9507 - “Charged by an Asymptotic Curve”: The Spaces of Love and the Event [A] Prof. Allan Pero
This course will explore some of the theoretical and political implications of two of the most recently constituted “symptoms” of contemporary thought: love and the event. Indeed, the objects of these concepts are themselves contested, often marked or made visible by their absence. In this sense, love and the event are linked in that both are coupled with what Lacan calls jouissance. The meaninglessness of jouissance is granted a kind of contingent, imaginary meaning through the gift of Love, a metaphoric gift, which, though not hateful, has been called “giving what you don’t have.” But what are the political and psychoanalytic implications of this formulation? What are the relations between and among Love, the Law, and the Death Drive? How do they structure one’s relation to the Other or the Object? We will consider how Lacan’s famous “return to Freud” championed a re-thinking both of love (and its objects, the gaze and the voice) and the death drive as crucial to understanding Freudian thought itself as an event, in Alain Badiou’s sense of the term. The final weeks of the course will be devoted to looking at how several contemporary theorists consider, in different ways, the problematics of Love as an “event” that occurs “the Two.” To this end, we will read the work of such diverse thinkers as Badiou, Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Alenka Zupančič.
- Beyond the Pleasure Principle (Norton)
- Civilization and Its Discontents (Norton)
- Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis: 1959-1960 (Norton) - Selection
- Seminar XX: Encore: On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge: 1972-1973
Roland Barthes - A Lover’s Discourse
Julia Kristeva - Tales of Love
Alain Badiou – In Praise of Love
Bibliography of Photocopied Materials:
Badiou, Alain “The Scene of Two,” “What is Love?”
Badiou, Alain Being and Event (pp. 173-249)
Nancy, Jean-Luc “Shattered Love,” in A Finite Thinking (pp. 245-274).
Zupančič, Alenka “Love as Comedy,” in The Shortest Shadow (pp. 164-181).
Method of Evaluation:
Respondent to the Seminar (2 x 10%) = 20%
Response Paper: 10%
Research Essay: 35%
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