The Summer 2015 iteration of Masters of Suspicion will focus on two works by Heidegger. Rather than an exhaustive commentary on Heidegger—or these texts—the purpose of the class will be to understand ways that Heidegger approached the question of “world.” The first part of the class, devoted to Being and Time, will look at how our cultural worlds are an important aspect of our own lives. The final two classes will look at Heidegger’s famous “Origin of the Work of Art” to understand the importance of the kinds of worlds that art uniquely contributes to our lives. Throughout, the lectures will highlight how Heidegger’s suspicion regarding our general (inauthentic) attitude toward life and our world proves helpful in explaining why our world exists as it does. Reading Heidegger’s texts is encouraged for those interested in philosophy, but is not necessary for an understanding of the lectures.
The Fall 2015 session of Masters of Suspicion offers students an opportunity to wrestle with one of the 20th century’s most difficult and interesting thinkers: Franz Kafka. As a way to guide a reading through Kafka’s best known short stories and novels, this class will focus on Kafka’s depiction of the individual in a frustrating, impersonal, dehumanizing social context. In addition to attending to Kafka’s narrative strategies and how they responded to changes in the social structure, the lectures will also point out how the stories defamiliarize the social landscape in ways that invite skepticism. Readings for this class will be strongly recommended, and copies of the books will be available at Prairie Lights.