Graduate students are invited to apply for a one-week seminar on "Rhetoric, Nietzsche, and After" that will be offered at Northwestern University, July 13-17, 2009. The seminar, directed by Professors Keith Topper and Dilip Gaonkar, will consist of five days of presentations and discussions led by a distinguished group of visiting faculty. In this year's seminar, we will focus on the interplay of rhetoric, politics, and philosophy in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and some of his most influential intellectual progeny, e.g. Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, and Michel Foucault. The visiting faculty will include Babette Babich (Fordham University), Tracy Strong (University of California, San Diego), Leslie Paul Thiele (University of Florida), and others. Each faculty member will deliver an afternoon lecture, lead a seminar discussion on selected readings (assigned in advance) the following morning, and attend a colleague’s presentation that afternoon. The overlapping format enables both student and faculty participants to continue informal scholarly discussion during group lunches and dinners.
This year's theme, “Rhetoric, Nietzsche, and After,” will further extend the inquiries that organized our 2007 and 2008 summer seminars, “Rhetoric and the Roots of Modern Political Thought: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau” and “Political Thought and Rhetoric in the Classical World.” In those seminars, we investigated historically the relationship between rhetoric and political theory, looking closely at the work of key political theorists--from Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero to Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau--who fundamentally altered the development of modern political thought. While grounded in the historical approach that animated our 2007 and 2008 inquiries, the 2009 seminar will alter the temporal focus of those inquiries from the ancient world and the dawn of modernity to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In particular, we will examine the rhetorical dimensions of Friedrich Nietzsche’s political thought and the work of leading figures in twentieth century political theory and philosophy who have looked to Nietzsche as an important source of intellectual inspiration. As is well-known, Nietzsche was not only a student and teacher of rhetoric, but also a writer whose work both demands and engages in rhetorical analysis. By attending closely to Nietzsche’s writings and legacy, we hope to attain a better understanding of the interplay between rhetoric, philosophy, and political theory in Nietzschean and post-Nietzschean political thought and philosophy. Simultaneously, we hope to explore more general questions about the role of rhetoric and style in nineteenth and twentieth century political theory and philosophy.
The summer seminar will also provide a platform for developing future work on a variety of closely related themes. These include future conferences and book projects.
The seminar is sponsored by the Center for Global Culture and Communication and the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. The Center will subsidize transportation (up to $250), lodging, and some meals for admitted students. Applicants should send a letter of nomination from their academic advisor, along with a one-page rationale for their participation, to Professor Keith Topper (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will adopt a policy of rolling admissions. Priority will therefore be granted to strong applications that are submitted in a timely fashion, preferably by June 15th. Inquiries should be directed to Jesse Baldwin-Philippi (email@example.com).
Babette Babich (Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University). Professor Babich is the Executive Editor of New Nietzsche Studies. In addition, she is the author and editor of several books, including Words in Blood, Like Flowers: Philosophy and Poetry, Music and Eros in Hőlderlin, Nietszsche, Heidegger (2007), Habermas, Nietzsche, and Critical Theory (2004), and Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Science: Reflecting Science on the Ground of Art and Life (1994).
Tracy Strong (Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego). Professor Strong is the author of numerous articles, essays, and books, including Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration, 3rd ed. (2000), The Idea of Political Theory: Reflections on the Self in Political Time and Space (1990), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Politics of the Ordinary, 2nd ed. (2001).
Leslie Paul Thiele (Professor of Political Science, University of Florida). Professor Thiele is the author of many articles and books, including Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of the Soul (1990), Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Politics (1995), Environmentalism for a New Millennium (1999), Thinking Politics (2003) and The Heart of Judgment: Practical Wisdom, Narrative, and Neuroscience (2006).
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