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210056 SE BAK9: Politische Theorien und Theorienforschung (2021W)

Ambiguities of Resistance (engl.)

6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung

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max. 50 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch



MO wtl von 04.10.2021 bis 31.01.2022 11.30-13.00 Ort: Digital.


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

Resistance has arguably become a central notion through which the dilemmas of contemporary political imagination are expressed. This course will employ the lens of critical political theory broadly construed to explore the main ambiguities and complexities involved in resisting oppression – both historically and as they pertain to current political issues. We will examine the question of the justifiability of violence in the service of freedom and justice, point to the main critiques of violence as a viable resistance strategy, and scrutinize the difficult relationship between liberation from oppressive rule and the founding of political freedom. We will also address the notion of everyday resistance, contest the masculinist myths of heroic resistance and interrogate different articulations of intellectual commitment. Finally, we will critically assess the paradigm of civil disobedience and confront the problem of left melancholia today. We will engage with a range of canonical thinkers coming from Marxist, postcolonial, existential and anarchist perspectives, as well as contemporary feminist, critical race and democratic theorists. The emphasis will rest on critically examining and evaluating their arguments, while also reflecting on how their ideas speak to practical examples of resistance from our past and present. The course is interdisciplinary in scope, drawing on philosophical texts, as well as political, sociological and historical writings.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Seminar attendance and participation: 10% (maximum three absences)
Presentation on one of the weeks’ topics: 30%
Final seminar paper: 60% (approx. 15 pages)

Seminars will take place online in weekly synchronous sessions.

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

The minimum requirements are 1) submission of a seminar paper; 2) short presentation on one of the weeks’ topics and submission of an outline of the presentation beforehand; and 3) weekly attendance and active participation in the seminars (max. three absences are permitted).


On completion of this course, the students will be able to:
- Grasp the main complexities involved in resisting oppression, their historical manifestations and theoretical articulations;
- Demonstrate a close familiarity with a variety of texts, thinkers and theoretical positions on the main dilemmas of resistance explored in the course;
- Critically evaluate the theoretical assumptions underpinning different arguments on the themes covered in the course;
- Use the acquired theoretical tools to analyse past and present examples of resistance;
- Command a range of research and transferable skills necessary to write a seminar paper and participate in class discussions.


Main texts:

- Arendt, Hannah. 2006. On Revolution. London: Penguin.
- Beauvoir, Simone. 2011. Literary Writings. Urbana, Chicago and Springfield: University of Illinois Press.
- Camus, Albert. 1971. The Rebel. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
- Fanon, Frantz. 1963. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press.
- Lorde, Audre. 2007. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Berkeley: Crossing Press
- Mignolo, Walter D. and Catherine E. Walsh. 2018. On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis. Durham: Duke University Press.
- Sartre, Jean Paul. 1983. Between Existentialism and Marxism. London: Verso.
- Scott, James C. 1987. Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Pinero, Erin. 2021. Seeing Like an Activist: Civil Disobedience and the Civil Rights Movement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Rogers, Melvin L. and Jack Turner, eds. 2020. African American Political Thought: A Collected History. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
- Winters, Joseph R. 2016. Hope Draped in Black: Race, Melancholy and the Agony of Progress. Durham: Duke University Press.

The required readings will be made available on Moodle.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Letzte Änderung: Mo 18.10.2021 14:08