Future Visions: Temporality and the Politics of Change|
ENGL 265, ANTH 205, FGSS 266|
|Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory|
What is the time of political change? This course explores alternative temporal frameworks embraced by artists, writers, activists, and interdisciplinary scholars from diverse social and cultural locations. We ask: how do concepts of temporality help us understand, resist, contest, and transform prevailing social orders?
We will begin by assembling some conceptual tools for understanding the relationship of time to historical change and to racial, sexual, cultural, and national difference. Drawing on psychoanalysis, literary theory, history, trauma studies, anthropology, African American studies, queer theory, feminist studies, and postcolonial studies, we will explore the telos of modernity and narratives of liberal progress. We will then consider some of the critical and oppositional possibilities of being out of sync with dominant temporal frameworks, asking: are there other, perhaps more livable, temporalities? Next, we will consider the possibilities for memory and memorialization to work against historical forgetting and cultural amnesia--alongside the ways historical pasts might be appropriated to serve nationalist ends. Finally, we will turn to the question of the future as found in meditations on utopias and dystopias; in political, cultural, and ecological justice movements; in ideologies of newness; and in rhetorics of apocalypse.
Our readings include three texts that highlight the form and futures of political change: Theresa Hak Jyung Cha's Dictee, an avant-garde text that uses multiple genres (poetry, autobiography, history, photography, etc.) juxtaposing historical trauma and aesthetic experimentation; Kim Fortun's Advocacy After Bhopal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders, an experimental ethnography of environmental disaster and its aftermath; and Octavia Butler's Kindred, a speculative fiction about time travel and the memory of slavery. As we consider social change, revolutions, and new "ends" and beginnings, students are invited to explore current social justice movements.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ENGL)(ENGL-TLF Conc)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Books: Theresa Hak Jyung Cha, DICTEE; Kim Fortun, ADVOCACY AFTER BHOPAL: ENVIRONMENTALISM, DISASTER, NEW GLOBAL ORDERS, and Octavia Butler, KINDRED.
We will also read excerpts of Lauren Berlant, CRUEL OPTIMISM; Anne Cheng, THE MELANCHOLY OF RACE; Lee Edelman, NO FUTURE; Elizabeth Freeman, TIME BINDS; Sigmund Freud, BEYOND THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE; Judith Halberstam, THE QUEER
ART OF FAILURE; Marita Sturken, TANGLED MEMORIES; Saidiya Hartman, LOSE YOUR MOTHER; Sara Ahmed, THE PROMISE OF HAPPINESS; José Muñoz, CRUISING UTOPIA.
We will also view several films (including "Cannibal Tours," "United in Anger: A History of ACT UP," and "History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige") and works by contemporary artists (including Kara Walker, Glenn Ligon, Tehching Hsieh, Fred Wilson, Ruben Trejo, and others) in class.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Assignments will include several short papers, a class presentation, and a final paper/project.
|Instructor(s): Weiss,Margot Tang,Amy Cynthia Times: .M.W... 11:00AM-12:20PM; Location: TBA|
|Total Enrollment Limit: 30||SR major: 3||JR major: 10|| || |
|Seats Available: -1||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 2||JR non-major: 3||SO: 10||FR: 2|