This is a theoretical course that takes students through some key principles in the poststructuralist tradition relating to questions about how we get ‘to mean’ and ‘to be’ within the cultural landscape we inhabit. We ask what signification is and does, how it impacts upon our sense of who and what we are and how the texts that we consume, apparently so easily, both confirm and contest that sense of ‘a place’ in society. To do this, we read two key texts by key thinkers: the whole of the Écrits by Jacques Lacan and the whole of Writing and Difference by Jacques Derrida. Since both are collections of writings, we examine a chapter a week in classes structured mainly around discussion and incorporating many diverse forms of contemporary examples.
Students will get a chance to encounter and engage with the work of these writers up close and in a sustained manner, with expert guidance through the potholes of understanding and re-understanding that always accompany such journeys.
The course is suitable for anyone interested in these questions, and particularly anyone teaching literary and cultural studies who wants to refresh their understanding of the impact of these ideas on interpretation.
This course is worth an optional 20 credits at Master’s level and costs £500. For further details, contact Dr Kate McGowan: +44 (0) 161 247 1747; k.mc...@mmu.ac.uk. To apply, contact James Draper: +44 (0) 161 247 1787; j.dr...@mmu.ac.uk.