CL 382: Kristeva and Žižek Read Lacan:

The Subject, Agency, and the Symbolic Order in Recent Theory

Fall, 2007 [Unique # 34005; TTH3:30-5; MEZ 1.210

Katherine Arens


  1. 4 Precis = 4 x 5 % = 20% of grade
    Due on date Indicated; for directions, see attached.

  2. 5-10 Wikipedia entries in the class theory wiki = 25% of Grade
    Wiki URL:

    Entries are on things like:
    • concepts (across each of the thinkers, or within one thinker's development)
    • relations between the thinkers we are treating, and between them and others
    • reception of these in specific contexts/ countries / disciplines
    • translations
    • uses of any of the above in specific disciplines
    For a description of content quality standards, see attached description.

    Note that the content of these pages requires you to:
    • draw from our readings (which is why we will discuss what needs to be on a page)
    • research Lacanianism/ Kristeva / Zizek in the professional databases of secondary literature (e.g. MLA Bibliography, Philosopher's Index, etc., depending on your project)
    • write straightforward definitions and arguments, with substantiation
    • "teach" by the commentaries in your documentation and links, to locate where the topic belongs and to place it in a framework of its significance

    GRADING: I will be lenient on the grading, as long as effort is put forth. "5-10" entries is a sliding scale. Remember that Wiki has a history of edits page, which will be the basis for my grading. A substantial bibliographic contribution (primary texts, secondary texts, online sources, links), in the correct form and with appropriate annotation, to an existing page counts as one; writing the basic dictionary-type or encyclopedia-type entry may be easy, but it needs sources and documentation; editing such breaking the wiki page into subtopics (editing, reorganizing, flagging with significant queries, etc..) constitutes a substantial contribution.
    NOTE THAT CLASS AUDITORS WILL BE EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE AT LEAST 5 WIKI ENTRIES as the cost of entry to the class, so that you support the class environment.

  3. Final project: Annotated Bibliography = 40% of grade
    An annotated bibliography of approximately 30-40 items, taking these theorists in any direction suiting your project(s) and interest(s).
    The goal is to have you establish an appropriate bibliography for further study in these areas, or for the work you need to do as part of a present project. Remember that annotations can happen for groups of items, and that annotations tell WHY it's there, they are NOT book reports. Note that some of this will happen as you do your Wiki entries.
    For information On Compiling an Annotated Bibliography, see this book by James L. Harner, published by the MLA ( Members get a discount. Everyone in a language department should be a member.
    CR/NC students need to do 20-30 items only.

  4. Final Application: Abstract = 15% of grade (not required for CR/NC) Design and submit a 250-500 word abstract for a project (conference paper, dissertation chapter, article) that employs the class theories to a case study. See for a handout on talks and abstracts.
    Be sure you specify:
    • what your abstract is for (paper, chapter, article)
    • all materials to be used, including correct MLA bibliography attached at end
    • data, method, and goal of your argument -- what you are going to argue, why, how, and why I should care.