English 166

Special Topics: Infrastructuralism: Reading Setting in Literature and Film


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Spring 2013 Eichenlaub, Justin
Eichenlaub, Justin
TTh 3:30-5 210 Wheeler

Book List

Barthes, Roland: Camera Lucida; Waldie, D.J.: Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir; Ware, Chris: Building Stories; Yamashita, Karen Tei: Tropic of Orange

Other Readings and Media

The course will include a reader.

Description

In a film essay on the way movies depict Los Angeles, Thom Andersen raises a question that will form the basis for this course: “If we can appreciate documentaries for their dramatic qualities, perhaps we can appreciate fiction films for their documentary reflections.” Beginning with Andersen’s film, Los Angeles Plays Itself, we’ll consider his hypothesis and investigate the surprising importance, sometimes even the primacy, of setting in literary and filmic works—including Charles Lamb’s essays in praise of urban London, a Hitchcock film, William Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes, Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, Karen Tei Yamashita’s magical-realist novel Tropic of Orange, Chris Ware's new graphic novel Building Stories (this text is a 'total work of art,' with a number of different pieces, so it retails for $50--it is currently $30 on Amazon), D.J. Waldie’s suburban memoir Holy Land, and Patrick Keiller’s Robinson in Space.

Rather than take spaces, places, and infrastructure in these works as the object of a transparent representation, we will pay close attention to the way the written word and the camera shape how we read, see, and perceive the worlds that fictional characters inhabit. We will consider both the role of places and spaces in these works and their relevance (or irrelevance) to story and discourse, to narrative and descriptive modes, and to theories of novelistic and filmic space. While our primary focus will be on what literary and film scholars have to say on these issues, we will also consider the work of geographers and architectural theorists, among others. Theorists and critics of literary, filmic, and urban space will include Stephen Heath, Roland Barthes, Michel de Certeau, and György Lukács.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

spring, 2021

166/1

Special Topics: The Graphic Memoir

166/3

Special Topics: Hemingway and Masculinity

166/4

Special Topics: The Social Media of Literature

166/5

Special Topics: Anton Chekhov

Muza, Anna
summer, 2021

166/1

Special Topics: Broadway Musicals

166/2

Special Topics: Law and Literature in the United States

166/3

Special Topics: Queer Tourism

fall, 2020

166/1

Special Topics: Writing as Social Practice

166/3

Special Topics: The Age of Crisis

spring, 2020

166/2

Special Topics: The Literature & Art of Incarceration

166/3

Special Topics: Moby-Dick

166/4

Special Topics: Pomo: Exploring the Landscape of Postmodernism

166/5

Special Topics: American Humor: Books & Movies

166/6

Special Topics: Art of Writing: Grant Writing, Food Writing, Food Justice

166/7

Special Topics: Arthurian Romance

summer, 2020

166/1

Special Topics: Medieval Fantasy from Tolkien to Game of Thrones

166/2

Special Topics: Global Catastrophe and Modern Literature

166/3

Special Topics: The Broadway Musical

fall, 2019

166/1

Special Topics: Getting Global: Literature & Film of an Expanding & Unequal World

166/2

Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

166/3

Special Topics: Writing as Social Practice

166/4

Special Topics: Literatures of the Asian Diaspora in America

166/7

Special Topics: Charles Dickens

166/8

Special Topics: Green Thought in a Green Shade

166/9

Special Topics: New Orleans

166/11

Special Topics: The Works of Vladimir Nabokov

Naiman, Eric
spring, 2019

166/1

Special Topics: Gothic

166/2

Special Topics: Marxism and Literature

166/4

Special Topics: Poetry and Prose of Race and Social Class

166/5

Special Topics: Asian American Literature - World, Nation, Locality

166/6

Special Topics: Realism, Then and Now

166/7

Special Topics: Anton Chekhov

Muza, Anna
fall, 2018

166/2

Special Topics: Alfred Hitchcock

166/3

Special Topics: Journeys: British World-Building, c. 700-1700

166/4

Special Topics: "this morning's minion": Sonic Mysticism in Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson

166/5

Special Topics

spring, 2018

166/1

Special Topics: Comedy & Violence

166/2

Special Topics: Romantic Science

166/3

Special Topics: Classical & Renaissance Drama

166/4

Special Topics: Marxism & Literature

166/5

Special Topics: Emily Dickinson

166/6

Special Topics: Speculative Fiction

summer, 2018

166/1

Special Topics: Speculative Fictions, Possible Futures

166/2

Special Topics: Games of Thrones, Medieval to Modern


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