Friends Across Differences

Course Number: ENGL 265FD
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 265AA-ZZ
Quarter: Spring 2019
Instructor: Blake, Felice
Day(s): TBD
Time: TBD
Location: TBD
Description:

 

Team Taught with Professor Carlson.

Our seminar studies the problematics and possibilities of “friendship” as the human relational structure best suited to social justice activism. Dominant discourses about “friends” presume that justice can emerge through the cultivation of "sameness" or "likemindedness." Such hallmarks of political understandings about friendship thus propose friendly relations and dialogue as the way to broach categories and societal divides. The structure and culture of racial capitalism, however, trouble such definitions of the friend, friendship, and justice. Our seminar engages theoretical, literary, and media depictions of friendship in order to examine how friendship has been conceived, why it has featured prominently in political philosophy, and how, as a lived and textual practice, it positions humans to confront conflict and work to address and redress it. We discuss the difficulties of representing interpersonal intersubjective relationships and how writers have conceptualized friends across difference. Meditating on Fred Moten’s titular phrase and directive, “consent not to be a single being”, this course considers how we might mobilize the intersubjective power of art to help build and live new conceptions of the friend, self, and justice.

Our seminar engages theoretical, literary, and media depictions of friendship in order to examine how friendship has been conceived, why it has featured prominently in political philosophy, and how, as a lived and textual practice, it positions humans to confront conflict and work to address and redress it. We discuss the difficulties of representing interpersonal intersubjective relationships and how writers have conceptualized friends across difference. Meditating on Fred Moten’s titular phrase and directive, “consent not to be a single being”, this course considers how we might mobilize the intersubjective power of art to help build and live new conceptions of the friend, self, and justice.