The Craft of Writing
R1B-005 | CCN: 24413
Moments in the History of International Political Thought
Instructor: Lyndsey Karr & Bruno Anaya Ortiz
T/TH 9:30 – 11:00 AM, Dwinelle 229 ///
This course will apply the tools of rhetorical analysis to study some important moments in the history of international law and the political theory of the international, which we couple together under the category of “international thought”. Our guiding inquiries are: What is the relation between some of the most important developments in canonical political philosophy (sovereignty, the state, citizenship, rule of law, democracy, etc.) and the concomitant crystallization of an idea of the international as a system of territorially bounded domains of (seemingly) unrestricted authority? How do discourses such as just war, sovereignty, human rights, and citizenship define spaces of belonging, for both collective political bodies and individuals? What is the relation between the issues surrounding a state’s membership in the international community, and those surrounding accesses of individuals within a given state to the full rights citizenship? Can the emergence of things like international relations and international law ever be separated from the colonial conditions win which they emerged? What gets left out of the order of the international? How does the international regime of states and citizenship channel forms of subjectivity, of political existence, of belonging? Structured around historical “moments” that elicit some kind of scholarly controversy, we will read both primary historical sources – including juridical defenses of colonization, political declarations and international treaties – and contemporary commentators. In addition to being a somewhat schematic overview of some important figures in international thought, this course will serve as a space to develop the skills of reading and writing. We will explore techniques of close, scholarly reading across a broad range of texts, explicitly thematizing the possibility of a rhetorical reading of historical, legal, political and academic texts.