Week 4: Saussure and Bakhtin, Foucault and Barthes

This week we started hitting our stride with our class discussions, and I hope we can maintain (and even improve) the high quality of these conversations. Those of you who are skipping or skimming the reading assignments, please get back on track this week. In order for this class to work, all of us need to show up prepared to say something interesting about the texts we’ve read. Completing the readings will be even more important next week, as we dive into some complicated theoretical texts. Prepare to have your minds blown in the following fashion:

  • On Tuesday, we will discuss “Nature of the Linguistic Sign,” by Ferdinand de Saussure [PNR 3–15], and “Toward a Methodology for the Human Sciences,” by Mikhail Bakhtin [PNR 63–74]. Elisabeth will lead our discussion, and Stephen and J.R. will take notes.
  • On Thursday, we will read “What Is an Author?” by Michel Foucault [PRN 178–93], and “The Death of the Author,” by Roland Barthes [linked on the Readings page]. Ryan will lead our discussion, and Nicole and Meg will take notes.

As we discussed in class on Thursday, your first short paper is due in ten days, on February 14. Please review the assignment details and come talk to me during office hours if you’d like some help settling on a topic for your paper.

Finally, remember that now is the time to start contributing to pages on the RhetorClick wiki. If you have led a discussion or taken notes in class, you should try to add or edit any pages related to your topic. Even if you haven’t taken an official role in our class discussions, you should feel free to add material from your personal notes and research to the wiki. We will start pursuing a more formal wiki assignment in a few weeks, and you should be comfortable editing the wiki by then.

Comments are closed.