We plan to offer these seminars during the 2017 Winter Session.
English 500 will introduce first-year MA students to graduate-level research procedures and professional practices. The course will take the form of seminars and guest lectures that will cover a range of topics. Research- and course-related topics will include applying for grants, building bibliographies, practices of annotation and citation, archival research, and conceptualizing and writing a Master's thesis. Professional topics, such as how to present at conferences and how to apply for PhD programs, will also be covered.
There is currently no description available for this section of ENGL 500
Studies in the Twentieth Century
Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
“Neither of us are English, we’re Londoners you see”
--Sammy, in Hanif Kureishi’s Sammy and Rosie Get Laid
This course will attempt to chart the urban and fictional landscape of the former imperial metropolis and conceptualize a London uneasily situated at the intersection of the material and the imaginary. We will read, watch, and listen to a selection of novels (Monica Ali, Brick Lane; Martin Amis, Money; Allan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty; Sam Selvon, Lonely Londoners; Iain Sinclair, London Orbital; Zadie Smith, NW; Rose Tremain, The Road Home); poetry (by Linton Kwesi Johnson); screenplays and films (Hanif Kureishi, My Beautiful Laundrette and Sammy and Rosie Get Laid; Derek Jarman, Jubilee; Patrick Keeler, London; Mike Leigh, High Hopes); photographs (by Gilbert and George); and recordings (by The Clash and others), and through these address such issues as the representation of space in former imperial, now global, centers, and the processes of change (cultural, social, political, aesthetic) that such representations both respond to and produce.
We will debate the extent to which these fictions of London are intimately bound up not only with migrant and diasporic, colonial and postcolonial identities, but also with increasing, and in some instances highly troubled, political and cultural ties to Europe and America. Our aim will be to consider London as a complex and conflicted space of intercultural exchange where social and material inequalities are constantly challenged and resisted in imaginative representations within both literary and popular cultural forms.
Studies in Poetry
Mondays 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
This seminar will explore the development, importance and popularity of the long poem in the modern period originating with Homer and Dante and continuing with Whitman, Pound, Eliot, Williams, Crane, Stevens, Ginsberg, Olson, Ashbery, Merrill and Anne Carson. Attention to the expansion of the long poem in relation to the efficacy of the epic in the modern period, with particular attention to American poets, will be matched by a shift to experimentation and the emergence of the confessional form (Whitman, Pound, Lowell, Ashbery). The attraction of the long poem to poets and readers will be considered, as well as the undoing of its form from a more conventional structure (re Dryden, Tennyson or Browning) to something new. What happened when Pound edited The Waste Land? Do The Cantos have a structure? Is there a system to Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems? Did Allen Ginsberg’s Howl re-make the long poem? Can the traditional form of the long poem as presented in the 17th,18th or 19th centuries contain the experiences it seeks to convey in the 20th or 21st?
A series of critical questions will drive the course: what does the long poem accomplish and why do they continue? Is a poetic sequence a long poem? Are multiple voices necessary? Can a single narrative sustain a long poem? Is Ashbery’s Flow Chart as structurally significant as Anne Carson’s The Autobiography of Red? Poetic concerns such as voice, imagery, structure, metre and theme will be of primary importance, as well as the influence of prose on the construction of the long poem. Is the novel responsible for the continuation or decline of the long poem? These and other questions will frame the course which will present a range of American authors and works such as Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” Pound’s The Pisan Canto, Ginsberg’s Howl and Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red. Secondary readings to include work by William Carlos Williams, Susan Howe, and James Merrill, all shadowed by Homer and Dante.
Studies in Literature and the Other Arts
Thursdays 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Conceptual structures participate in meaning construction in a variety of artifacts. Our understanding of language, in everyday communication, cultural artifacts, as well as in literature, is governed by principles rooted in cognition - in the way we conceptualize the world around us. In processing language we are not simply relying on the meanings of words and on the use of grammatical structure. More accurately, we are using language expressions as prompts for mental construction of meanings.
In the course, we will study theories of communication and cognition (conceptual metaphor, blending, multimodal interaction) which offer new ways of analyzing the construction of meaning, in various contexts. We will apply the theories to a range of phenomena, especially those which participate in the expression of viewpoint. We will start with literary narratives and viewpoint forms in grammar, to then move on to the discussion of theatre and film. We will further consider visual artifacts (street art and advertising) and forms of on-line communication, such as memes. Students will familiarize themselves with the methodologies, to then apply the concepts they are interested in in the area of communication of their choice. Students are encouraged to explore various areas of usage, literary or non-literary, to uncover the interpretive potential of the theories in focus and develop their own research projects.
