HUMS 361, Game of Thrones and the Theory of Sovereignty

Meeting Time: 
MW 9am-10:15am

Course Description:

Introduction to the classical and modern theory of sovereignty in the context of G.R.R. Martin’s popular Game of Thrones series and, secondarily, the television series. Although A Song of Ice and Fire is not a work of German literature, it addresses theoretical and literary‐historical discourses prominent in the German context. Emphasis on literary and theoretical analysis; literature as a testing ground for theory and theory as an analytical framework for evaluating literary and cultural depictions; questioning the basis of the contemporary relevance and popularity of Martin’s fictional universe in light of questions of tragedy, individual agency, myth (vs. history, modernity), realism (vs. fantasy), environmental catastrophe and geopolitics.

Students previously enrolled in GMAN 051 are not eligible to enroll in this course.

Led by:

Professor Kirk Wetters

Kirk’s current research continues to pursue the intertwined genealogies of literary and critical theory in connection to questions of method in the humanities and social sciences. Under the thematic heading of “illegitimacy,” recent research and teaching have focused on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Herman Melville, J. J. Bachofen, Max Weber, Georg Lukács, Arnold Schoenberg, Paul Kammerer, Karl Löwith, Heimito von Doderer, Theodor W. Adorno, Hans Blumenberg, Nicolaus Sombart, Giorgio Agamben. A second ongoing project focuses on travel writing, historical fiction and biography; authors include Georg Forster, Goethe, Adalbert Stifter, Stefan Zweig, Hermann Broch, and Christoph Ransmayr.