The goal of this course is to provide a thorough examination of the concept of personhood in the 20th century by studying how it has been portrayed and understood in diverse cultural contexts across Arabic, English, and Francophone cultures. Through the use of comparative analysis and an interdisciplinary approach to cultural artifacts–such as works of literature, art, and religious texts as well as current debates around AI and personhood–students will explore how different cultures have approached the question of what it means to be a person and how this has evolved over time. By the end of the course, students will have a deeper comprehension of the various ways in which personhood has been created and perceived throughout different cultural and historical contexts.
The impact of historical occurrences and cultural movements on the construction of personhood, the influence of religion and politics or the fictional writing on conceptions of personhood, the representation of personhood in literature and art, and the emergence of AI as a new frontier in the investigation of personhood are some of the major topics covered in the course. This will open up new discussion topics about posthuman beings and persona status, particularly in science fiction.Learn More