Course Details

POSC 276: Imagination in Politics: Resisting Totalitarianism

Ideological fanaticism is on the rise today. Individuals prefer the incantation of slogans and clichés to autonomous thinking, moderation, and care for the diversity and complexity of circumstances and of human beings. The results are the inability to converse across differences and the tendency to ostracize and exclude others in the name of tribal and populist nationalism, as well as of racism. Hannah Arendt called totalitarianism this form of ideological hypnosis, which characterizes not only totalitarian political regimes, but can also colonize liberal-democracies. In this class we will read some of the works of Arendt to better understand the power of imagination to enhance critical and independent thinking and resist totalitarianism.
6 credits; HI, IS; Not offered 2021-2022