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  • How can we understand the idea of the road trip as both an invitation to and a product of photography? What counts as a road trip? What’s recovered, celebrated, critiqued, and obscured in road trip photography? How has road trip photography responded to the changing dynamics of power and visibility in the American landscape?
  • What is the meaning of being? Martin Heidegger, one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, believed that this central question of ontology had been abandoned, even forgotten, by philosophy. Heidegger devoted his entire intellectual life to attempting to answer it. His earliest attempt takes the form of what he calls a “fundamental ontology.”
  • Greek myth stands at the origin of “Western” thought about the nature of the cosmos, the divine, the heroic, and the human. The myths, so familiar to the modern reader yet so uncanny, present a cosmological order that answers to the deepest questions of human experience: What is the origin of everything—of the universe, the gods, and humans? How, out of primal chaos, do we arrive at ideas of time, the seasons, and labor? How can we understand and articulate the origins and meaning of collective life, justice, and social structure and emotion?
  • What are the political dimensions and ethical imperatives of autotheory? In what ways does writing from lived experience make possible new ways of theorizing? What demands does autotheory make on the reader in terms of engaging with—or bearing witness to—a life unlike one’s own? How does autotheory metabolize theory, transform the literary, or dissolve distinctions among all genres of writing? How might autotheory provide an exercise in reading differently, or even inhabiting the world differently?
  • Madwomen, ghosts, witches, monsters—the gothic genre has long been a vehicle for representing female characters deemed too transgressive for inclusion in “respectable” fiction. Indeed, much of what makes the gothic dark and mysterious, what inspires dread, is how it reckons with thwarted female autonomy, repressed desire, and past injustice. It’s no wonder the genre has proved so fruitful for feminist theory: in its tales and archetypes, the Gothic offers a powerful means for exploring key topics in feminist thought, from capitalism, reproduction, and race to sexuality, rage, and freedom.

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