Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Beginning next week I'm teaching two summer intensives at Berkeley this summer, first my survey of key Greek and Roman works in and of rhetoric, "Are We Not Men? Patriarchal Convention and Conviction in Classical Antiquity" for six weeks and then my survey of key theory after Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, "The Rhetoric of Interpretation, 'Fetishes and Keys'" for another six weeks. It's a lot of work, but I've actually given myself quite a break this year by choosing to focus on Berkeley and passing on the additional teaching of my usual third critical theory survey course in the City as well. This makes all the difference in the world, and not just monetarily. Without my nine to noon course in the City my early mornings, commute times, office hours are all lightened enormously, and so I have time for the sorts of projects to which my summers used to be deliciously devoted. So, this year I've decided systematically to read all the writing available in English translation by Peter Sloterdijk -- whose very provocative and rich work I've only nibbled around the edges of up to now. I also mean to brush up on my Greek so that when I teach Greek and Roman rhetoric next summer I will have read all the work in the original before lecturing on it (I lecture from translations and secondaries now, and though few undergraduates give a fig about that, it bothers me). Reading Greek comedy and philosophy in the original has been a long-deferred desire, not least because I think it will deepen my connection to Arendt even further.