Spring 2013 Philosophy of Culture Syllabus

From Alfino


Goals of the Course
  1. To understand and critically assess a range of theories about the nature of culture and cultural criticism.
  2. To develop your own philosophical theory of culture and cultural criticism.
  3. To apply skills of ethnography and cultural analysis to comparative topics in Italian and U.S. culture.
Course Description

This Philosophy of Culture course mixes readings and resources from several disciplines, such as philosophy, cultural and physical anthropology, literature, cinema, semiotics, and cultural studies, to give students a sound introduction to philosophical issues in the study of cultural and skill in giving cultural analysis. We study theories from physical anthropology and evolutionary psychology on the emergence of culture, as well as theories of cultural analysis and criticism that emerges from the both the traditions of cultural anthropology and the continental philosophical traditions of phenomenology, postmodernism, and semiotics. The main goal of our study will be to develop a sound philosophical theory of culture, and both read and practice cultural analysis.

For the Gonzaga-in-Florence version of this course a substantial component of course material and course work (30-35%) will involve Italian culture, especially cinema, literature and cultural criticism.

Selected Course Readings

Students will be assessed on their achievement of the course goals through the following methods:

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