ENGL 391 Cronenberg syllabus.docx

4 Pages
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Department
English (Arts)
Course Code
ENGL 391
Professor
Alanna Michael Thain

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Description
ENGL 391: Special Topics in Cultural Studies 1 “David Cronenberg” Professor Alanna Thain Office: Arts West 35 Phone: 514-398-6567 Office hours Tuesdays 1-3 E-mail: [email protected] Teaching Assistant: Mary Towers ([email protected]) Office hours TBA Classes: Tuesday and Thursday 4:05-5:25 Arts 260 Screenings (Required): Tuesdays 5:30-8:00 Arts W 215 Description: This fall, the Toronto International Film Festival plans to unveil a new video game, “Body/ Mind/ Change” based on the films of David Cronenberg; this title captures the major obsessions of Cronenberg’s long and productive career. His early efforts produced gleeful, shocking and wildly inventive first films (Shivers, Rabid, The Brood), prompting the invention of a new genre (body horror), a rash of Grand Guignol nicknames (the Baron of Blood, the King of Venereal Horror), and outraged debates in the House of Commons over public funding for popular horror films. Although today he has become the eminence grise of Canadian Cinema, the spectacular displays of his early films haven’t gone away, but have become a molecular kind of mutation in films like Eastern Promises and A History of Violence. Cronenberg’s body of work provides us with one of the best sets of texts for exploring the mutations of our existence in an era of intensive technological change. We will work through Cronenberg’s films as engagement with questions around biotechnologies, media, memory, the body and the self, alongside key texts from contemporary cultural theory. Evaluation: Group Discussion Sections 20%; Screening Logs 30%; Final Paper or Project 35%; participation 15%. Required Text: Coursepack (McGill Bookstore); Naked Lunch by William Burroughs and The Three Ecologies by Felix Guattari (Paragraphe Books). Format of Class: Lecture, Screenings, Discussion. NOTE: (1) McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see www.mcgill.ca/integrity for more information). (2) In accord with McGill University’s Charter of Students’ Rights, students in this course have the right to submit in English or in French any written work that is to be graded. (3) In the event of extraordinary circumstances beyond the University’s control, the content and/or evaluation scheme in this course is subject to change. Week One Sept. 6 Intros and “At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World” Reading: “Having an Idea in Cinema” Gilles Deleuze (online) Week Two Sept. 11 & 13 introductions; Shaviro “Bodies of Fear”Fuller “Introduction”; (online) Screening: Shivers Week Three Sept. 18 & 20:Deleuze and Guattari. “ November 28, 1947: How Do You Make Yourself a Body Without Organs?”; Jorholt “The Metaphor Made Flesh: A Philosophy of the Body Disguised as Biological Horror Film.” Screening: Rabid Week Four Sept. 25 & 27 Braidotti “Mothers, Monsters, and Machines.”;Pisters “Material Aspects of Subjectivity.”; Screening: The Brood Week Five Oct. 2 Guattari The Three Ecologies (pp. 1-45, I recommend the Genosko essay as well) Huhtamo and Jussi “Introduction: An Archaeology of Media Archaeology.” Screening: Videodrome Week Six Oct. 9 & 11Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. “1730: Becoming-Intense, Becoming- Animal, Becoming-Imperceptible...” von Uexkull, Jakob. “Forward and Introduction” Screening: The Fly NOTE: screening logs #1 due Oct. 9 (through Videodrome) Week Seven Oct. 16 & 18Wolfe “Introduction: What is Posthumanism?”; Parikka “Introduction” and “Biomorphs and Boids: Swarming Algorithms.” Screening: Dead Ringers Week Eight Oct. 23Wolfe “Flesh and Finitude: Bioethics and the Philosophy of Living.” ; Burroughs, Naked Lunch Screening: Naked Lunch Week Nine Oct. 30 & Nov. 1 Parisi, “Technoecologies of Sensation” and Parisi “The Adventures of Sex.” Screening: Crash Week Ten Nov. 6 & 8 Simondon, Gilbert. “The Genesis of the Indivi
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