Upcoming Speaking Engagements

During the spring semester, I have two speaking engagements planned. The first is a paper entitled “What is Star Trek About? Federation, Fan-Service, or Freedom,” which will be part of a seminar on franchise storytelling at the American Comparative Literature Association meeting in March. The seminar is made up of the contributors to the University of Minnesota Press series “Mass Markets,” edited by Gerry Canavan and Benjamin Robertson, and my paper will preview some of the key claims of my planned book on Star Trek.

The second is an invited lecture at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, as part of their Imtiaz Moosa Philosophy and Ethics speaker series. My talk, entitled “Democracy Between Populism and Neoliberalism,” will be on Monday, April 17. Details are available here; a description follows below the fold. Continue reading “Upcoming Speaking Engagements”

Spring 2023 Syllabi

I have updated my Teaching History and Sample Syllabi page to reflect the three courses I will be teaching this coming semester:

  • Ethics (syllabus): This will be my second time offering this course in the philosophy department, and this time around I have tried to make the reading load more manageable without sacrificing rigor. It will be a larger class than I typically teach, but I believe I’ve come up with good ways to hold them accountable for close reading of primary texts nonetheless.
  • Reading the Qur’an (syllabus): This will be my first time offering the course since I began my Arabic study of the Qur’an in earnest, and I’m excited to work with a very diverse and motivated group of students.
  • Music, Verse, and Drama (syllabus): This has become a staple offering for me in the Shimer program. I especially enjoy the challenge of trying to find a common language to discuss music between students with no background and those with a lot of musical training.

New roundtable contribution published

Religious Studies Review has published a roundtable on Robert Yelle’s Sovereignty and the Sacred, to which I contributed a reflection on Yelle’s engagement with Agamben in the book and how it might have been taken further. You can read the submitted version, complete with embarrassing typos and stylistic infelicities, here.

Routledge Handbook of Star Trek is out!

The massive and incredibly comprehensive Routledge Handbook of Star Trek is out. Edited by Leimar Garcia-Siino, Sabrina Mittermeier, and Stefan Rabitsch, it also includes a chapter by me on the ethical dilemmas explored by Star Trek. See the image below for more information and a handy discount code!

Fall course syllabi posted

I have posted the syllabi for my fall courses on my teaching history and sample syllabi page. They are as follows:

  • The Shape of the World — a Shimer Great Books syllabus on the history of astronomy and cosmology. I previously taught it last year and look forward to the opportunity to learn from my mistakes when they are still fresh in my mind! I feel especially invested in this class because it was one of my biggest suggestions for revising the Shimer curriculum, in order to give students a foundation in ancient and modern worldviews before drilling into more specific topics in later science courses.
  • Logic and Critical Thinking — I am excited to get another staple philosophy offering under my belt, after teaching Ethics last year. Perhaps perversely, my motive for requesting this course was to get a better handle on traditional logic as background for further study of Hegel’s Science of Logic.
  • Cardinal Directions Senior Seminar — this is a fairly unique gen ed requirement, an interdisciplinary half-semester course taken in the student’s senior year. Faculty members get to choose their topic, and over the years, I have done variations on the theme of utopia and dystopia. My goal is to get students thinking seriously about the so-called “real world” they are about to enter and their place in it.

Upcoming keynote address

At the end of this month, I will be delivering a keynote address and conducting a masterclass at the Graduate Summer School at the University of Münster. The topic of the Summer School this year is “Tacet ad Libitum! Towards a Poetics and Politics of Silence,” and my talk will be entitled “Toward a Political Theology of Silence.” More details about the event can be found here. After I have delivered the address, I will post the transcript on the An und für sich blog and update this post with a link.

UPDATE: The text of the lecture can be found here.