Daily Archives: August 27, 2008

Housekeeping (VIAL)

It was good to see everyone in class today. Remember that the first two assignments have already been given: 1) go to news.google.com and personalize that page with the key phrases a) american values and b) american life AND 2) read through page 62 of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It’s important that you get the edition at the bookstore because we’ll be using some of the material at the end of the book. 

Friday I’ll lecture on what we mean when we use the term “values” and relate that concept to the idea of national identity and everyday life. Recall that the word value is etymologically related to “wield”– that’s an important collateral meaning as it indicates that values aren’t merely abstractions hovering somewhere in the aether, but that they are, above all, emplaced, embodied and practiced.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them in the comment section of this entry.

Housekeeping (contcult)

Welcome to Contemporary Culture. Just to recap the assignments thus far: 1) go to news.google.com and personalize that page using key phrases and terms from the syllabus. For example: contemporary culture, empire, post-colonial, postmodern, etc.  2) the reading assignment for NEXT WEDNESDAY is the first two chapters of Terry Eagleton’s After Theory which is now available in the book store. 

Friday I’ll lecture on culture in the contemporary period. Next week we’ll begin our discussions of Eagleton’s book. If you’ve had no experience with “high theory” (specifically the work of writers such as Kristeva, Foucault, Spivak, and many others) then this text will give you an insight into the stakes of that loose agglomeration of critical views and methods.

I’m really looking forward to the semester. If you have any questions you can ask on this blog entry. See everyone on Friday.