Readings include a variety of scholarly articles and book chapters on cognitive approaches to figurative language, narrative, theatre, and visual artifacts. There will be no assigned literary texts, though there will be a number of examples to be discussed in class, to model informative analyses.
Studies in Rhetoric
Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
This course aims for students to learn how to do rhetorical criticism through the lens of technology studies. Readings will be drawn primarily from the fields of rhetorical criticism and Science and Technology Studies [STS]. The course will begin with a survey of methodologies in traditional, text-based rhetorical criticism. Readings might include articles such as Walter Ong’s “Writing is a Technology that Restructures Thought,” and Gordon Mitchell’s “Placebo Defense: Operation Desert Mirage? The Rhetoric of Patriot Missile Accuracy in the 1991 Persian Gulf War,” and Jenny Edbauer Rice’s “Rhetoric’s Mechanics: Retooling the Equipment of Writing Production.” Then the course will shift into examining both older and contemporary forays into the rhetoric of technology, or the ways that people argue, debate, advocate and dissent against technologies. Readings might include articles such as Mark Moore’s “Life, Liberty, and the Handgun,” and Peter Lyman’s “Information Superhighways, Virtual Communities, and Digital Libraries.” Along the way, students will also learn about the visual rhetoric of technologies with writings such as Robert Hariman’s and John Lucaites’s “Liberal Representation and Global Order: The Iconic Photograph from Tiananmen Square.” The latter portion of the course will consider ways that technologies are persuasive both by themselves and in assemblages with people. Readings will draw on contemporary rhetorical criticism, such as Laurie Gries’s “Dingrhetoriks,” Scot Barnett’s “Chiasms: Pathos, Phenomenology, and Object-Oriented Rhetorics,” and excerpts from Krista Kennedy’s Textual Curation: Authorship, Agency, and Technology in Wikipedia and the Chambers’ Cyclopedia, as well as STS scholarship that takes up current interests in object-oriented philosophies, new materialism, and assemblage theory by the likes of Jane Bennett, Bruno Latour, and Timothy Morton.
Studies in Old English
Fridays 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
In the face of ecological crisis, new forms of criticism have arisen to rebuke and remedy unsustainable dualisms between (on the one hand) nature, the inanimate, animals, bodies, objects of study, and the feminine, and (on the other) humans, culture, mind, creativity, analysis, and the masculine. In various ways, ecocriticism and its related methodologies—animal studies, speculative realism, and science studies—have challenged some of the most cherished protocols of Western knowledge production. Because these structures of knowledge are so entangled with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European thought, they have been particularly inadequate to the interpretation of earlier texts, or those produced far from colonial centers of knowledge production. Such literature, then, provides particularly rich opportunities for ecocritical analysis.
This course takes the Old English poem Beowulf, which has been a proving ground for so many theoretical regressions and renewals, as a case study for ecocritical and animal studies approaches to premodern literature. Inhuman forces (gold, seas, monsters, and many more) pervade this cryptic Old English tale of a warrior king, and the manuscript itself-- a thousand-year-old book that has been mistreated and badly burned, with ragged edges and missing pages—exerts its own curious pull on the critical imagination. What happens when we decenter the human characters and allow these powers full access to our attention? In addition to discussing some of the current debates within medieval (especially early medieval) studies on ecocriticism and animal studies, we will also investigate how periodization and the legacies of colonialism and nationalism have informed previous readings of Beowulf, and discuss what categories and concepts we might use going forward. We will read Thomas Meyer’s experimental translation, with its rich poetics of place, and take advantage of our own location in place and time to engage particularly with contemporary Canadian and indigenous ecocritics such as Peter Cole, Nicole Shukin, Pauline Wakeham, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson.
The course texts will include Liuzza’s facing-page translation, Meyer’s translation, and a course reader. The course is designed to allow students with a background in Old English
to work in the original (using either Liuzza or the standard scholarly edition, Klaeber). Students without proficiency in Old English are welcome to read Beowulf in translation
and choose their own early texts (broadly defined) for the final research paper.
Student evaluation is based on seminar participation (20%), presentation (20%), research abstract and bibliography (20%), and seminar paper (40%).
