159A: Walter Benjamin
Instructor(s) Marianne Constable
One of the most interesting of European essayists and critics of the first half of the 20th century, Walter Benjamin wrote about language, literature, art, film, law, politics, society, and history. In this course, we will focus on understanding Benjamin’s thought through study of some of Benjamin’s shorter works. Students will be required to do close reading and prepare short papers each week. In addition, two longer papers, at least one of which involves library research, will be assigned.
NOTE: Attendance is required throughout the semester. Attendance during weeks one and two is required to remain enrolled. Students who fail to attend will be dropped in favor of students who are present.
David S. Ferris, The Cambridge Introduction to Walter Benjamin
(Cambridge U Press, 2008)
(Schocken Books, Harcourt Brace, 1968)
(Schocken Books, Harcourt Brace, l986)
(Note: If you get the “recommended,” you need not have Illuminations
Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings
in four volumes (volume 2 in 2 parts) Harvard University Press:
* Volume 1, 1913-1926
* Volume 2: Part 1, 1927-1930
* Volume 2: Part 2, 1931-34
* Volume 3, 1935-1938
* Volume 4, 1938-1940