SPR18 415-01

SwanseaDevilOnTheRoad

HUM 415-01 Contemporary Culture
SPR 2018
T/Th 2.10-3.35 in Hum 408
Dr. Sean Connelly
Contact: connelly@sfsu.edu
Office location/ hours: in Hum 219 on T/Th 1-2 and by appt.

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. This is an upper division course. First and second year students need instructor permission to enroll. 

The Project

Humanities 415 studies various forms of contemporary culture including the novel, film, poetry, visual culture, and music as a means of mapping the present.

Our objective situation is determined by capitalism, a socio-economic system that has penetrated every space on the planet including the human psyche in its quest for ever-increasing profits.

Since the advent of industrial capitalism roughly 200 years ago, many people have argued that this system is unsustainable because it depends upon the exploitation, objectification, and alienation of humans, animals, and a finite natural world.

It is in these senses and others that global capitalism possesses an imperial character– that it constitutes an Empire or totality to which there seems to be no outside.

In this course we will explore symptoms and representations of this Empire of Capital, from Korea to post-colonial Kenya and beyond. To do this, we will use methods of analysis taken from film and literary criticism.

In doing so we will also experiment with ideas about what we might call capitalism’s Gothic character. If, as has been argued, capital is the “dead” form of human activity, the objectification of subjective qualities which then exert control over humanity, this system would seem to be haunted.

For example, money, which is merely a non-living symbol lacking any “real” content or referent, often determines human well-being. Its misallocation clearly leads to damaging outcomes, particularly for the poor, producing negative consequences such as ill health, lack of intellectual development, and shorter lifespans. The “dead” object of capital thus harms the living human subject, which suggests that the former feeds on the latter. Does this mean that money is a zombie? That financiers are vampires?

As part of the critical-imaginative work we do for this course we will entertain the notion that capitalism is a kind of haunted castle with no exits.

Learning Outcomes

Diligent students will complete the course with a solid foundation in literary and formal analysis and and a richer understanding of the relationship between art and ideology.

DFniyBFXoAEsv1o.jpg-large

Basic Etiquette

ARRIVE ON TIME,  work completed, with a hard copy of the assigned text. All assignments should be typed and include name/date/course. No electronic devices should be used during class.

Intellectual Honesty

CHEATING DESTROYS trust between teacher and student. If you can’t trust your teacher, then you deserve a new one. If you can’t trust your students, etc.

As a general rule any ideas/words that are not your own should be cited. Yet intellectual honesty encompasses more than actively avoiding plagiarism. For example, reading a wikipedia entry rather than an assigned novel or allowing others to do your work for you are examples of cheating.

See http://www.sfsu.edu/~vpsa/judicial/titlev.html

Accessibility

If there’s anything I should know about you as a student, please talk to me RIGHT AWAY and I’ll do my best to help. The DPRC is located in the Student Service Building and can be reached by telephone (voice/TTY 415-338-2472) or by email dprc@sfsu.edu).

Other resources

The SAFE Place – (415) 338-2208; http://www.sfsu.edu/~safe_plc/

Counseling and Psychological Services Center – (415) 338-2208; http://psyservs.sfsu.edu/

Additional information on rights and available resources: http://titleix.sfsu.edu

Quinn_Self_1991

The Work: Grading Rubric

5-6 page Essay 15% (Write an informed and incisive academic essay on ONE of the 3 novels assigned for this course. Due dates: Mygale [3/1], The Vegetarian [4/24], Devil on the Cross [5/15]. Further details forthcoming.)

Class Work 25% (class participation, attendance, in-class work)

Midterm 20% (Short responses to key terms) 3/8

Film Analysis Presentation 20% 4/26, 5/1, 5/3, 5/8

Final Exam 20% (Short responses to key terms)

Students are expected to complete the assigned readings, think about what they read, and actively participate in class discussion. Late work will not be accepted.

plasma-copy

Required Texts

Thierry Jonquet, Mygale 978-0872864092

Han Kang, The Vegetarian 978-1101906118

Christopher Marlowe, Dr. Faustus 978-0486282084

Ngugi wa Thiongo, Devil on the Cross 9780143107361

Ed Sikov, Film Studies: An Introduction 978-0231142939

Pig-carcasses-hanging-in--009

eReader

PRINT, read and bring all of the following texts to class except *

Adorno and Horkheimer, The Culture Industry: CultureIndustry

*Ancuta, “Asian Gothic”: NCGAncutaAsianGothic

Armstrong, “Gothic Novel”: NArmstrongGothicNov

Baraka, “Dope”: Dope

Baldick, “Introduction” from Oxford Book of Gothic Tales: BaldickGothic

Eagleton, “Allergic to Depths”: AllergicDepths

*Encyclopedia of Gothic Lit: Encyclopedia_Of_Gothic_Lit

Hall and Gieben (eds), Formations of Modernity: Formations of Modernity

Hawkes, Ideology (Introduction, Ch. 4 only): Hawkes-IDEOLOGY

Hawkes, “Faust Among the Witches”: FaustWitches

Marx and Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party”: ManifestoSec1

