore how this dangerous place appears in literature, art, film, television and theory. From the beginning, the human has been dependent on technology and we will chart how technologies, both ancient and modern have both made and unmade the animal that we call the human. By the end of the course, you should have an insight into the fascinating ways in which the human will always have been posthuman.


For students on the Liberal Arts program:
Minor assignments: Three short response papers to set readings (1 page each) 30%
Mid Term: A short paper (2-3 pages) 20%
Final requirement: Final paper, completed at home (6 pages) 50%

Please note that there is an extra assignment for international and OSP students whose assessment schedule is as follows:
Minor assignments: Three short response papers to set readings (1 page each) 24%
Mid Term: A short paper (2-3 pages) 16%
Extra assignment: Short essay (3 pages) 20%
Final requirement: Final paper, completed at home (6 pages) 40%

Attendance is mandatory. Students are permitted a maximum of three unexcused absences without penalty. Any additional absences will affect the final grade and may result in failure of the course.


Academic conduct:
Plagiarism is taken extremely seriously. Any instance of academic misconduct which includes: submitting someone else’s work as your own; failure to accurately cite sources; taking words from another source without using quotation marks; submission of work for which you have previously received credit; working in a group for individual assignments; using unauthorized materials in an exam and sharing your work with other students, will result in failure of the assignment and will likely lead to further disciplinary measures.


Additional requirements:
You will need to bring a laptop computer to classes but use of social media, email etc. is strictly prohibited during classes.

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