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Independent Reading Groups

Winter 2012 series

Friedrich Schlegel and the Politics of Irony

The goal of this group will be to explore the writings of 19th century German Romantic Friedrich Schlegel with a view to understanding the genesis and implications of irony. By irony, Schlegel has in mind something far beyond a literary trope; indeed, the idea here seems to be closer to a Socratic or existential irony, something performed as an incomprehensible combination of opposite elements. After delving into this widened sense of ‘the ironic’, we will also go on to explore some of the possible ethical effects of such a stance. This reading group will be of interest primarily to those interested in philosophy, literary theory, cultural studies and political science. It will also be an excellent way to lead up the conference on The Art and Politics of Irony, to be held at McGill and the Université de Montréal in April 2012.


steven [dot] sych [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Contact): Mark Algee-Hewitt (English) and Steven Sych (Philosophy)
Meetings: Mondays, 11:30am-1:00pm: 16, 30 January; 13, 27 February; 12, 26, 28 March
3610 McTavish St., room 21-6