Reading Schedule

Wednesday, August 30
The Problem of Representation, from Plato to the Present

  • The Allegory of the Cave from Plato’s The Republic, Book VII (circa 400 B.C.)
  • “The Uniforms” by Don DeLillo (1970) (handout in class)

Wednesday, September 6
The Society of the Spectacle (Unmediated)

  • Selections from Rabelais and His World by Mikhail Bakhtin (e-reserve)
  • Selections from The Politics and Poetics of Transgression by Peter Stallybrass and Allon White (e-reserve)
  • “Festival: Definition and Morphology” by Alessandra Falassi (e-reserve)
  • “Carnival, Ritual, and Play in Rio de Janeiro” by Victor Turner (e-reserve)
  • “An American Vocabulary of Celebrations” by Roger Abrahams (e-reserve)

Wednesday, September 13
The Society of the Spectacle (Mediated)

Wednesday, September 20
Mythology in Spectacular Society

  • “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I” by Jacques Lacan (e-reserve)
  • “Ideological State Apparatuses” by Louis Althusser (e-reserve)
  • “Simulation and Simulacra” by Jean Baudrillard (e-reserve)
  • Mythologies by Roland Barthes

Wednesday, September 27
Photography, Participation, and Spectacle

  • “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” from Walter Benjamin’s Illuminations
  • “Words of Light: Theses on the Photography of History” by Eduardo Cadava (Diacritics e-journal on campus / off campus)
  • On Photography by Susan Sontag

Wednesday, October 4
Film, Experience, and Spectacle

  • Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
  • “The Storyteller,” “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire,” and “Theses on the Philosophy of History” from Walter Benjamin’s Illuminations

Wednesday, October 11
Film, Spectacle, and Race

  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • “Shirley Temple and the House of Rockefeller” by Charles Eckert (e-reserve)
  • “Cuteness and Commodity Aesthetics: Tom Thumb and Shirley Temple” by Lori Merish (e-reserve)
  • Screening: Bright Eyes (1934) (Johnson Center Reserve)
  • * Mid-semester Essay *

Wednesday, October 18
Film, Spectacle and Race

  • The Bluest Eye Continued
  • “Of Other Spaces” by Michel Foucault (Diacritics e-journal on campus access / off campus access)
  • Of Our Spiritual Strivings from W.E.B. DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk
  • “The Fact of Blackness” from Franz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (e-reserve)
  • Screening: Imitation of Life (1934) (Johnson Center Reserve)

Wednesday, October 25
Repetition, Death, and Spectacle

  • “Death Rampant! Readers Rejoice” by Alexander Cockburn (e-reserve)
  • Selections from The Philosophy of Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol (e-reserve)
  • Andy Warhol, ed. Annette Michelson
  • “Allan McCollum: Repetition & Difference” by Craig Owens (e-reserve)
  • “Portraits of People with AIDS” by Douglas Crimp (e-reserve)

Wednesday, November 1
Crowds, Spectacle, and Death

  • Mao II by Don DeLillo
  • The Man of the Crowd by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Selections from The Crowd by Gustave Le Bon (e-reserve)
  • Selections from Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti (e-reserve)

Wednesday, November 8
Celebrity, Spectacle, and Death

  • Mao II Continued
  • Selections from American Magic and Dread by Mark Osteen (e-reserve)
  • “The Writer as a Celebrity: Some Aspects of American Literature as Popular Culture” by John Cawelti in Studies in American Fiction (e-reserve)
  • “The Mass Public and the Mass Subject” by Michael Warner from Habermas and the Public Sphere (e-book)

Wednesday, November 15
Spectacle and War

  • Selections from War and Cinema by Paul Virilio (e-reserve)
  • Selections from The Vision Machine by Paul Virilio (e-reserve)
  • Introduction to The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry (e-reserve)
  • Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag

Wednesday, November 29
New Media Spectacle

  • “A Rape in Cyberspace; Or, How an Evil Clown, a Haitian Trickster Spirit, Two Wizards, and a Cast of Dozens Turned a Database into a Society” by Julian Dibbell from Flame Wars (e-reserve)
  • Game Theories by Clive Thompson
  • The Unreal Estate Boom by Julian Dibbell in Wired
  • “Satellite and Cyber Visualities” by Lisa Parks, from The Visual Culture Reader (e-reserve)
  • PAX: An Instrument by Stuart Moulthrop
  • The Bomar Gene and Conversation by Jason Nelson
  • Second Life by Linden Lab

Wednesday, December 6
9/11 and Spectacle

  • Fredric Jameson, Slavoj Žižek, Susan Willis, Jean Baudrillard, John Milbank, and Frank Lentricchia and Jody McAuliffe on September 11, 2001, in the South Atlantic Quarterly, 101.2, Spring 2002 (e-journal on campus / off campus)
  • In the Ruins of the Future by Don DeLillo

* Final Research Paper Due Wednesday, December 13 *

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