Studies in Renaissance
Tuesdays 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
This course takes as its starting point Peter Quince's words to Bottom the weaver: "Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art translated." Over the course of the next 13 weeks we will consider the idea of translation as it is intended here: as transformation, or to use another term relevant to early moderns, conversion.
From around 1400 to 1700, Europeans converted their religious, social, political, and even sexual identities-sometimes voluntarily, sometimes by force. While theatrical play-acting and religious conversion might seem like opposites, the stage's critics and its defenders alike argued for the potential of the medium to effect material and affective transformations both on and off $,e stage.
In order to make our topic more far-reaching we will open up what counts as conversion, positioning religious conversion as but one kind of transformation within a field of interrelated variant forms that includes geopolitical reorientation, climate and environmental change, material transformation, commercial exchange, literary translation, class and sex change, and human-animal metamorphosis. We will ask, how did the theatrical forms of conversion translate knowledge and experience for early moderns, and how did theatre and theatricality integrate, critique, and enable forms of conversion? Are there aspects of theatricality and performance that depend upon an economy of conversion- page into stage, actor into role, audience into participants -regardless of, or in addition to, the capacities of theatre to represent moments of conversion on stage? How do Medieval and Protestant forms of drama compare to the dramas of conversion performed in the newly opened public theatres?
The course is being offered in conjunction with the Early Modern Conversions Project (www.earlymodernconversion.com)
Primary texts will include a selection of the following:
- The Second Shepherd's Play
- The Coxton Play of the Sacrament Everyman
- Lewis Wager, The Life and Repentaunce of Marie Magdalene
- John Lily, Gallathea
- Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy Ben Jonson, The Alchemist Christopher Marlowe, Dr. Faustus
- William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear, Taming of the Shrew
- John Webster, The White Devil
- Thomas Middleton, The Changeling
Dramatic material will be supplemented by primary material on the topic of conversion from the medieval and early modern period as well as relevant theoretical reading.
Studies in the Seventeenth Century
Wednesdays 1:00 - 4:00 pm.
Milton is often thought of and presented as a straightforwardly masculine (and masculinist) figure. Closer examination shows that the reality—both in his works and in his writings—is much more complex: Milton is both a queerer and a less certain figure than he has usually been portrayed. Considerations of how men should act and how masculinity can be defined were important to Milton throughout his career, so we’ll look at a number of his works, with particular attention paid to Paradise Lost.
Studies in the Eighteenth Century
Fridays 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
This seminar has three intersecting goals: to introduce participants to the multidisciplinary literature on the history of sensation; to explore the emergence of what we now understand as philosophical aesthetics from its origins in aesthesis—sensation—and the continuing relations between these fields, in the philosophy and science of the seventeenth through early nineteenth centuries; and to participate in the project of exploring a body of literature from the perspective of the senses in history. We will pay particular attention to questions about the spatiality of taste, the notion of history as an object of sensation and perception, and the problem of uneven development. We will pursue these topics through the lens of studies in European (British, Irish, and German) Romanticism, a field to which the problem of sensation is especially germane for reasons rooted largely in political and philosophical history. Major texts will include Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Smith’s Beachy Head, De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Owenson’s The Missionary, M. Shelley’s Frankenstein, and major lyrics by Wordsworth, P. Shelley, and Keats.
Studies in the Twentieth Century
Thursdays 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), arguably the most celebrated woman writer of the twentieth century, lived in a period punctuated by devastating international conflicts, including the First World War (1914-1918), the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and the Second World War (1939-1945). As a member of the Bloomsbury group, she associated with influential artists and intellectuals such as J. M. Keynes and Leonard Woolf, who intervened in public debates on the Treaty of Versailles (1919) and the League of Nations (1920-1946), respectively. For her part, Woolf reflected on the causes and effects of hostilities in occasional writings, polemical essays, experimental novels, and late fictions. Since the publication of the signal collection Virginia Woolf and War (1991), scholars have paid increasing attention to this pivotal concern in her oeuvre, which showcases intricate engagements with the interpersonal dynamics of aggression as well as trenchant observations on the state monopoly on violence. Indeed, commentators revisit Woolf’s writings on total war and the rise of fascism in light of the asymmetrical conflicts and resurgent fundamentalisms, both secular and religious, characterizing contemporary global strife. To what extent do Woolf’s innovative texts illuminate transhistorical problems at stake in studies of war? Conversely, how do her investigations of the origins and legacies of conflict expose ethicopolitical dilemmas–inequities, injuries, displacements, and divisions–particular to her era?
The seminar has three sections. In the first section, “Theorizing War,” we will read historical, philosophical, and sociological articles on changing military paradigms in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, accentuating concepts, contexts, and controversies central to recent scholarship in war studies. We will also grapple with key statements in Woolf criticism prior to our selected readings of Woolf’s occasional writings on war (ca. 1917-1940), followed by Three Guineas (1938). In the second section of the course, “Major Novels,” we will discuss prominent research on Woolf’s experimental fictions before we approach Jacob’s Room (1922) and Mrs. Dalloway (1925). Similarly, we will address noted critical readings on Woolf’s late novels before we interpret The Years (1937) and Between the Acts (1941). In the third section of the seminar, “Juxtapositions of War,” we will analyze pertinent interventions in Woolf studies that compare and/or contrast past and present conflicts. Finally, we will conclude with Saturday (2005), a novel by Ian McEwan (1948–) that recalls Woolf’s postwar fiction Mrs. Dalloway even as it explores shifting sociopolitical configurations after 9/11. In summary, this seminar orients students to multidisciplinary research in war studies; promotes familiarity with a range of texts in Woolf’s oeuvre; fosters critical fluency in current Woolf scholarship; and invites speculations on convergences and divergences between modernist and contemporary modes of writing war.
TEXTS (subject to minor modifications):
Virginia Woolf, occasional writings (ca. 1917-1940); Jacob’s Room (1922); Mrs. Dalloway (1925); The Years (1937); Three Guineas (1938); Between the Acts (1941); Ian McEwan, Saturday (2005); TBA, critical readings (ca. 1986-2016)
ASSIGNMENTS (subject to minor modifications):
Participation and Comment Sheets; Seminar Presentation; Annotated Bibliography; Final Essay
Studies in American Literature to 1890
Wednesdays 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
This course will explore precursors of contemporary anti-racist movements like Black Lives Matter through an investigation of 19th-century fictional, non-fictional, poetic, and oratorical acts of resistance to slavery in the United States. Our primary texts will include Melville’s Benito Cereno (1855); William Wells Brown’s Clotel (1853); Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) and Dred (1856); Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861); Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig (1859); selections from Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Frances Harper and Charles Chesnutt; as well as Hamilton: The Musical.
The course will be organized around physical sites of resistance--the Ship, the Plantation Kitchen, the Attic, the Dismal Swamp, the Underground Railroad, etc.—as well as mediations of resistance—the Periodical, the Platform, the Convention, and the Stage.
Secondary works will include Ian Baucom’s Specters of the Atlantic; Kyla Wazana Tompkins’ Racial Indigestion; Lara Langer Cohen and Jordan Stein’s Early African American Print Culture; Daphne Brooks’ Bodily Dissent; and Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake.
Studies in American Literature Since 1890
Tuesdays 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
This seminar will take up questions that have been at the center of readings of fiction in the late twentieth- and early twenty-first century: is postmodernism at an end, and if so, what comes next? Is fiction now in a phase of post-postmodernism? Of post-irony and a “new sincerity”? Or is neoliberalism—as it describes the intersection of post-1970s political economy, financialization, and the infiltration of capitalist markets into everyday life—the best rubric under which to read for patterns among contemporary writers? After gaining an understanding of what has been meant by “postmodernism,” we will read through a representative sample of major authors (most from the US, some from the UK) of the past two decades, as well as critics and theorists who have tackled the question of periodization, the continuing need for it, and what texts best exemplify whatever new phases there might be.
We will start with a few weeks on Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow and associated readings of it as the paradigmatic postmodern text (or even, as one critic has provocatively said in the past year, a text without which scholars would not have devised the category of the postmodern). From there we will take up about a half-dozen shorter works, ranging from the investment in sentiment in David Foster Wallace and George Saunders to the reinvention of gender and racial identities alongside postmodern tropes in Jennifer Egan, Zadie Smith, Paul Beatty, and Chang-rae Lee. The dissection of financial and corporate sureties in Don DeLillo and Tom McCarthy may also play a role. Reading critics as we move along, we will also dip into major essay collections with a variety of strong viewpoints on “capitalist realism” and the meaning of the designations “postmodern” and “postwar.” Students will lead discussion (probably in pairs), write a 5-page seminar paper for discussion, and research and write a final paper of 15 or so pages.
Fiction will include (list to be winnowed some) Paul Beatty, The Sellout; Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis; Jennifer Egan, Look at Me or The Keep (or possibly Manhattan Beach, due in early 2017); Chang-rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea; Tom McCarthy, Remainder or Satin Island; Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow; George Saunders, Tenth of December; Zadie Smith, NW; David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men or Oblivion. Critical excerpts (again, list tentative) will come from Giovanni Arrighi, The Long Twentieth Century; Walter Benn Michaels, “The Neoliberal Imagination”; Wendy Brown, Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution; Jason Gladstone, Daniel Worden, Andrew Hoberek, eds., Postmodern/Postwar and After: Rethinking American Literature; David Harvey, The Postmodern Condition and A Brief History of Neoliberalism; Mitchum Huehls, After Critique: Twenty-First Century Fiction in a Neoliberal Age; Adam Kelly, “David Foster Wallace and the New Sincerity in American Fiction”; Lee Konstantinou, Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction; Brian McHale, Postmodernist Fiction; Alison Shonkwiler and Leigh Claire La Berge, eds., Reading Capitalist Realism.
Studies in Canadian Literature
Tuesdays 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
From the history of the Road Allowance People to the recently memorialised “Highway of Tears,” roads figure prominently in Indigenous people’s collective and personal experiences of dispossession. Focusing on a selection of literature by Indigenous writers in Canada and the US, this course will examine histories of removal, relocation, and violence associated with roads. We will consider the racialised and gendered dimensions of mobility as we move from historical experiences of dislocation to the continued violence against Indigenous women specifically. Reading our corpus of texts in light of the distressing number of Indigenous women who have gone missing along stretches of highways, we will attempt to theorise what this violence suggests about the limits of mobility in a cultural moment feted for its increased circulation of people, capital, and information. What do such disappearances reveal about the spatialisation of race and the vulnerability of those deemed, in Tim Cresswell’s term, “out of place” in settled landscapes?
Our discussion will move beyond a specific focus on roads to theorize auto/mobility, industrial geographies, space, and borders more broadly. We will examine genealogies of segregation (the spatial politics of the reserve system, for instance) within historical and present contexts of settler colonialism. While this course examines struggles over spatial justice, we will also look at many instances where Indigenous communities redefined mobility: the Idle No More movement, which took its activism to roads and highways, the Nishiyuu walkers who undertook a 1600-kilometer trek from Hudson Bay to Ottawa in 2014, the Tobique women’s 1979 “100 Mile Walk,” the Oka blockades, the Stó:lo’s obstruction of the Canadian National rail line, and the February 14 Memorial March for Murdered and Missing Women are but a handful of instances where roads were transformed into sites of political resistance. Many of the authors whom we will read similarly recast mobility in ways that push past traumatic histories of forced relocation. We will consider acts of reterritorialisation, along with experiences of spatial violence, in light of global and transnational re-orientations.
Primary literary texts (subject to change):
- Marie Clements, Burning Vision and The Unnatural and Accidental Women
- Tracey Lindberg, Birdie
- Marilyn Dumont, “City View” poems
- Tomson Highway, The Rez Sisters
- Leonard Peltier, from Prison Writings: My Life is My Sun Dance
- Leanne Simpson, “ishpadinaa”
- Richard Van Camp, “Dogrib Midnight Runners”
- Helena Maria Viramontes, Their Dogs Came with Them and Under the Feet of Jesus
- Louise Erdrich, “The Blue Minivan”
- Esther Belin, “Night Travel” and “Blues-ing on the Brown Vibe”
Theoretical and critical works:
Coursepack of essays by Rob Nixon, Steven J. Jackson, Fran Tonkiss, Sara Ahmed, Stephanie LeMenager, Eric Avila, Heather Turcotte, Tim Cresswell, Philip Deloria, David Theo Goldberg, Achille Mbembe, Sarah Sharma, Renya Ramirez, Audra Simpson, Jodi Byrd, Philip Deloria, and others.
Studies in Postcolonial Literature
Tuesdays, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Over the past two decades, the generative political and intellectual frameworks for the analysis of racial capitalism (Cedric Robinson; Angela Davis; Robin Kelley) on the one hand and settler colonialism (Nira Yuval-Davis and Daiva K Stasiulis; Jodi Byrd; Patrick Wolfe) on the other have risen to prominence, but have rarely been put directly in dialogue. “Racial capitalism” clarifies the ways in which anti-Black racism has been a fundamental, not incidental, component to economic development and underdevelopment in the Atlantic world and beyond while “settler colonialism” brings into focus the logic of dispossession and replacement that organizes this particular form of invasion and habitation on Indigenous lands. Both interpretive schemas can help us think through the genealogies and discontinuities of slavery, settlement, and Indigenous dispossession.
By focusing on Indigenous and Black writings across the Americas (particularly those from Brazil, Canada, Guyana, and USA), this seminar will bring these critical fields into more fruitful conversation, and will grapple with why they often seem to be deployed separately to explain the legacies of gendered, racialized, and state sanctioned violence across the Americas. We will work with the tantalizingly plural keyword “Americas” as a way to plot the traces of transnational and transcultural migration and displacements throughout the hemisphere. We will interrogate historical experiences of labor and production organized around the axis of capital and the world market (Quijano 2000), experiences that include slavery, genocide, serfdom, petty commodity production, reciprocity, and violent intimacies, at the same time that we explore the possibilities of hidden or potential solidarities, revolts, passions and generative intimacies.
Studies in Literary Theory
Mondays 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
We live in an epoch that scientists have named the Anthropocene. But what, exactly, is that? This seems a question with an easy, if devastating, answer: the era of “man-made” (and irreversible) geologic change. In an effort to elaborate the complexities embedded in this answer, this seminar will introduce students to the multidisciplinary literatures that have recently and increasingly constellated around this designation. We shall examine scientific accounts that aim to establish (and ratify) the origin of the Anthropocene and to predict its global effects on climate and sea levels. We shall also read scholarship that critiques the underlying assumptions about the Anthropocene. We shall explore alternate nomenclatures for it (Anthrobscene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene) as well as the different narratives that these designations condense. And, finally, we shall take a semester-long view of the forms and formats that criticism has taken in response to the Anthropocene to measure, insofar as we can, whether this epoch is also changing the way scholars are conducting and communicating research.
Requirements are a seminar presentation, a book review, and a 15-page term paper.
Readings will likely include scientific materials by Stoermer, Crutzen, and the Working Group on the Anthropocene (WGA); critiques, essays, and alternate narratives by Lewis and Maslin, Luciano, Mentz, Boes and Marshall (and their contributors), Ahuja, Haraway, Latour, LeMenager, Moore, Parikka, Culbert, Aravamudan, Chakrabarty, and Morton. For good measure, we should also look at excerpts from Foucault’s Order of Things.
Studies in Literary Theory
Thursdays, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Our counter revolutionary and reactionary political moment has called up a feminist resurgence of conflicting aims and immiscible traditions. What are the conditions for feminist theory in these times? What threads of feminist theory might we build upon in our critical scholarship as in our political lives? Firmly anchored in anti-colonial, postcolonial and feminist of colour critiques, we will investigate lineages and genealogies of theories of resistance organised around key topics and encounters. Mastery of the field is not prerequisite. A course in critical theory with diverse approaches (psychoanalytic, marxist, poststructuralist, posthuman, critical race).
Studies in Literature and the Other Arts
Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
This course will examine the influence of photography and cinema on literary form. Photography has become such a common aspect of contemporary life that camera technology is now routinely built into our phones, computers, and automobiles. The photographic recording of everyday life provides an unprecedented archive of visual memories.
We will explore some of the following central questions: Given the increasing power of photographs and cinematography in the formation of private and public judgments, how have novelists, poets, dramatists, and film makers responded to these visual influences? What happens to the articulation of the written self when it confronts the power of photography? How have writers incorporated some of the techniques of photographic and cinematic ways of seeing into their forms of writing?
Readings will include Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida, selected essays by Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag's On Photography, and Kyo Maclear's Beclouded Visions. We will also consider works of fiction, drama, poetry, and cinema that respond to our increasingly visual culture such as Michael Ondaatje's Coming Through Slaughter, Le Thi Diem Thuy's The Gangster We are All Looking For, Marie Clement's The Edward Curtis Project, Roy Miki's Mannequin Rising, and films by Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window), Michaelangelo Antonioni, (Blow-up), and Christopher Nolan (Memento).
Course requirements include a presentation, participation in weekly discussion, and a major essay.