The emergence of the ‘modern world’, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, greatly expanded the possibility of a viable large-scale politics of recognition; however, these advances also produced antagonisms of their own. Drawing on diverse theoretical and literary resources, this course will explore the unfolding of often devastating consequences resulting from these blind spots, especially regarding state power and individual agency, the problem of freedom and notions of community. Particular areas of focus will include colonization and post-colonialism, revolution and war, mid-century and later feminism, gender studies and alienation in post-modernity. The syllabus includes contributions by Simone de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon, Chinua Achebe, Maria Campbell, bell hooks and Arthur Koestler.