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Theory Syllabus
Soc. 595-01

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: August 8, 2003
Latest Update: August 10, 2003

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

Index of Site Topics Syllabus for Soc. 595-01: Alternative Approaches to Theory
Reference No: 46770, 3 units, 7:00 - 9:45 .m., Wednesday
Room: Eastern Academic Complex 500, Instructor: J. Curran
Preparations Page for Theory 595-01

* * *

Instructor: Jeanne Curran, Ph.D., Esq.
Course: Soc. 595-01: Alternative Approaches to Theory
Office: SBS-B326
Telephone: 310-243-3831
Office Hours: TWTh 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.; evenings, before and after class
Teaching and Research Associate: Patricia Acone, A.B.T.

Course Description:

Focus on Bakhtin, Habermas, and Maria Pia Lara, all of whom are concerned with the ethical and moral components of our lifeworlds. Emphasis on Bakhtin's concept of the aesthetic process of answerability and its effect on the creation and development of community, a community of peace and social justice, compared with Habermas' reliance on rationality and the system of justice. Maria Pia Lara addresses similar issues through illocutionary discourse.

Our focus will be on conceptually linking these approaches to contemporary social theory and to current events. Emphasis on understanding the importance of interpretation and re-interpretation in social theory, and on the use of these skills in our lived experiences as a means of building peace and social justice.

Texts:

    Required Texts:

  • Greg M. Nielsen. The Norms of Answerability: Social Theory Between Bakhtin and Habermas. State University of New York Press. 2002. ISBN: 0-7914-5228-X (pbk). $21.95 new on Amazon.com on August 8, 2003. On order through college bookstore.

  • Maria Pia Lara. Moral Textures: Feminist Narratives in the Public Sphere. University of California Press. 1998. ISBN: 0-520-21777-2 (pbk). $21.95 new on Amazon.com on August 8, 2003. On order through college bookstore.

  • Dear Habermas Website You can do a Google search of the Dear Habermas site only at this URL. The mirror URLs are in directories and Google does not recognize directories. So use www.habermas.org if you want to do Google search of our site.

    Recommended Texts:

  • Ann Raimes. Universal Keys for Writers. Houghton Mifflin. 2004. Reference book. Contains sample writings and corrections. Gives detailed advice and samples. Well done. Easy to find stuff. Expensive. Susan said $54 on Amazon.com. Get it only as a reference book. But it looks good as a reference book. Those of you who plan to continue in formal education should consider it. Term papers and theses and dissertations. Remember?

  • James Farganis. Readings in Social Theory. McGraw-Hill. 1999. 3d Edition. ISBN: 0072300604 $41.56 new, used from $7.75, on Amazon.com on August 8, 2003. My students in undergraduate theory like this reader. If you need a review text, you might consider it. I did not order this one through bookstore.

Course Objectives:

  1. Objective: To master the concept of aesthetic process of answerability and its role in creating an atmosphere of morality and ethics in our institutions and world systems, particularly the educational system. Answerability

    Outcomes: Students will participate in class discussions on answerability and the aesthetic process of collaborative creation. Students will also choose from these discussiontopics for written discussion that will enhance their skills at translating oral thinking into written documents and serve as one measure of learning for this class. Academic Assessment

  2. Objective: To master the concept of monologic non-answerability that is typical of bureaucratization that relies on rules and customs and denies answerability on the part of client or student. Non-Answerability

    Outcomes: Students will participate in class discussions on monologic non-answerability and the extent to which its presence in an institution harms the climate of learning. Students will also choose from these discussions topics for written discussion that will enhance their skills at translating oral thinking into written documents and serve as one measure of learning for this class. Academic Assessment

  3. Objective: To master Maria Pia Lara's definition of illocutionary force as a feminist contribution to balance Habermas' step away from aesthetics in his focus on rationality.

    Outcome: Students will participate in class discussions on the meaning and application of illocutionary force, comparing Maria Pia Lara's extension of Habermas and Nielsen's extension of Bakhtin. Students will also choose from these discussions topics for written discussion that will enhance their skills at translating oral thinking into written documents and serve as one measure of learning for this class. Academic Assessment

  4. Objectives: Students will review classic, modern, and postmodern social theory from which the concepts of aesthetic process of answerability have emerged: Bakhtin, Habermas, Nielsen, Pia Lara, and others, discussing the contributions of many theorists to today's theoretical developments..

    Outcomes: Students will participate in class discussions on theoretical foundations for present re-interpratations of social theory that lend themselves to peace and social justice. Students may choose measures of learning from these discussions.

  5. Objective: Students will apply theoretical discussions to examples within their own institutions and lifeworlds. Focus on conceptually linking social theory to current events and presonal narratives shared in face-to-face and Internet discussions.

    Outcomes: Class discussions, summaries of which will appear on the Internet, will provide myriad examples for applications. Students will choose an application of specific personal interest and prepare an approach to the application, either for understanding, or in some cases, making it better, using the theoretical tools on which we have focussed. Students may choose measures of learning from these applications.

  6. Objective: Towards the end of the semester students will look back on their own class interactions as an example of the creative production of a forum through application of the tools of the aesthetic process of answerability and the understanding of illocutionary force. This evaluation of the class will be initiated in class and internet discussions.

    Outcomes: Students may choose this evaluative process as a measure of their learning in this class.

Academic Assessment:

Common Sense:

Permission to enroll in this course is premised on upper division status, rendering you capable of performing competently. However, I recognize that crises occur and that you have many conflicting demands as students, family members, and workers. Please remember that A's are earned, not given for the status characteristic of "being a good student who could get an A if he/she made the effort." One way to deal with such crises effectively is to be sure that I know when they are happening. Because most of my lectures and your practice are on the site, it's easier to make up missed time over conflicts than you might think.

Nota bene: If you have the flu, please don't come and give it to the rest of us. We'll help you catch up when you're well. I lost three weeks to flu a year ago. The bugs are getting stronger and more resistant to medication. If I lose three weeks during classes, you'll be left with a substitute.

If you haven't slept, and are falling asleep from exhaustion, please stay home and sleep. Sleep deprivation is a very real problem. We all drive freeways to get here, and go home often late at night. You can kill yourself and others that way. Please don't.

I do not give specific deadlines, because I want you to use your common sense and your own discipline to study effectively. All work can be made up within university imposed limits.

Preparations Schedule for Theory 595-01

  • Reading and Discussion Preparations for Theory 595-01 Working copy of schedule below. I reserve the right to adjust the schedule to fit our learning needs. jeanne
  • Theory: Minimal Requirements for Weeks 1 and 2 Minimal requirements are just a quick check list for you to determine what we consider absolutely minimal for you to have learned in this course. That means be prepared to assure us that you have learned it. No, we won't give a test. Your job to let us know that you know, in class, by e-mail, in the hallways, etc.
  • Minimal Requirements for Textual Readings:

    Minimal Requirements for Textual Readings
    WeekTopicReadings
    1
    Answerability and Academic AssessmentNielsen, Foreword and Intro
    Academic Assessment
    2
    Re-Interpreting Sociology through
    Aesthetic Process and Feminism
    Pia Lara, Intro
    and The Aesthetics of Answerability
    3
    The Normative and
    the Non-Rational Moment (The Wolf Man)
    and the Creative
    Jonathan Lear: The Wolf Man
    Nielsen, Chapter 1
    4
    Feminist Theory and the Construction of IdentityPia Lara, Chapter 1
    5
    Dialogism and the Other
    and a Different Kind of Rationality
    Nielsen, Chapter 2
    Pia Lara, Chapter 2
    6
    Habermas' Break with the Frankfurt Tradition
    and Feminism as an Illocutionary Model
    Nielsen, Chapter 3
    Pia Lara, Chapter 3
    7
    Kant as a Source
    and Autonomy and Authenticity
    Nielsen, Chapter 4
    Pia Lara, Chapter 4
    8
    From Kant to Weber to Bakhtin
    and Narrative and the Role of Literature
    Nielsen, Chapter 5
    Pia Lara, Chapter 5
    9
    Mead and Bakhtin
    and Women and the Public Sphere
    Nielsen, Chapter 6
    Pia Lara, Chapter 6
    10
    The Nation-State
    and Recognition in the Public Sphere
    Nielsen, Chapter 7
    Pia Lara, Chapter 7
    11
    A New Understanding of the Nation?
    and Multiculturalism
    Nielsen, Chapter 8 and Conclusion
    Pia Lara, Chapter 8
    12
    Pulling it all together.
    Answerability as a Moral and Illocutionary Force
    jeanne and Pat
    13
    Review, Revise, and Practice
    Answerability as a Moral and Illocutionary Force
    jeanne and Pat
    not available
    14
    Presentations
    Answerability as a Moral and Illocutionary Force
    One day for presentations.
    Thanksgiving Break
    15
    Presentations
    Answerability as a Moral and Illocutionary Force
    Two days for presentations.
    16
    Exam Week
     



Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, August 2003.
"Fair use" encouraged.

Footnote 1. Esq. means Esquire, and is sometimes used to indicate that you are a member of the Bar.
jeanne is a member of the California Bar. Back to top.