Special Topics: Affect, Abjection, and Motherhood

CRN 30289 / Th 5:00PM - 7:30PM / 402 Cathedral of Learning
This class, a graduate seminar also open to advanced undergraduates, introduces students to psychoanalytic writing with a focus on the prominent French feminist Julia Kristeva’s influential work on motherhood in “Stabat Mater” and on abjection in Powers of Horror. Readings include psychoanalytic theory and practice in a number of fields such as philosophy, art history (Terry Smith is one of our guest speakers), religious studies (Paula Kane will also visit), communication, and film studies along with literature. The course gives emphasis to questions of gender and race in the work of Hortense Spillers and Jack Halberstam. A practicing psychoanalyst, Kristeva has written an astonishing variety of texts, including novels, cultural theory, and case studies with great impact on artists and scholars in the US. The course offers the opportunity to submit an abstract to give a paper leading to possible publication at the Kristeva Circle conference held here at Pitt’s University Club on Oct. 27-28 where Spillers and Halberstam are keynote speakers. We will examine the reception of and resistance to Neo-Freudian thought in the US including the new directions in which American writers have taken it.

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Carol M. Bové

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Category A: Text and Theory

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