Homer (and the Internet)

New School for Social Research: Philosophy

Liberal Arts
Graduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Homer (and the Internet)
Fall 2023
Taught By: Gwen Grewal
Section: A

CRN: 16065

Credits: 3

This course will focus on a close philosophical reading of Homer’s Odyssey. We will also think through an unexpected parallel between the Greek oral tradition and the rhapsodic qualities of the Internet. In both, the receding horizon of the source changes how we think of words and authors, for the agent behind the speaking (or singing) seems untraceable, veiled in a Muse, a god, or Odysseus' most storied username, "no one." Plato is an interesting case in this regard. He lived during a transitional period in Athens, not unlike the one we occupy now. Then, an oral tradition had newly turned to writing; now, the written word is becoming winged and crowdsourced. The question here is not only whether we find ourselves in the analogue of an ancient state, but also if we can think through where we are headed by understanding what becomes thinkable and unthinkable in a turn to writing. In addition to the Odyssey, we will read Homer’s Iliad, Plato’s Ion and Plato’s Phaedrus, alongside a selection of readings on oral histories, “secondary orality,” and Ancient Greek song culture as a way to alêtheia, “truth.”

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Philosophy (PHI)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:46am EDT 9/28/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday
Times: 8:00pm - 9:50pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 1107
Date Range: 8/28/2023 - 12/11/2023