Category Archives: uncategorized

Rust Creek (2018)

A college senior on her way to a job interview over Thanksgiving break gets lost in the Kentucky hills. Losing cell phone reception, she consults a paper map by the road when a couple of menacing rednecks approach. Attacked, she fights them off with impressive and improbable skill then takes off running. A backcountry hunt begins.

This familiar yet promising setup could’ve taken us into lurid pulp territory but instead the filmmakers opt for narrative cliches and a smattering of liberal earnestness. The crooked sheriff is in cahoots with the local drug ring and he’s willing to commit murder to protect his retirement nest egg. Tucked back in a holler all alone, an uneducated yet intelligent meth cook hides our protagonist away from his violent, rapey associates. Rust Creek would have been a better film if it had gone over the top– something along the lines of Deliverance or even Two Thousand Maniacs. Deprived of exploitation flick delirium this room temperature Appalachian noir is pretty good rather than transcendent.

The Shape of History [2] (303/415)

The world of Riddley Walker is often described as being set in a post-apocalyptic Iron Age, a temporal paradox that automatically raises the issue of the relationship between Past and Future. The Iron Age is a fairly nebulous periodization that comes apart with any effort to accord it a global scope. As with so many efforts to elaborate a coherent World History, it depends on where you’re looking. Iron technologies began to proliferate in Anatolia more than a thousand years before they became widespread in the North. If Herodotus’s Histories mark the Iron Age’s end in the Near East, it doesn’t terminate in Western Europe until the Roman conquest. In Scandinavia this watershed moment arrives only with the Viking Age 800 years later.

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Writing Project

There are two options for the Writing Project

an academic-personal essay (APE) discussing at least one book and one other assigned text AND the theme of The West and the Rest


a personal-academic essay (PAE) addressing your experience with this course.

Both APE and PAE:

Follow the format guidelines:

Length: 1250 words minimum

Use keywords derived from readings/lectures/films/etc.


2 SCHOLARLY secondary sources minimum.

Explain the discourse of The West and the Rest. Formulate an argument about how your chosen texts specifically contributes to or problematizes the discourse of The West and the Rest.


What, specifically, did you learn from this course? Which particular texts, ideas, passages, images, etc. contributed to your new knowledge? What challenges did you face in studying this semester? What would facilitate your learning experience in the future?