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Learning Online
Online classes call for a different set of expectations and skills.
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Good at Multitasking?
Online lerarners often characterize themselves as excellent multi-taskers.
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Brief Encounters
One genre of writing distinctive to our course will be the brief encounter.
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What is Hermeneutics?

image of old woman and young woman combined Hermeneutics has to do with the very nature of interpretation itself as well as the scope and significance of interpretation / understanding. Think of hermeneutics as a site of operations deep within the most subtle, intricate, and overlooked levels of common language. Hermeneutics has a long history, reaching back at least as far as ancient Greece. Its guiding figure is Hermes, god of language and of thieves, and reportedly the most mischievous of the Olympian gods. Keeping in mind that heritage, we will explore, among other topics, non-normative modes of discourse, including the unsaid, the hint, the spell, and ponder linkages that exceed the capacities of interpretive models, explicit and implicit, governing the world of the Posties (posthumanists, postmodernists, postcolonialists, postfeminists, postgenderists, postcyberians).

A new focus was brought to bear on hermeneutics in the West’s modern period, in the wake of the Reformation with its displacement of responsibility for interpreting the Bible from the Church to individual Christians generally. Please note that this will not be a course in biblical hermeneutics, though readings will include the tensions between Maimonides and Spinoza about understanding scripture, and historical and philological considerations in biblical study (applicable to textual study in general) via the work of Bart Ehrman.

This course will focus on differing theories and concomitant practices concerned with “semiotics,” “encryption or figuration,” “intention,” “reading formations,” “esotericism,” “visual ideology,” “rebellion or revolution,” “legal hermeneutics,” and “translation.” Crucial are possible relations between fiction and non-fiction, surface and depth, and among philosophy, theology, psychoanalysis, and political theory. We might have time to take a look at "computational hermeneutics." Other authors may include: Althusser, Benjamin, G. Bruns, Anne Carson, Stanley Cavell, J. Drucker, Eco, Gadamer, C. Ginzburg, Gramsci, Hacking, Heidegger, Husserl, Henry James, Jameson, Kafka, Karatani, Nicole Loraux, Lacan, Lenin, Nietzsche, Iain Pears, de Romilly, D. Sayers, Shakespeare, Shestov, Gertrude Stein, G. Waite, Žižek.

Not Knowing a Famous Text
Recognizing prejudgments is an important hermeneutical exercise. Watch Bart Ehrman clear up some misconceptions about a famous text many people think they know.

Introduction to Hermeneutics
The author of A Very Short Introduction to Hermeneutics (2015) gives just that in the video.

"In the battle that is philosophy all the techniques of war, including looting and camouflage, are permissible." — Louis Althusser