The Contemporary is a focal group dedicated to the study of recent innovative works in literature and the arts as they touch on social, political, and philosophical concerns of our era. Building on and expanding the theoretical framework offered by thinkers as Hannah Arendt, Paul Rabinow, or Giorgio Agamben, we seek to trace the capacity of the artistic imagination to broaden the vocabulary with which we address contemporary challenges to freedom and to meaningful action. To earn the unit, undergraduate and graduate students should attend the workshops held by the focal group and contribute one substantive response during the year. This can come in the form of an individual discussion with one of the two lead faculty, 1,500 words of contribution to the focal group's online platforms, or a presentation to the group itself. May be repeated for credit.