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Being Human: A Political History

HIS 427/CHV 427

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Few political gestures are as ubiquitous or powerful as the appeal to our common "humanity." But a politics based on the human self (or, as it once was, "man") has often been accused of harboring limitations or prejudices that undercut its claim to be universal. More recently, the priority accorded to humans has been brought into question by studies into the cognitive and emotive capabilities of other animals, and developments in computing. In this course, we will examine the emergence of the human self as a master concept of politics, and we will also track the criticisms made by feminists, anti-colonial writers, and animal rights activists.
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Section S01