• Rhetorical Theory – Visions of the World: Politics, Nature, and Law

    240G - 002 | CCN: 78109

    Instructor: Samera Esmeir

    Date / Time: CANCELLED

    4 Units

    Numerous traditions articulate visions of the world and its communities, reflections on the world’s natural, human and divine layers, the bind that connects these layers and communities, as well as ways of governing the world. This seminar explores visions of the world from multiple historical traditions as they have been articulated in travel accounts, theological inquiries, political philosophical investigations, legal expositions, and oceanic studies. The contemporary vision of the world as an "international" site of state actors is juxtaposed to other visions. The guiding questions for our seminar are primarily political and ethical. We are concerned with how particular visions shape "local" and "worldly" political struggles, possibilities for living together with or without conflict, the forces (natural, human, divine) that bring communities and geographies together or separate them, and ultimately, what it means to "share a world." 

    In addition to the books below, we will be reading political- and legal-philosophical selections, which I will post online.

    Remi Braque, The Wisdom of the World: The Human Experience of the Universe in Western Thought

    Hugo Grotius, The Free Sea

    Cesare Casarino, Modernity at Sea: Melville, Marx, Conrad in Crisis

    David Armitage, Foundations of Modern International Thought

    Mark Mazower, Governing the World: The History of an Idea, 1815 to the Present

    Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Three Ways to Be Alien: Travails and Encounters in the Early Modern World

    Roxanne Euben, Journeys to the Other Shores: Muslim and Western Travelers in Search of Knowledge

    Engseng Ho, The Graves of Tarim: Genealogy and Mobility Across the Indian Ocean

    Sunil Amrith, Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants

    Suraiya Faroghi, The Ottoman Empire and the World Around It