Rhetorical Theory and Criticism: Rhetorical Theory – Roman Stoicism and its Contemporary Relevance: Ecologies of Self, Nature, and Community
240G 001 | CCN: 29084
Roman Stoicism and its Contemporary Relevance: Ecologies of Self, Nature, and Community
Instructor: James I. Porter,Anthony A Long
Location: Dwinelle 7415
Date / Time: We 2:00pm - 4:59pm
This seminar will explore convergences between contemporary ecological thinking about self and world and the Roman Stoics (Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius). The aim is twofold: to serve as an introduction to ancient Stoicism and to provide depth to contemporary thinking about selfhood on a universal scale in the face of an ever-changing and, today, drastically altered world. Themes to be discussed will include literary forms (letters, protreptic, diatribe, and notes to self); birth (natality), death (mortality), and adaptation (oikeiosis); nature (physics, cosmology, divinity, life); catastrophe, risk, vulnerability, the inhuman, and the posthuman; self (resources of self-formation; ethics and relationality; self-destitution); and community (friendship, the political, and “cosmopolitan” belonging). Contemporary readings will be drawn from Arendt, J. Butler, C. Gilligan, M. Slote, J.-L. Nancy, Blanchot, Latour, T. Morton, Deleuze, Braidotti, Barad, Haraway, Zylinska, D. Dennett, and T. Clark, among others. Glances back at predecessors to the Roman Stoics (Heraclitus, Socrates, Cynics, early Stoics, and Lucretius) will help fill out the ancient picture.
No prerequisites. Graduate students from all fields and disciplines are welcome.
This seminar will count as a Critical Theory DE elective