The Power of Social Imaginaries: Making Sense of the Political Today

New School for Social Research: Sociology

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)

Social Imaginaries

Summer 2021

Taught By: Elzbieta Matynia

Section: A

CRN: 2630

Credits: 3

"What has happened to that revolutionary imaginary that emerged in 1989, the one that promised comprehensive systemic change without bloodshed, and became a site of tangible hope wherever unfreedom and political violence still reigned? Are today's reversals of democracy a necessary outcome of the alienation caused by today’s representative mode of democracy that relies on experts, incumbents, and money? Would not an exploration of shifting social imaginaries -- those collective interpretive frameworks -- help us make sense of the political and the social today? This forward-looking seminar is organized around three sets of discussions, which examine the factors that made it possible for hope to take root in the first place; those that have facilitated both the unprecedented setbacks to democracy and the growing appeal of its alternatives; and those factors that sustain the promise of a reclaiming of democracy. We will examine the emergence of an infrastructure of public hope and its association with the performativity of democratic politics; we will discuss factors that led to the gradual dismantling of a shared narrative, such as the instrumentalization of public memory, history, and imagi-nation; and finally, we shall focus on the notion of the public square and explore the possibilities for a renewal of the political. The readings will include Cornelius Castoriadis, CharlesTaylor, Hannah Arendt, Thomas Mann, Paul Ricoeur, Vaclav Havel, Chantal Mouffe, Judith Butler, Jacques Ranciere, Adam Michnik, Bernard Crick, Achille Mbembe, and Olga Tokarczuk."

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Sociology (GSOC)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 10

Add/Drop Deadline: July 6, 2021 (Tuesday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: July 15, 2021 (Thursday)

Seats Available: Yes

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: 12:10pm 10/17/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Times: 9:00am - 10:30am

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 7/6/2021 - 7/19/2021