SOC 220 T Th 4:40 pm-6:00 pm
This course will offer an introduction to the sociology of religion, with an emphasis on sociological theories of religion. Beginning with ongoing debates over secularization, we will set out on a journey to find religion in the modern world. Does religion only remain in traditional faith communities, or has it morphed into something that is widespread and yet relatively unrecognizable? Is nationalism, for example, a form of religion? In order to answer questions like this, we will need clearly-defined concepts and systematic methods of investigation. Drawing on contemporary studies, as well as historical and comparative methods, we will survey religious cultures and practices from around the world; then, drawing on what we have learned, we will think together about how the institutional frameworks for religion may be changing in the contemporary world. Throughout the course we will periodically ask about the ways in which courage may be manifested in this changing world. Note: This course is part of the Courage to Be College Seminar, affiliated with the Hannah Arendt Center. Students will be required to attend three evening lectures. There will also be dinner discussions with guest speakers and other sections of the College Seminar. For more information: http://hac.bard.edu/ctb/
Radical Political Thought
PS 202 M W 3:10 pm-4:30 pm
This course offers students an introduction to traditions of radical political theory, focusing on the themes of reason, critique, and power. Moving from the tradition of 19th century German critical thought through the birth of Poststructuralism and the 68' moment, this course traces the transformation of radical political thought from a theoretical discourse centered on Neo-Marxist critiques of social, political, and economic institutions to a form of politics centered on freedom, justice, and individualism. We begin the class with an examination of alienation, reification, and the call to revolutionary class-consciousness in the works of Marx and Lukács. These concepts provide a theoretical foundation for the tradition of critical theory that emerged from the so-called Frankfurt School in the works of Marcuse, Horkheimer, Adorno, and Benjamin. Alongside these thinkers we will examine post-industrial society, enlightenment reasoning, and critiques of power. Transitioning to the emergence of Poststructuralist thought, we will look at some of the conceptual differences between Adorno's/Horkheimer's and Foucault's critique/s of reason. Following the historical transformations of radical political thought, we will survey how these traditions emerged and gave birth to contemporary political theory in the works of Habermas and Butler. This course is part of the Courage to Be College Seminar, affiliated with the Hannah Arendt Center. Students will be required to attend three evening lectures. There will also be dinner discussions with guest speakers and other sections of the College Seminar. For more information: http://hac.bard.edu/ctb/
Roger Berkowitz and John Pang
PS 219 M W 11:50 am-1:10 pm
This course is part of the Courage to Be College Seminar, affiliated with the Hannah Arendt Center. Students will be required to attend three evening lectures. For more information: http://hac.bard.edu/ctb/ This course will model an informed, scholarly, and humane dialogue about the Hong Kong-China relationship in light of both the extradition-bill controversy and concerns over the city’s autonomy; but it will, moreover, also examine the larger social, cultural, and historical relationship between Hong Kong, as a Special Administrative Region, and the Peoples Republic of China. We will explore these questions within the context of an inquiry into the question of violence, protests, mass movements, and revolutions in the modern age. The course will inquire into violence and revolution, civil society and human rights within an emerging globalized surveillance society. We will read works including: Hannah Arendt, Plato, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Paul Tillich, René Girard, Stanley Milgram, David Graeber and Micah White. Readings on China and Hong Kong will include texts by Wang Hui, Daniel Vukovich, Alice Poon, and Lui Tai Lok. The course is part of a year-long project of dialogue and partnership with scholars and students at Hong Kong University and will provide opportunities for interaction with them. On some Monday evenings from 8-10 pm we will have guest speakers from Hong Kong and conversations with students in Hong Kong. There may also be opportunities to travel to Hong Kong following the semester to meet with students there.