Future Visions: Temporality and the Politics of Change|
Fall 2018 not offered
ENGL 265, ANTH 205, FGSS 266|
|Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory|
|Course Cluster: Queer Studies|
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 Kyung 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 E. 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)
Final list of course texts will be available at Broad Street Books.
Potential titles include:
Lauren Berlant, CRUEL OPTIMISM
Cathy Caruth, UNCLAIMED EXPERIENCE: TRAUMA, NARRATIVE, HISTORY
Anne Cheng, THE MELANCHOLY OF RACE: PSYCHOANALYSIS, ASSIMILATION, AND HIDDEN GRIEF
Lee Edelman, NO FUTURE: QUEER THEORY AND THE DEATH DRIVE
Kim Fortun, ADVOCACY AFTER BHOPAL: ENVIRONMENTALISM, DISASTER, NEW GLOBAL ORDERS
Elizabeth Freeman, TIME BINDS: QUEER TEMPORALITIES, QUEER HISTORIES
Deborah B. Gould, MOVING POLITICS: EMOTION AND ACT UP'S FIGHT AGAINST AIDS
Judith Halberstam, THE QUEER ART OF FAILURE
Elizabeth Povinelli, ECONOMIES OF ABANDONMENT: SOCIAL BELONGING AND ENDURANCE IN LATE LIBERALISM
Diana Taylor, THE ARCHIVE AND THE REPERTOIRE: PERFORMING CULTURAL MEMORY IN THE AMERICAS
|Examination and Assignments: |
Assignments will include several short papers, a class presentation, and a final paper/project.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Class includes one large lecture and one smaller discussion section each week. Students will also attend several public lectures on the theme "Temporality: Stasis, Repetition, Transformation" at the Center for the Humanities on Mondays at 4:30p.m.