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Nietzsche and Feminism (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Christoph Brunner

wöchentlich | Donnerstag | 18:15 - 19:45 | 20.10.2021 - 02.02.2022 | C 5.325

Inhalt: A seminar on Nietzsche and Feminism is a provocation. There is no other more contested figure in the history of post-enlightenment Western philosophy than Nietzsche when it comes to his own views on the human, society, and politics. Wasn’t Nietzsche the philosopher who let his figure Zarathustra state “Are you visiting women? Do not forget your whip!” And how about the manifold misogynist statements in his works? But wasn’t it also Nietzsche, who voted for the allowance of female students to obtain degrees at the University of Basel where he taught at the time? And why was Nietzsche addressed as “Weiberphilosoph” by female contemporaries and intensively read by women of his time? Finally, how did a repoliticization of Nietzsche take shape in the wake of 1968 and its aftermath, contesting the misappropriations of his work by nationalist and fascist ideologies? Instead of attempting to provide a conclusive answer on the relation between Nietzsche and Feminism, this seminar wants to explore Nietzsche as philosopher and radical thinker from an aesthetic and political angle. An aesthetic reading of Nietzsche means to not only pay attention to the analysis of content but to engage with the particular style Nietzsche develops. For that reason, three key works will be at the center of this Seminar: Thus Spoke Zarathustra (novelistic style), The Gay Science (aphoristic style), Genealogy of Morals (philosophical prose). In the way ideas are presented and reworked against the grain of dominant enlightened concepts, Nietzsche provides some of the most provocative critiques of what we might term the masculinist and heteronormative tendencies of Western thought. It is here where feminists since the 1960s have taken particular interest in working with, through and also against Nietzsche’s philosophy. A feminist reading and critique of Nietzsche engages with his own refusal of the hierarchical orders of knowledge as much as the role of women in the history of knowledge. It allows to see alliances of disobedience to a certain type of rationality that ¬– in the philosophical tradition – has often be considered a question of aesthetics (as embodiment, sensation and beyond rationality). The aim of the seminar is therefore threefold: 1) To contextualize Nietzsche’s works from a historical perspective, pointing out the role of women in his work but also feminist responses of his time. 2) To work with primary sources from a stylistic point of view, discussing Nietzsche’s “re-evaluation of all values” through an unruly style that potentially contests masculinist conventions of philosophy. 3) To engage with feminist philosophy working on and with Nietzsche in order to shed light on the necessary contradictions and potentials for critical discussions of the philosophical heritage of post-enlightenment thought in Europe. From a pragmatic point of view, the seminar will address a general dilemma of our contemporary time: How to engage with the way the history of thought and philosophical concepts are appropriated and fetishized to serve a political purpose (like the AfD’s poster stating “Nietzsches Erbe besser pflegen”). With Nietzsche as a contested figure we can see how misappropriation and potential re-appropriation considering his work resonates with the struggle over truth claims in an era of digitally dispersed fake news and conspiracy theories. The question of “why Nietzsche and Feminism today?” addresses this very challenge of truth claims, interpretations, and the necessity to embrace the complex textures of thoughts and concepts as much as their relevance for contemporary emancipatory politics. For reasons of language accessibility, the seminar will be held in English, however, reading Nietzsche in German will be an option. We will base much of our course conversations in Nietzsche's Zarathustra. For the first three weeks there will be no extra readings assigned but Zarathustra. Both, the Englisch and German versions can vbe found under "materials." For those who want to have a printed copy, we recommend this one in German: https://www.dtv.de/buch/friedrich-nietzsche-giorgio-colli-also-sprach-zarathustra-i-iv-30154/ We will use the three first sessions to contextualize Nietzsche and his work - for which you do not have to prepare any extra reading. For those of you who seek some preparatory orientation, these introductions are quite helpful: Rüdiger Safranski: Nietzsche. Biographie seines Denkens. Werner Stegmaier: Nietzsche. Zur Einführung. Junius Verlag. Michael Tanner: Nietzsche. A very Short Introduction. Oxford Paperbacks.

Philosophie der Mythologie (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Lorenzo Capitanio

Einzeltermin | Fr, 22.10.2021, 14:00 - Fr, 22.10.2021, 16:00 | C 14.203
Einzeltermin | Fr, 12.11.2021, 14:00 - Fr, 12.11.2021, 18:00 | C 14.202
Einzeltermin | Sa, 13.11.2021, 09:00 - Sa, 13.11.2021, 15:00 | C 14.202
Einzeltermin | Fr, 03.12.2021, 14:00 - Fr, 03.12.2021, 18:00 | C 16.222
Einzeltermin | Sa, 04.12.2021, 09:00 - Sa, 04.12.2021, 15:00 | C 16.222

Inhalt: Fragestellung: Die Frage nach dem Wesen des Mythos und nach der Bedeutung von Mythen in unserer Gesellschaft ist seit der „Mythos-Debatte“ der 70er Jahre immer noch aktuell. Was alle Mythen und Mythologien jenseits von den morphologischen und sprachlichen Unterschieden vereint, ist ihre sinnstiftende und kommunikative Funktion. Mythische Strukturen bieten Legitimationsinstrumente zur Gruppenidentität und zur Erneuerung oder Bewahrung gesellschaftlicher Machtverhältnisse. Die propagandistische Ausbeutung von mythologischen Mustern und Strukturen (Nationalmythen, Verschwörungstheorien) durch die rechtspopulistischen Bewegungen zeigt erneut die Wichtigkeit einer kritischen Reflexion über das Wesen des Mythos und dessen Weiterwirken in unserer heutigen Gesellschaft. Klassiker der philosophischen und ethnologischen Mythenkritik (Schlegel, Schelling, Adorno, Kerényi, Lévi-Strauss, Blumenberg, Marquard) sollen die Grundlagen zur Diskussion bieten. Demensprechend wird das Seminar nach drei Grundfragen gegliedert: Was ist Mythos? Wie funktionieren Mythen? Wie versteht man Mythen? Themen: Mythos und Vernunft (Logos), Entmythisierung, Ethnozentrismus, Weiterwirken mythologischer Themen und Strukturen in der Gegenwart (Politik, Medien, Filme, Literatur). Methodische und theoretische Orientierung: Das Seminar zielt darauf ab, durch eine interaktive Auseinandersetzung mit den Klassikern der Mythenkritik die Instrumente für eine kritische Analyse der Gegenwart aufzubauen.