Spring 2019

Stockholm Syndrome: Terror, Sympathy, Love

, 4 pts, UN3602


Why would the 1973 bank robbery that launched the term “Stockholm Syndrome” be invoked as an antecedent for a 2017 terror attack? How is it that talk about terrorism always seem to incite anxiety over errant sympathies, as per the adage “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter”? This course explores how that which is done and said around terrorism over the course of the modern era has regimented our possibility of “feeling with” others, focusing particularly on the notion of sympathy developed by Adam Smith and David Hume in their seminal thinking about modern sociality. If every sentiment has a history, as Michel Foucault holds, what might a reading of terror, through sympathy, tell us about the shifting bounds of politics, kinship and love in the contemporary moment? The course will explore such questions through consideration of primary sources from across a range of historical eras and regions, including Europe, the Middle East, the Subcontinent, Africa, the Caribbean, and the US. We will consider contemporary films, newspaper accounts, novels and historical archival material - alongside weekly readings from anthropology, history, philosophy and literary criticism. Teaching will be case-driven, asking students to respond to events and questions raised in the primary material, and will sustain a number of interlocking themes across the semester. In tackling their readings students will help each other think critically about contemporary issues of global import, while also exploring or re-engaging - in the case of advanced students - longstanding anthropological concerns with selfhood and sociality; the taboo and the queer; violence and law; governance and expertise drawing on canonical as well as contemporary texts. One 1 hour 50 min seminar will be given each week, which will include a lecture, student commentaries, and engaged in-class group discussions.

Section Number
Call Number
Day, Time & Location
W 2:10pm-4:00pm 401 Hamilton Hall
Peter O Lagerqvist