Thematic Option

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Postmodernism: Identity - Space - Truth: April 17-18, 1998

The term "POSTMODERNISM" has different meanings depending on the context in which it is used (i.e. visual art, politics, literary criticism, popular culture, etc.). Postmodernism calls into question some of our basic assumptions about "truth," "knowledge," "reality," and "identity," and explodes certain beliefs and ideas which form the core of the Enlightenment tradition: for example, the belief that reason and science can provide universal truths that form the basis for political and ethical systems; and the belief that the movement of history corresponds to particular laws or tendencies and that progress is inevitable. Postmodernism is of particular relevance in Thematic Option because, while CORE 102 and 104 focus on broad ethical questions and foundational values of the western tradition, CORE 101 and 103 consider questions of epistemology and the bases upon which those values are said to be true.
Discussions of postmodernism often focus on questions related to Identity, Space and Truth.  Your proposal should fall generally under one of the following topic areas:
Identity - topics related to the nature of the self, our bodies, normalcy, conformity, consumption, moral dilemmas, good and evil, the possibility of community, and the importance of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality...

Space - topics related to the private and public spheres, the space between private and public (the street), the family, museums, universities, boundaries, the road, landscapes, home...
Truth - topics related to authors, storytelling, problems of interpretation, finding meaning, representation, myth, folklore, epistemology, poetry ...


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