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Jean Baudrillard

Lecturer: Ashley Woodward

Originally Taught: Summer School 2004

Jean Baudrillard is one of the most controversial and exciting figures in recent theory; his thought has made a significant impact on the arts and popular culture as well as on many disciplines in the humanities. This course will provide an introductory overview of Baudrillard’s thought, from his early writings on consumer society and symbolic exchange, through his most famous works on simulation, seduction, and the hyperreal, to his most recent work on impossible exchange. Baudrillard’s writings are open to a variety of conflicting interpretations, and to reflect this difficulty we will take a dialogical approach to some of the teaching in this course, engaging in discussions of certain short texts. As well as exploring the strange “logic” of Baudrillard’s thought, we will consider the implications it has for our understanding of art, culture and politics in the world today. We will also cover some of Baudrillard’s most recent points of interest, from his relationship to The Matrix movies to his interpretation of the meaning of September 11.