Introduction to Literary Forms: The Cinema

From the French New Wave to the post-Revolutionary cinema of Iran, it is well known that filmmakers across the globe have often focused on the perspectives or stories of children to shed light on the struggles, joys, and mundane (turned exhilarating) moments of everyday life. Films focusing on children approach life from a “smaller” or differently illuminated scale than that of the adult subject, sometimes focusing on cycles of growth, while other times exposing the viewer to experiences, journeys, and imaginative worlds otherwise lost to adult realities.

Fiction and Culture of the Americas

What is meant when we say someone or something “sounds American”? Can a person sound like a certain gender, social class, sexuality, or race? How would we possibly define that sound? And what might it mean to think of a culture by the ways it sounds and listens, instead of how it looks or sees? This course will explore these questions and others by studying podcasts, poems, songs, novels, and the changing forms of sonic technologies like microphones, radios, mp3s, turntables, and more.

Literature of American Cultures

The Statue of Liberty with welcome torch always raised. The Hollywood sign against golden California hills. Subways and freeways running like arteries above and below ground, offering to transport us around and across the city. Many iconic images of New York City and Los Angeles construct U.S. urban centers as a space of endless movement and possibility.

Reading & Composition

What does life look like in “plague-time”?  What does it mean for a body, a place, a community to be “clean” or “unclean”? What can we learn from fictional and historical sites of contamination? This course will explore the concept of contagion and the fears, real and imagined, that surround it. We will examine the transmission and containment of “infected” or “infectious” ideas and bodies in order to compare the ways that humans respond to crisis, from the level of the

Reading & Composition

This course will examine literature and the visual arts alongside and through the rapidly growing field of virtual technologies, emphasizing their medial relationships to literary artwork. Assigned texts will be read alongside and compared to recent adaptations of texts in their various new mediations. This course will also integrate texts and theory drawing from art history, philosophy, computer science, anthropology, cognitive studies, and literary criticism with innovative technologies where such disparate ideas might generate new critical modes and analytical methods.