The Politics of Authenticity

Subject code


Course Number



Department/Program Faculty

Course Long Title

The Politics of Authenticity

Cross Listed Courses


Is there such a thing as an authentic self? If so, can politics help us realize it? In this writing-attentive course, students discuss what the politics of authenticity is or might be, how it has been conceptualized in American politics and Western political theory, and why it has become an object of widespread suspicion and continuing appeal. Students examine how authenticity has been posited and contested in three different domains: in the history of Western political thought; in feminist, queer, and transgender writings; and in discussions of race. Authors include Rousseau, Freud, Butler, Malcolm X, Yoshino, and Coates.

Modes of Inquiry

Analysis and Critique [AC], Historical and Social Inquiry [HS]

Writing Credit


Departmental Course Attributes - Major/Minor Requirements

(PLTC: Identities & Interests), (PLTC: Phil., Lit., Legal St.)

INDS Program Relationship

IDGS - GSS Program

GEC This Course Belongs To


Class Restriction

Exclude First Years