CLASSIC 239

Aristophanes/Politics/Animal
Section: 
001 LEC
Days and Time: 
M 2-4:59P
Room: 
DOEL308C
Units: 
2-4
Instructor: 
Telo, Mario
Course Description: 

In this seminar, we will revisit the much-debated relation of Aristophanes to politics through a critical-theoretical perspective. Reading illustrative examples of recent trends in political theory (Braidotti, Brown, Butler, Deleuze, Derrida, Rancière), we will conceptualize forms of political discourse in Aristophanic comedy beyond the contextualist framing still dominant in the field of Old Comedy, and also try to gauge what Aristophanes’ politics can contribute to the current political moment in the US and elsewhere. We will apply various theoretical models to the close reading of two plays, Birds and Frogs, that thematize politics through animals, and we will complement our political-theoretical readings with others from the burgeoning field of animal studies. While the course has a strong theoretical orientation, much class time will be devoted to analyzing the texture of Aristophanic poetry, exploring ways of connecting form with potentialities of political meaning.

Semester: