English N1A

Reading & Composition: Destroying Modernity--Ruin and Apocalypse, 1750-2012

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Session Course Areas
3 Summer 2012 Cannon, Benjamin Zenas
MW 6-8 222 Wheeler

Book List

Stoker, Bram: Dracula; Walpole, Horace: The Castle of Otranto

Other Readings and Media

A class reader will contain poems and short fiction by Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Poe, Lovecraft, T.S. Eliot, and others.

Film: Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome


"i know this wont happen...bt i cant wait fr something like this to happen...it sure is thrilling and i'm bored of life!!"                   (Comment  on youtube string for 2012 trailer, 5/8/2012)    

This class will explore the perverse pleasures of ruination in the modern era, from the aesthetics of the ruin in Romantic literature to the pop apocalypses of George Miller and Roland Emmerich. We will consider the multiple potential meanings of ruins--from memento mori to free aesthetic forms, from threatening reminders of our most primitive selves to nostalgic indicators of a better time. Above all, it will ask the question: why do we take such profound pleasure in images that remind us not only of the dead past but also of our own inevitable destruction? 


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