This course examines a number of different philosophical and literary forms of discourse on madness, ranging from the Freudian psychoanalytic approach to postmodern deconstructive styles of interrogation via existential psychoanalysis. It is both an historical examination and a critique of the Western tradition of psychopathologization.
The primary themes are: consciousness and the unconscious, madness as the Other, the problem of discourse, political and ideological marginalization, the death drive in the cycle of life, and madness in relation to art.
1. Two written assignments (in English). Each essay should be approximately five pages in length. It is possible to present a seminar paper, which will count as one of these assignments.
2. One research paper (in English) – approximately ten pages in length. Material may be utilized from the first two papers.
Note: in exceptional cases, this can take the form of an oral examination.
The two three-page assignments can total one third of the course credits.
The final research assignment carries the most weight.
I will provide most of the core reading material as the course progresses, or it will be available for photocopying. Other selections of texts may be provided by e-mail.
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Madness!