English 165

Special Topics: Literature and Media Theory


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2018 Langan, Celeste
TTh 9:30-11 note new location: 225 Dwinelle

Description

This course will consider literature in relation to media theory.  Is literature made obsolete by new media?  What happens when we consider print literature in relation to other “distressed” media, from black-and-white photography to silent film to analog recording?  What happens to the concept of authenticity in the digital age? How does print differ from “code” as a “general medium” of sensory forms—sight, sound, touch? What do we value about “virtual” reality? Using Marshall McLuhan’s claim that “the content of one medium is always another medium” as a guiding concept, we will try to assess the impact of other media, especially photography, film, and recorded sound, on literature’s function and value.  Our particular interest will be in the status of the “document”—an historical or fictional piece of evidence that is somehow presented, represented, or mediated by the art form (or “platform”) in question.  We’ll compare  “documents” (including reported and recorded speech) as they are mediated in both 19th- and late 20th-century literary forms.  One question that may emerge, as we consider the history of mediation from Dracula to Danielewski’s House of Leaves, is why mediation is so often registered an occult or gothic phenomenon.  Students will be responsible for weekly discussion posts on the reading and two critical projects (one of which needs to be in print form!).

Texts will include:  Beckett, S.: Krapp's Last Tape; Danielewski, M., House of Leaves; Johnson, R.: RADI OS; Mann, E., Four Plays; Stoker, B.: Dracula; Williams, W.C.: Paterson; Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads. Secondary reading: Bolter and Grusin: Remediations; Hansen, M., ed., Critical Terms for Media Studies Kittler, F.: Gramophone Film Typewriter; McLuhan, M.: Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

spring, 2020

165/1

Special Topics: Traditions of Mourning and the Representation of the Holocaust

165/2

Special Topics: Enlightenment & Romance: Scotland in the 18th Century

165/3

Special Topics: On Lies, Lying, and Post-Truths--A Reading- and Writing-Intensive Investigation

Nadaff, Ramona

165/4

Special Topics: Family Histories from the Margins

fall, 2019

165/1

Special Topics: Utopian and (mostly) Dystopian Movies

165/2

Special Topics: The Pleasures of Allegory

spring, 2019

165/1

Special Topics: Global Tudors

Honig, Elizabeth

165/2

Special Topics: 21st-Century U. S. Poetry

165/3

Special Topics: John Milton's Last Poems

165/4

Special Topics: The Art of Writing: The Visible Made Verbal

165/5

Special Topics: Note: See English 165 section 6

165/6

Special Topics: Nabokov and Naipaul

165/7

Special Topics: The Materialist Epic

165/8

Special Topics: American Humor

165/9

Special Topics: The 1890s

fall, 2018

165/1

Special Topics: Oscar Wilde and the Nineteenth Century

165/2

Special Topics: The English Department

165/4

Special Topics: The Ecology of Utopia

165/5

Special Topics: Reading Walden With Care

165/6

Special Topics: Hardly Strictly Lyric Poems

165/7

Special Topics: Utopian and (mostly) Dystopian Movies

spring, 2018

165/1

Special Topics: H.P. Lovecraft in His Tradition

165/2

Special Topics: Handel's Art in Setting English Words to Music

165/3

Special Topics: Is It Useless To Revolt?

165/4

Special Topics: Neo-Slave Narratives

165/5

Special Topics: Incarcerations: The Literature of (Physical, Mental, Spiritual) Imprisonment

fall, 2017

165/1

Special Topics: Genres of Free Speech

165/2

Special Topics: Art of Writing

spring, 2017

165/1

Special Topics: The Graphic Memoir

165/2

Special Topics: Incarcerations: The Literatures of Physical Confinement and Spiritual Liberation


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