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Theory of Culture: Syllabus (Prof.

Schultz)

Office and hours: Office block 703, 7th floor, Fridays 12.15 to 1.15
Course requirements: There is a required final two-hour written exam.
Optional oral presentation: Students may have the chance to present a three to five
minute oral presentation on one idea by a thinker on culture; the maximum value
is one point added to the grade of the written exam. The possibility of
presentations depends upon the number of interested students and the available
time, though we will know at the deadline of the sign-up. Please sign up and state
your topic by the 7th class.
Course design and objectives: Since culture includes everything pertaining to
humans, this course attempts to limit and focus the theory of it on modern life in
our technological society. Students should be able to state some main issues of
culture in modern life according to a variety of authors.
Textbook: All 5th semester students who are registered for Prof. Schultzs class will
get Literary Theory: An Anthology, 2nd edition, Ed. Julie Rivkin and Michael
Ryan, Blackwell. This anthology is useful for supplementary reading (on the final
exam you could refer to those readings in addition to the ones listed below); also
it might be used for optional oral projects. As supplementary reading, you might
consider some readings in the categories Feminism, Gender Studies, and Cultural
Studies. Also consider readings on Freud 397 440; Derrida 278-339; Lyotard
355-364; Baudrillard 365-377. I thought that these might be most related to the
texts listed below.

Class Reading or Activity


1 Introduction to the course: its purpose and role in the curriculum.
Problems of the definition of culture and definitions of culture.
2 Film of Faust
3 The role of men in culture. Faust: The Myth of Patriarchal Power.
From The Cry for Myth Rollo May.
4 Film of The Grapes of Wrath
5 The role of women in culture. The Great Circle of Love.
Rollo May
6 Consumerism, Mass Media, and the Cultural Significance of Politics.
The Banality of Pseudo-Self-Awareness. The Culture of Narcissism.
Christopher Lasch.
7 The individual in society. The Spiritual Problem of Modern
Man.Modern Man in Search of a Soul. Carl Jung.
8 Globalization. The Global Society Needs Myth. Cassirer and
Langer
On Myth. William Schultz on the ideas of Susanne Langer.
9 Changes in human life due to technology. The Tension between
Technical Mass Order and Human Life. Karl Jaspers.
10 More changes in human life. Excerpts from The Technological Society.
Jacques Ellul.
11 Freuds contribution to cultural theory. Excerpts from Civilization and
Its Discontents.
12 Optional oral presentations. And/Or Deconstruction as cultural theory.
Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences.
Jacques Derrida.
13 Review for final exam. And/or Postmodernism as theory of cultures
and cultural works. Excerpts on the postmodern condition, grand and
local narratives, and the definition of the postmodern. Jean-Francois
Lyotard. Postmodernism applied to society. The Orders of
Simulacra. Baudrillard.

There will be a final two-hour written examination.