XIDS 2100:  Postmodernism

Professor Janet Donohoe

Fall 2007

MWF 11:00-11:50am, Humanities Room 206


1.  Learning Outcomes:  The aim of this course is to familiarize ourselves with postmodern architecture, philosophy, film, literature, and politics.  By the end of the semester students will be able to:


  • Identify at least three different defining characteristics of postmodernism.
  • Exhibit familiarity with the ways that postmodernism has shaped our cultural experiences.
  • Explain the development of postmodernism in at least two different areas of our culture.
  • Analyze arguments of philosophy, literature and politics with respect to the influence of postmodernism.
  • Identify and explain the characteristics of postmodern architecture, film, and literature.


2.  Requirements:  The requirements for this course are fourfold.


            a) Class attendance and participation                              10%

            b) Response papers for public events and readings          30%

            c) In-class midterm exam                                               30%

            d) In-class final exam                                                    30%


In order to meet these requirements it will be necessary to attend class regularly and to do the assigned reading.  It will be evident if you have not done the reading and this will not be beneficial to your success in this course.  Papers absolutely will not be accepted after the due date unless arrangements have been made with me prior to the due date.


Each student will be required to attend three public arts events outside of class.  A list of suggestions will be passed out early in the semester.  After each event, you will be required to write a 300-450 word response explaining whether the event could be considered postmodern and why.  These events can include anything from West Georgia theater productions to music recitals to rock concerts to visits to the High Museum of Art.  Each response paper must include a full citation of where the event was, what kind of event it was, and who sponsored the event.  Each response must be turned in with the ticket stub or printed program from the event.


3.  Availability:  I am available outside of class during office hours, or by appointment.  If there are questions or problems do not hesitate to see me.


Office hours:  MWF 9:00-11:00 am, 12:00-1:00pm

Office:  TLC 2250

Phone:  (678)839-4743

e-mail:  jdonohoe@westga.edu


4.  Book list:  The books listed below should be available in the bookstore.


David Harvey               The Condition of Postmodernity

Toni Morrison               Beloved

Michel Foucault History of Sexuality, Vol. I

There will also be a course packet of selected readings available through on-line library reserves.


15         Introduction:  What is an era?  What is Modernism, what is Postmodernism?

17         What is Modernism, what is Postmodernism?

20         Postmodernism in the arts:  The Condition of Postmodernity.  Part I, ch. 4

22         The Condition of Postmodernity.  Part I, ch. 4 (1st reading response paper due)

24         The Condition of Postmodernity.  Part I, ch. 4

27         Architecture

29         Atlanta Architecture—Postmodern?

31         Architecture—theory


3          Labor Day—no classes

5          Performance art/music

7          Performance art/music

10         Postmodern plastic arts  Chaos and Cosmos”

12         “Chaos and Cosmos  (deadline for response to first performance)

14         “Post-Everything” review of postmodernism in the arts

17         Postmodernism in Philosophy:  Introduction (the modernist subject)

19         Foucault, History of Sexuality, Part I  (2nd reading response paper due)

21         History of Sexuality, Part I

24         History of Sexuality, Part II

26         History of Sexuality, Part II

28         History of Sexuality, Part III


1          History of Sexuality, Part IV

3          History of Sexuality, Part IV

5          History of Sexuality, Part V  (deadline for response to second performance)

8          Tina Chanter “Postmodern Subjectivity”

10         “Postmodern Subjectivity”

12         Fall Break—no classes

15         Review of Postmodernism and subjectivity

17         Midterm Exam

19         Postmodernism in Cinema:  Bladerunner

22         Bladerunner

24         Bladerunnerdiscussion, Condition of Postmodernity, Part III, ch. 18

26         Bladerunnerdiscussion

29         Bladerunnerdiscussion

31         “Being John Malkovich


2          “Being John Malkovich

5          “Being John Malkovichdiscussion

7          Postmodernism in Literature, Toni Morrison, Beloved  (3rd reading response paper due)

9          Beloved

12         Beloved

14         Beloved

16         Beloved

19         Postmodernism and Society:  The Condition of Postmodernity, Part II

21-23    Thanksgiving Break—no classes

26         Condition of Postmodernity, Part II  (deadline for response to third performance)

28         Condition of Postmodernity, Part III, ch. 17

30         Condition of Postmodernity, Part III, ch. 17


3          Condition of Postmodernity, Part IV, ch. 19

5          Review Session

Final exam is scheduled during exam week