Histories of Meaning

Histories
of Meaning/

Meanings
of ‚History‘

a seminar

Winter 1999

Earl
Jackson, Jr.


Email: talkingcure2000@aol.com


  

The
agenda of this seminar is twofold

Click
Here
for a list of the latest
interactive components to this seminar – very important!

Includes the
Elenchus
Conversation
and the seminarian’s
responses
to the primary texts and Earl’s
responses
to the seminarians.


 

NEW!!

Important additions:

A
Prehistory of „Histories of Meaning“
A
Cybermental Education
Metapeidia:
A Meta-index of Eleven categorized and annotated indices
of Internent resources for research in classical and late antiquity

[plus several embedded directives]

PLUS!! Our own organic Lexicon!

Seminar Part
One

In
the first half we will read texts from Classical Antiquity and the Middle
Ages that were important in the history of Western European thought. While
I have selected texts whose concerns seem close to the contemporary preoccupations
with notions of signification, subjectivity, and the relations between
the two, in our readings we will strive to appreciate the particular (and
often irreconcilable) differences among the various philosophical schools
and their legacies. Rigorous attention will be paid to the lexica of each
tradition. No overarching synthesis will be attempted, and every potentially
reductive comparison will be scrutinized thoroughly before entertaining
it.
Procedures and Requirements for
Part One

Our modes of approach will be
quite unapologetically conservative, including historical and philological
exegesis as well as bibliographical research. Throughout the seminar, short,
semi-informal response papers will be due the weekend following the week
the topics in question were discussed. When we are doing the dialogues
of Plato and Augustine, however, in addition to the post-discussion response
paper, there will be an assignment due prior to the given discussion that
will serve as an admission ticket to that discussion. Before we discuss
a given dialogue, each member of the seminar must submit a brief but lucid
summary of the main arguments of that dialogue. When we read more than
one dialogue in a week, seminarians are free to choose which dialogue’s
argument they will summarize. The summaries are to be submitted to me electronically
at least 24 hours before the session in which our discussion begins. Students
who fail to produce such a summary will not be allowed to attend the discussion
(the response paper for that discussion, however, will still be required.)
This is a very important exercise, which in many cases will not prove difficult,
simply alien. And no one will be penalized or ridiculed for any inaccuracies
in the summary. Any summary attempted in good faith will be considered
a successful act of participation in good faith. The skill this exercise
will hone depends upon actually doing the exercise in the time alotted.
It will reward the effort put into it and the discussion in class will
benefit immeasurably from this kind of preparation.
The Seminar Part
Two

The second half of the seminar
consists of self-conscious experiments in hermeneutic encounters between
a premodern text or texts and a modern or contemporary critical practice.
These encounters include:
Vasari’s
„Leonardo“
and Freud’s
Leonardo
; S
ophocles’s
Antigone
and Lacan’s reading of Antigone ; Margery Kemp’s 14th-Century
autobiography of Margery Kemp and Robert Glück’s late-twentieth-century
„autobiography“ of Margery Kemp; Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Edipo Re and the
generations of Oedipi from Sophocles’s to Freud’s, to Lacan’s, as well
as those that simply saturate the anonymous banality of what „everyone
knows.“ If there is time and the seminarian’s interest and energies warrant,
I would also like to attempt a more timely (and polemical) extra-encounter.
I would like us to read Plato’s Sophist along side Sokal’s „Quantum Gravity“
hoax in Social Text and key volleys in the debate that ensued from that
hoax.


_

Week
Of:
Readings
1/5
Episteme
Links
Plato
IonMeno
1/12

Phaedrus

 

 

Cratylus
Seventh
Letter

_

1/19
Aristotle_
Aristotle
On
Interpretation

On
Dreams

On
Prophesying from Dreams

1/26

Aristotle
The
Poetics
Euripides
Hippolytus

Sophocles

Antigone

_

2/2 Cicero
On
the Reactions of the Haruspices




Augustine

On the Teacher



_

2/9
Leonardo
da Vinci

Leonardo
da Vinci


42 Drawings Leonardo da Vinci

Margery
Kemp

The Autobiography of Margery
Kemp

Leonardo“

from

Vasari’s

Lives

Descartes

First
Meditation

2/16
*

Tuesday

Is
Exchange
Day

Leonardo
On-Line

Freud
Leonardo

Da Vinci

And a Memory of

His Childhood

2/23 Robert
Glück

Margery

Kemp

3/2 JacquesLacan
Seminar VII.
3/9 The
Sophist
_


and the Sokal

Debacle.
_

Other
Requirements

[1].Regular attendence and participation
in class and online.

[2] Weekly written assignments.Electronic
submissions encouraged and occasionally required.

[2a] During the weeks of reading
dialogues, one summary of the main arguments of one of the dialogues is
due as electronic submission no later than 24 hours prior to the discussion.

[2b] Semi-informal response papers
(of 2-3 pages at first) are due as

electronic submission by 8pm Sunday
evenings. These may increase in formality and complexity in the latter
weeks, as a means toward constructing the final project.


_

[3] Web and other Internet Skills are
not prerequisites to the course but will be required during the seminar.
Specific research-related search exercises will be given periodically,
some of them involving use of Greek and or Latin. Participation via the
seminar’s Web site, and a seminar-initiated discussion list will be continously
encouraged. I will be happy to give an Internet and/or techno-workshop
in one of the computer laboratories if the seminarians are interested.
Any one who

attends such a workshop and thereafter
claims that she or he cannot learn how to send an attachment to an email
message will automatically fail the seminar and will be enrolled in a remedial
course that leads to the discovery of fire. Anyone who owns (having purchased
it) a copy of Elton John’s goodbye to Princess Diana will also automatically
fail.


_

[4] The final paper will be an original
research project that reflects and hopefully culminates a specific intellectual
development over the course of the seminar. Students should have at least
a provisional description of final project by week Six of the course, which
should be submitted to me in one or two paragraphs (preferably annotated
tentative bibliography as well). I will return it electronically with initial
feedback and suggestions, after which we will meet individually to discuss
it in more depth. Students are highly encouraged to submit and early draft
of the final paper by week eight or nine at the latest, and the final paper
itself, double spaced and in total compliance with MLA formating standards,
in correct Standard English and correct spelling is due on the last day
of Examination week. No Incompletes will be given.

Click here for Our
Task


Here for First
Resources


Here for A
Duet for Cratylus and Hermogenes


Here
for An Outline
to two Potential Backgrounds

Here
for
the Summaries
of the Meno.

Here for Astynax!
Astynax is the project structure for this


seminar and seminar Web site
– a series of engaged readings and research which is deliberately transparent
to its processes. Click
this.

Screen Memories Film Series (sponsored
by Another Scene)


Texts

NEW!!!
1.23.99 –


Trouble
Shooting


 

Our Orientation

Our Vision

Our Ethos

Our Favorite
Band

Synopses
of the VII. Epistle
(and Earl’s responses)

Earl’s
reading of Letter 7.342a-344b

fun
with Perseus