Honors | Ideas & Experience II (HON)
H212 | 6538 | Perry Hodges


TuTh 11:15am-12:30pm
HU 108

What is the modern self? Through the eyes of some of the most
influential writers of the last three centuries we will explore the
new ways of thinking about the individual that emerged during and
after the Enlightenment. Beginning with Rousseau who gave us the
inward looking self and its conflicts with society, we will then
read texts by Wordsworth, Freud, Proust, Woolf, and Dostoevsky. We
will look at their response to the breakdown of religious and
philosophical explanations that had once defined the self’s
relationship to its world; the psychological tension between a
belief in an autonomous self at home in its world and the notion of
a fragmented, alienated self buffeted by forces in nature, society,
and the unconscious; the role of memory and narration in
reconstructing the self, and other questions about childhood,
deception, sexuality, art, and language that have come to preoccupy
our culture. Students will be asked to write two-three short papers
and regular written exercises.

Texts: Descartes, selection from Meditations; Rousseau, Confessions;
Wordsworth, selections from The Prelude; Freud, The Wolf Man;
Proust, Swann’s Way; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Dostoevsky, Notes from
Underground.