English 166

Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2017 Goble, Mark
MW 5-6:30 PM 182 Dwinelle Special Topics

Book List

Didion, Joan: Play It As It Lays; Dreiser, Theodore: Sister Carrie; Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Love of the Last Tycoon; Gibson, William: Pattern Recognition; Johnson, James Weldon: The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Lambert, Gavin: Inside Daisy Clover; Stoker, Bram: Dracula; West, Nathaniel: Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust


In this course, we will examine intersections between literature and visual media in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on texts concerned with film and its cultural effects. We will read novels, short stories, poetry, and essays which not only help us better understand the social implications of media technologies, but also show how literature itself tries to understand its new place as one medium among many in the period. The class will consider such topics as the status of reading in a culture of looking, the politics of the extremely popular, celebrity as a way of life, and the commercial origins of the modern work of art. Of particular interest will be texts that address directly the mythology of Hollywood, as well as writers who borrow liberally from film technique as an aesthetic resource. In addition to our readings, we will screen: The Jazz Singer (1926), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Singin' in the Rain (1951), and Peeping Tom (1960). 

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Spring, 2019
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Gothic Duncan, Ian
166/2 Special Topics: Marxism and Literature Gonzalez, Marcial
166/4 Special Topics: Poetry and Prose of Race and Social Class Giscombe, Cecil S.
166/5 Special Topics: Asian American Literature - World, Nation, Locality Leong, Andrew Way
166/6 Special Topics: Realism, Then and Now Cordes Selbin, Jesse
166/7 Special Topics: Anton Chekhov Muza, Anna
Fall, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/2 Special Topics: Alfred Hitchcock Bader, Julia
166/3 Special Topics: Journeys: British World-Building, c. 700-1700 Miller, Jasmin
166/4 Special Topics: "this morning's minion": Sonic Mysticism in Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson Stancek, Claire Marie
166/5 Special Topics Le, Serena
Spring, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Comedy & Violence Flynn, Catherine
166/2 Special Topics: Romantic Science Goldstein, Amanda Jo
166/3 Special Topics: Classical & Renaissance Drama Knapp, Jeffrey
166/4 Special Topics: Marxism & Literature Lye, Colleen
166/5 Special Topics: Emily Dickinson Shoptaw, John
166/6 Special Topics: Speculative Fiction Jones, Donna V.
Summer, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Speculative Fictions, Possible Futures O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
166/2 Special Topics: Games of Thrones, Medieval to Modern Strub, Spencer
Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/3 Special Topics: Black Science Fiction Serpell, C. Namwali
166/4 Special Topics: Writing Poetry and Nonfiction, Writing as Social Practice Giscombe, Cecil S.
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Marxism and Literature Lye, Colleen
166/2 Special Topics: Studies in Literature and Environment (Shelter and Weather) Francois, Anne-Lise
166/3 Special Topics: Slavery and Conspiracy Wagner, Bryan
166/5 Special Topics: Modern Irish Literature Falci, Eric

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