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Aesthetics and the General Economy of Images

Informacje ogólne

Kod przedmiotu: 3501-AGEI18-S Kod Erasmus / ISCED: 08.1 / (0223) Filozofia i etyka
Nazwa przedmiotu: Aesthetics and the General Economy of Images
Jednostka: Instytut Filozofii
Punkty ECTS i inne: 6.00
Język prowadzenia: angielski
Rodzaj przedmiotu:

seminaria monograficzne

Założenia (opisowo):

Good ability in English. Basic knowledge about history of philosophy.

Tryb prowadzenia:

w sali

Skrócony opis:

Estetyka postrukturalizmu jest głęboko zakorzeniona w Georgesa Bataille’a koncepcjach dotyczących naddatku i przesytu znaczenia. Zwrot od strukturalistyczego językoznawstwa ku językowi rozumianemu w kategoriach obrazu – dokonany przez Barthesa i podjęty przez Foucaulta, Derridę, Eco, Kristevę, Irigaray i innych – uwolnił relację znaczonego i znaczącego z dyskursywnych kajdan i umożliwił skierowanie naszego myślenia ku nasyconemu obrazami kulturowemu otoczeniu. Poststrukturaliści szukali różnych sposobów ujęcia obrazu i doświadczenia estetycznego z perspektywy „ogólnej ekonomii” – a więc w kategoriach energii, które są pożytkowane i marnowane w procesach kształtowania się znaczenia. Kurs skoncentrowany będzie na obrazach rozumianych jako znaki i symbole użytku i marnotrastwa, skuteczności w opozycji do przesytu oraz kształtowania symboli w opozycji do swobodnej cyrkulacji znaków

Pełny opis:

Georges Bataille set out an idea of “general economy”, beginning in 1933, which he saw as tied to systems and movement of energy. Wherever energies were being exchanged, a kind of economy was being created. He discovered in this general economy pattern which can be called “laws”. Post-structuralist aesthetics has been deeply indebted to Bataille's ideas about excesses and surpluses of meaning. The turn from structuralist linguistics to language as image, signaled by the work of Barthes in the late 1950s and taken up by Foucault, Derrida, Eco, Kristeva, Irigaray and others, liberated the signifier-signified relation from its linguistic/discursive prison and released our thinking into cultural environments saturated with images. Barthes and Eco, especially, saw that „a language” (the English translation of Saussure’s langue) was disappearing into the image just as ancient sculpture had disappeared into the Gothic architecture of the Middle Ages. In the meantime, speech (parole) was becoming less tied to the conventions of writing that had confined it ever since „memory” (orality) began its long decline during the late Roman Republic. The fundamental aesthetic questions are asked anew when such momentous changes are at hand, then as now. The post-structuralists looked for ways to approach the image and aesthetic experience from the standpoint of „general economy,” the energies that are utilized and wasted in the generation of meaning. This course will focus especially on images as signs and as symbols of use and of waste, of efficiency in contrast to excess, and of symbol-making (in ritual), in contrast to the free circulation of signs.

We will study theories of general economy from Bataille and trace their effects into the present. We include readings from Barthes, Jakobson, Eco, Foucault, Kristeva, Derrida and Irigaray. We will read both philosophical works and works of literature, and we will illustrate these theories by discussing many cultural productions. Our general method will be phenomenological description, and what we are seeking is the movement of energies and the way they form an economy. We will look at film, television, literature, music, and sports. We will be looking at all of these types of popular culture are they relate to mythic consciousness, meaning, social control, gender, and death and eros, and as signifiers and signifieds


Roland Barthes, Elements of Semiology, trans. A. Lavers and C. Smith (New York: Hill and Wang, 1968).

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Noonday Press, 1981).

Roland Barthes, „The Eiffel Tower,” in The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies, trans Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1979).

Roland Barthes, „The Photographic Image,” and „The Rhetoric of the Image” and „The Death of the Author” in Image, Music, Text, trans. Stephen Heath (New York: Noonday Press, 1977).

Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Zone Books, 1988).

Laurent Binet, Te Seventh Function of Language, trans. Sam Taylor (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017).

Jacques Derrida, A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds, ed. Peggy Kamuf (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991).

Jacques Derrida, Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978).

Michel Foucault, The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984).

Michel Foucault, The Order of Things (New York: Random House/Vintage, 1973).

Umberto Eco, The Limits of Interpretation (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1990).

Luce Irigaray, Thinking the Difference: For a Peaceful Revolution, trans. Karin Montin (New York: Routledge, 1994).

Julia Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language, trans. and abridged Margaret Waller (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984).

All suggested readings will either be available on-line or will be provided by the instructor.

Efekty uczenia się:

By the end of the course, students will improve their powers of oral description in class. Students should be able to take any object or phenomenon placed before them and describe it phenomenologically in some of its modes of givenness, especially general economy, extemporaneously. Students will be able to produce semiological accounts of such objects and omages as well. Students should be able to produce both short and detailed, scholarly phenomenologies and semiologies of whatever they choose, by the end of the course.

Metody i kryteria oceniania:

Attendance is required.

Final Essay: 40% Each student will prepare a final essay of not less than 8 pp. on the topic of the piece of culture chosen by the student. The paper should discuss the articfact in light of the ideas of general economy and semiological meaning that have been successively developed in the course, and should use the theoretical ideas of one of our figures in particular. For example, one might choose to do a Foucauldian description of a painting, or a Kristevan phenomenology of a movie, or a Eco-esque semiology of a TV show. This is an essay, not a research paper, but students may do a research paper instead, with the instructor’s permission after a meeting and discussion. Students should meet with the instructor during office hours before May 30th to discuss the topic for the final paper.

Weekly Contributions: 60% To facilitate discussion, students will be responsible for formulating questions from the reading each week. Each week the students will be responsible for sending me their questions for that week’s class meeting no later than ????Monday???? at noon. The address to post to is personalist61@yahoo.com. Note that this is different from my general contact address at gmail. Students should also bring a printed copy of their questions to the class meeting, and be prepared to read them if called upon.

Zajęcia w cyklu "Semestr letni 2018/19" (zakończony)

Okres: 2019-02-16 - 2019-06-08
Wybrany podział planu:

zobacz plan zajęć
Typ zajęć: Seminarium, 60 godzin, 20 miejsc więcej informacji
Koordynatorzy: Przemysław Bursztyka
Prowadzący grup: Randall Auxier
Lista studentów: (nie masz dostępu)
Zaliczenie: Przedmiot - Zaliczenie na ocenę
Seminarium - Zaliczenie na ocenę

Classes’ schedule:

Every Monday: 16:45-18:15 + 18.30-20.00, room 4 (Institute of Philosopy)

Every Friday: 15:00-16:30 + 16.45-18:15, room 209 (Institute of Philosopy)

Plus two extra meetings:

21st of May and 28th of May, 16:45-18:15 + 18.30-20.00, room 4 (Institute of Philosopy)

First meeting: 15th of April

Opisy przedmiotów w USOS i USOSweb są chronione prawem autorskim.
Właścicielem praw autorskich jest Uniwersytet Warszawski.