Ruth O'Brien

Professor, Editor, Author – Out of Many, One: Obama & the 3rd American Political Tradition – (content reflects my academic freedom & personal freedom of thought)

General Core Course — Power, Resistance, Identities & Social Movements


Professor Ruth O’Brien

Office: 5200.01


This is a core or general course for the Political Science Ph.D. & M.A. Program, designed as a template for the now required core course for all M.A. students, and strongly encouraged for all Ph.D. students their firs semester.  This CORE course studies individual forms of socially constructed identity (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and humanness), intersectional forms of identity (e.g., race and gender) and collective forms of identity (.e.g., labor, citizenship, social movements).    It explores how these identities affect power and resistance as understood by contemporary philosophers such as Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, and cultural studies theorists Stuart Hall, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, among others.


  1. Complete assigned readings before each class. Please distribute an approximately 2 page written summary outline of the reading via our seminar group email list to help initiate discussions. These summaries, and classroom participation, will account for 25% of your final grade.
  1. The remainder of the grade stems from a 25-page paper and presentation at the end of the semester. The presentation should be similar to a professional conference presentation in that the research should be completed in advance, though the paper can be polished and turned in after the presentation. The paper topic will vary, in accordance with your standing/ and or seniority in the program. An outline of the paper topic you select should be discussed with me; and mutually agreed upon as suitable for the seminar.

Books & Articles:

All books are on reserve or suggested, but not required for purchase (some key books in recommended section are also on reserve)

All articles are available through Project Muse unless specified.

Part I:


1. Introduction

2. Dominant or Corrupt? Karl Marx & Alexis DeTocqueville Theories of Revolution


Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach (

Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution (New York: Anchor Books (1955) – Translated by Stuart Gilbert or any edition) book 1 (all) and book 3 (chapters 7 & 8).

3. Hegemony: Economies of Violence and Happy Slaves

Machiavelli PRINCE

W. F. Hegel, Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, trans. T. M. Knox (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), 15, 18, 20, 30, 32, 39, 48, 53, 68, 162, 221, 241, 261

G.W. F. Hegel, The Philosophy of History, trans. J. Sibree (New York: Dover Publications, 1956), 229-30, 254-55, 256, 262, 287, 300, 301, 309, 312, 315-16, 334, 339 (pp references where Hegel analyzes forms of domination and work, distinguishing between classical slavery and medieval serfdom).

Antonio, Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, Edited and translated by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: International, 1971), 123-205.

4. Foucault: Productive Power & Freedom

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison Trans. Alan

Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1977), Part I, chp. 1, “The Body of the Condemned”;  Book 3, chp 2 “The Means of Correct Training” and “Panopticism;” and  Book 4, chp 2, “The Carceral.

Gilles Deleuze, Foucault, (University of Minnesota Press, 1986) chapter on Discipline & Punish or pps. 23-44

Eugene Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (New York: Vintage, 1974), Part 1

Part II:


5. Spinozian & Arendtian Ethics & Power

Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (University of Chicago Press, 1998), chp 1, chp 3 sections 11-16, chapter, sections 22-23, chapter 5 sections 24-26, chapter 6 sections 35-38

Baruch Spinoza, Ethics, Complete Works Trans. Samuel Shirley. Ed. Michael L. Morgan. (Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co., 2002), 2nd part, prop 18; 3rd part prop 9; 4th Part proposition 35-40

Katherine Adams, “At the Table with Arendt: Toward a Self-Interested Practice of Coalition Discourse,” 17 Hypatia (2002) (project muse search)

 6. Deleuze & Guttarri

Deleuze, Gilles, Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza Trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Zone Books, 1992), Part 1, 4-5: Part II 10-11 & 17-19

Hardt, Michael, Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press, 1993) ebook read chps 3-4

Nick Nesbitt, “The Expulsion of the Negative: Deleuze, Adorno, and the Ethics of Internal Difference“ SubStance 34 (2005): 75-97

Part III.


 7. Intersections & Social Constructions

Nancy J. Hirschmann, The Subject of Liberty: Toward a Feminist Theory of Freedom (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003), intro or chapter 1.

Denise James, “Theorizing Black Feminist Pragmatism: Forethoughts on the Practice and Purpose of Philosophy as Envisioned by Black Feminists and John Dewey,” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 23 (2009): 92-99

Colleen Mack-Canty, “Third-Wave Feminism and the Need to Reweave the Nature/Culture Duality,” NWSA 16 (2004); 154-79

Gloria Anzaldua, This Bridge Called my Back The Gloria Anzaldua Reader (Duke University Press, 2009) (Have PDF to send)

8. Race & Ethnic Identity Cultural Studies & Citizenship and Other isms

Stuart Hall, “Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms.” Media, Culture, and Society 2 (1980): 57-

Joan Wallach Scott The Veil (Princeton University Press, 2007), chapter 1

Part IV. Theories of Freedom/Resistance

9. Foucault in Action

Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977 , chps. 6-7.

