The Abdication of Ecstasy – madness, mysticism, writing and experience

New School for Social Research: Philosophy

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)

The Abdication of Ecstasy

Fall 2020

Taught By: Simon Critchley

Section: A

CRN: 8686

Credits: 3

This will be an experimental and experiential seminar in the proper sense, which is linked to an emergent area of my research. My concern is with the poverty of contemporary experience and how that misery can be transformed with a wealth of words that might permit to push against the pressure of reality and allow a richness of life and a possible transfiguration of self and world, a kind of ecstasy. I will work with a series of cases: J.A. Baker’s amazing The Peregrine, which is an object lesson in observation, experience and transformation; a number of works by Anne Carson, Annie Dillard and Samuel Beckett, the poetry of Wallace Stevens and T.S. Eliot, and the 'radical empiricism' of William James. Two central and important foci will be the relation of writing to the experience of ‘madness’ and ontological insecurity in the work of R.D. Laing, especially The Divided Self; and the relation of writing to spiritual experience in the work of the important medieval mystical writer, Julian of Norwich, who might well be the heroine of this seminar.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Philosophy (GPHI)

Campus: Online (DL)

Sync Type: N/A

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: September 14, 2020 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 22, 2020 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five 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: 2:41am 11/26/2020 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Wednesday

Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm

Building: Online Course

Date Range: 9/2/2020 - 12/16/2020