This module will engage with a broad range of questions, such as: How did modernity shape the idea of the social? How do contemporary theoretical and empirical developments challenge the modern idea of the social, as well as that of gender, power, bodies, and identities? The last part of the course will be oriented around the issue of modern consumer culture and the commodity aesthetic, as well as contemporary challenges to that paradigm, such as postcolonial commodity culture, the culture of copies and an emerging pirate or ‘shanzhai’ modernity.
The first part of the course aims at providing a theoretical background to contextualize as well as think critically about the modern epoch through concepts such as ‘information society’, ‘biopolitics’, postcolonial theory, and body and materiality. In the second part of the module, we will focus on empirical instances, popular cultures, and new sexual politics in order to challenge the dominant ways of being modern that has largely remained a western construct. The course also develops critical tools to understand and analyze the future of social theory.
- Module Supervisor: Maitrayee Deka