10. Resisting Globally/Locally between, and among Nations?

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire. (New York: Penguin, 2004), pps. 1-95 (part 1).

Zahi Zalloua, “The Future of an Ethics of Difference after Hardt and Negri’s Empire,” symploke 16 (2008): 127-52

Part V. Social Movements & Ideas in (Re)Action Ideas – Social Movements & Resistance

11. Social Movements: The Normate, Multiple & Collective Identities, & Resistance

 Jeff Conant, A Poetic of Resistance: The Revolutionary Public Relations of the Zapista Insurgency (AK Press, 2010), chapter 1, 5 (will scan, if not on reserve)

Ruth O’Brien, Bodies in Revolt: Gender, Disability, and a Workplace Ethic of Care (Routledge, 2005), chapter 1

Meryl Altman, “Beauvoir, Hegel, War,” Hypatia 22 (2007): 66-91

12. Ideas, Rhetoric, Narratives, & Social Movements

Philip Gould, “Revisiting the ‘Feminization’ of American Culture, Introduction,” Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 11(1999-2000): i-xii

Amanda Emerson, “From Equivalence to Equity: The Management of an American Myth,” Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 14 (2005): 78-105

David Farrell Krell, “Bodies of Black Folk: From Kant and Hegel to Du Bois and Baldwin,” Boundary 27 (2000): 103-34

Kenneth Stikkers, “An Outline of Methodological Afrocentrism, with Particular Application to the Thought of W.E. DuBois,” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 22 (2008) 40-49

Part VI. Presentations

13 & 14


(*organized roughly by topic)

Moira Gatens and Genevieve Lloyd, Collective Imaginings: Spinoza, Past and Present (New York: Routledge 1999)

Aglaia Kiarina Kordela, “Marx’s Update of Cultural Theory,” Cultural Critique, 65 (2007): 43-66.

Michel Foucault, “The Ethics of Care for the Self as a Practice of Freedom,” The Final Foucault Eds. James Bernauer and David Rasmussen (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1988), 1-20.

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Harvard University Press, 2000).

James C. Davies, “Toward a Theory of Revolution,” American Sociological Review 27 (1962); 5-19.

Cheryl Welch DeTocqueville (Oxford University Press, 2001).

Seyla Benhabib, Another Cosmopolitanism (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Seyla Benhabib, The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era (Princeton University Press, 2002).

Rosemary Garland Thomson, Extraordinary bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature (Columbia University Press, 1996).

Andre Codescru, The Post Dada Human Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess (Princeton University Press, 2009).

Marlon Bryan Ross, “Pleasuring Identity, or the Delicious Politics of Belonging,” New Literary History, 31 (2000): 827-50.

Donald E. Pease, “After the Tocqueville Revival; or, Te Return of the Political,” boundary 26 (1999): 87-114.

 Resources on Tocqueville

James Livingston, “’Marxism’ and the Politics of History: Reflections on the Work of Eugene D.Genovese,” Radical History Review 88 (2004): 30-48.

Sheldon S. Wolin, Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought, (Enlarged Edition, Princeton University Press, 2004).

Perry Anderson, “The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci,” New Left Review 100 (1975-76): 5–78.

Shelon Wolin, “Machiavelli and the Politics and Economy of Violence,” in Wolin, ed., Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought (New York, 1960).

John McCormick,“Machiavellian Democracy: Controlling Elites with Ferocious Populism,” American Political Science Review 95 (June 2001): 297-314.

Timohy J. Lukes, “Lionizing Machiavelli,” American Political Science Review, 95 (2001): 561-75.

Mark Poster, Existential Marxism in Postwar France: From Sartre to Althusser (Princeton University Press, 1975).

Michael S. Roth, Knowing and History: Appropriations of Hegel in Twentieth-Century France (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1988).

Judith Butler, Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987).

Shadia B. Drury, Alexandre Kojève: The Roots of Postmodern Politics (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan, 1994).

Andrew Cole, “What Hegel’s Master/Slave Dialectic Really Mean,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 34 (2004): 577-610.

Walter L. Adamson, Hegemony and Revolution: A Study of Antonio Gramsci’s Cultural and Political Theory (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press (1980).

Perry Anderson, “The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci,” New Left Review 100 (1976-77): 5–78.

Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality. Vol. I & 2. New York: Vintage Books, 1978, & Michel Foucault, “Technologies of the Self,” Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. Essential Works of Foucault 1954-84. Vol. 1. Ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: New P, 1997), 223-51.

Michel Foucault, “What is Enlightenment?” The Foucault Reader Trans. Catherine Porter.

Ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon, 1984) 32-50.

Brady Thomas Heiner, “The Passions of Michel Foucault,” differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 14 (2003): 22-52.

Claire Colebrook, “The Sense of Space: On the Specificity of Affect in Deleuze and Guattari, Postmodern Culture 15 (2004).

Antonio Negri, The Savage Anomaly: The Power of Spinoza’s Metaphysics and Politics Trans. Michael Hardt (University of Minnesota Press, 1991).

Judith Butler, “Politics, Power and Ethics: A Discussion between Judith Butler and William Connolly,” Theory & Event 4 (2000).

Stephane Symons, “Deleuze and the Various Faces of the Outside,” theory & event 9 (2006).

Slavoj Žižek, “Organs without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences,” (Routledge, 2004).

Gilles Deleuze, “Kant: Synthesis and Time,” lecture of 14 March 1978 trans. Melissa McMahon on the web at 1/6/2004.

Stuart Hall, “Cultural Identity and Diaspora.” Identity, Community, Culture, Difference. Ed. Jonathon Rutherford (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1990), 222-37.

Peter Hallward, “Deleuze and the ‘World without Others.’” Philosophy Today (1997): 530-44.

Nicholas Brown and Imre Szeman. “The Global Coliseum: On Empire: AnInterview with Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri,” Cultural Studies 16(2002): 177-92.

Nicholas Brown and Imre Szeman “What is the Multitude? Questions for Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri,” Cultural Studies 19 (2005): 372-87.

Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice (Harvard University Press, 1993).

Susan Stanford Friedman, “Periodizing Modernism: Postcolonial Modernities and th Space/Time Borders of Modernist Studies,” Modernism/Modernity 13 (2006): 425-43.

Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment (Routledge, 2008, 1990).

Lynn Huffer, “Foucault’s Ethical Ars Erotica,” SubStance 38 (2009): 125-47.

Ian Hacking, The social construction of what? (Harvard University Press, 1999).

Allison Weir, “Home and Identity: In Memory of Iris Marion Young,” Hypatia 23 (2008): 4-21.

Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (New York: Routledge, 1994).

Homi K. Bhabha, “Statement for the Critical Inquiry Board Symposium.” Critical Inquiry 30.2 (2003): 342-49.

Ernesto Laclau, “Can Immanence Explain Social Struggles?” Empire’s New Clothes: Reading Hardt and Negri Eds. Paul A. Passavant and Jodi Dean (New York: Routledge, 2004).

Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politic. Trans. Winston Moore and Paul Cammack (London: Verso, 1985).

Colleen M. Tremonte, and Linda Racioppi, “At the Interstices: Postcolonial Literary Studies Meets International Relations,” Pedagogy 8 (2008): 43-73.

Tasleem J. Padamsee, “Culture in Connection: Re-Contextualizing Ideational Processes in the Analysis of Policy Development,” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society 16 (2009): 413-45.

Pelagia Goulimari, “’Myriad Little Connections’: Minoritarian Movements in the Postmodernist Debate,” Postmodern Culture 14 (2004).

Anne Norton, 95 Theses on Politics, Culture, & Method and The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences.

Anne Norton, “Seeing in the Dark,” Theory & Event 10 (2007).

Michael J. Shapiro, “After Kant: Re-thinking Hermeneutics and Aesthetics The Good Society 15 (2006) 7-10.

Clifford Geertz, The Integrative Revolution: Primordial Sentiments and Civil Politics in New States. In The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 255-311.

Anna Marie Smith, “Missing Poststructuralism, Missing Foucault: Butler and Fraser on Capitalisman the Regulation of Sexuality,” Social Text 19 (2001): 103-25.

Jenny Reardon, “Decoding Race and Human Difference in a Genomic Age,” differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 15 (2004): 38-65.

Ned Curthoys, “The Émigré Sensibility of ‘World-Literature’: Historicizing Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers’ Cosmopolitan Intent,” Theory & Event 8 (2005).

Srimati Basu, “V Is for Veil, V Is for Ventriloquism: Global Feminisms in The Vagina Monologues,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 31 (2010): 31-62.

Janice Peck, “Itinerary of a Thought: Stuart Hall, Cultural Studies, and the Unresolved Problem of the Relation of Culture to ‘Not Culture,’” Cultural Critique 48 (2001): 200-49.

Michael Hardt, “Jefferson and Democracy,” American Quarterly 59 (2007): 41-78.

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