Marx, “The Power of Money”: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/power.htm

McNally, Monsters of the Market (Ch. 3 only): mcnally11

Meiksins Wood, Empire of Capital (excerpts): EmpireCapitalCh1   EmpireCapitalCh.6and7

Moretti, “Dialectic of Fear”: DialecticofFear

Roy, “Capitalism: A Ghost Story”: http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/capitalism-a-ghost-story/280234

Williams, “Dominant, Residual, Emergent”: WmsDRE

Notes on Reading

BUY HARD COPIES of the right books! Reading is an active, not a passive, pursuit. Read with a pencil and a dictionary. Flag significant/ difficult passages. Always look for patterns. Talk about what you read.

Filmography

Lifeforce; Raw; The Skin I Live In; Ravenous; eXistenZ; Crimson Peak; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Sleep Dealer; A Field in England; Killing Them Softly; Glengarry, Glen Ross; They Live; Dark City; Pi, The Sandman, Nosferatu; Vampyr; Dawn of the Dead (2005); Snow Piercer; Witchfinder General

trump-clinton

Schedule

Week ONE: 1/23-1/25

Tuesday

Introduction

Complete the Questionnaire

Hand-out: Baraka, “Dope.

Screen: The Hunger (Scott 1983)

Thursday

Due: Roy, “Capitalism: A Ghost Story”

Screen: Kendall Jenner Pepsi Ad; RSA Animate: “Zizek: 1st as Tragedy, Then as Farce“;  Wonder Girls, “Love Me Like Money” 

Week TWO: 1/30-2/1

Tuesday

Due: Print, Read, and Annotate Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto (sec. 1)

Screen: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Thursday

Screen: All That is Solid Melts Into Air

 

Week THREE: 2/6-2/8

Tuesday

Due:  Marlowe, Doctor Faustus (complete); Hawkes, “Faust Among the Witches”

Screen: Faust clips

Thursday

Due: Marlowe, Doctor Faustus; Hawkes, Ideology (Introduction)

Screen: Faust clips

 

Week FOUR: 2/13-2/15

Tuesday

Due: ; Meiksins Wood, Empire of Capital (Ch. 1) Eagleton, “Allergic to Depths”

Screen:

Thursday

Due: Jonquet, Mygale

Screen: The Skin I Live In

lf

Week FIVE: 2/20-2/22

Tuesday

Due: Jonquet, Mygale (Complete); Baldick, “Introduction”

Screen: Dark Passage

Thursday

Due: Due: Jonquet, Mygale; Sikov, Film Studies (Preface, Introduction, Ch. 1)

Screen: “I Fink You’re Freaky”

 

Week SIX: 2/27-3/1

Tuesday

Due:

Thursday

Class Canceled

 

Week SEVEN: 3/6-3/8

Tuesday

Screen: Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

Thursday

Due: Hawkes, Ideology (Ch. 4); Sikov, Film Studies (Ch. 2-4)

 

Week EIGHT: 3/13-3/15

Tuesday

Review

Thursday

Midterm

Mygale Essay Due

 

Week NINE: SPRING BREAK

mexico9p4

Week TEN: 3/27-3/29

Tuesday

Due: Han, The Vegetarian (complete)

Screen Raw clips

Thursday

Due: Han, The Vegetarian (complete)

Week ELEVEN: 4/3-4/5

Tuesday

Due: Han, The Vegetarian (complete); Sikov, Film Studies (Ch. 5-6)

Screen:

Thursday

Due: Han, The Vegetarian (complete); Sikov, Film Studies (Ch. 7)

Screen:

Week TWELVE: 4/10-4/12

Tuesday

Screen:

Thursday

Due: Sikov, Film Studies (Ch. 10)

Screen:

Week THIRTEEN: 4/17-4/19

Tuesday

Screen:

Thursday

Due: Sikov, Film Studies (Complete)

Screen:

Week FOURTEEN: 4/24-4/26

Tuesday

The Vegetarian Essay Due

Due: Ngugi, Devil on the Cross (Complete)

Film Presentations ()

Thursday

Due: Ngugi, Devil on the Cross (Complete)

Film Presentations ()

Week FIFTEEN: 5/1-5/3

Tuesday

Due: Ngugi, Devil on the Cross (Complete)

Film Presentations ()

Thursday

Due: Ngugi, Devil on the Cross (Complete)

Film Presentations ()

Week SIXTEEN: 5/8-5-10

Tuesday

Film Presentations ()

Thursday

REVIEW

Week SEVENTEEN: 5/15

FINAL EXAM

Devil on the Cross Essay Due

s_n12_0RTRHLMC.jpg