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2012-13 syllabus

Note that there are independent syllabi for each tutor’s seminars. We will be having joint sessions at the start of terms 1 and 2; please read the Zizek (term 1) and Klein (term 2) before we meet.

You must have the entire year’s texts (barring handouts) in your possession before Term 1 begins. Experience has taught us that in most cases it’s easiest and cheapest to get the texts for this module from Amazon, so each title below has the relevant hot link. Handouts and any other items will be provided in class. Some readings are accessible online, as indicated by the links. We welcome you reading the works in advance, but if you do, try to read them within the context of their ‘term’ appearance.

Class forum is located here:

TERM 1

Week 1: Introduction: C21 US writing and culture (joint session)
Slavoj Zizek, “Welcome to the Desert of the Real,” South Atlantic Quarterly 101.2 (Spring 2002): 384-38
or this version of the essay

Dr Mark Storey term 1 (weeks 2-5 or 7-10):

Week 2/7
Charles Burns, Black Hole (Jonathan Cape, 2005)

Week 3/8
Colson Whitehead, Zone One (Vintage, 2011)

Week 4/9
Maureen McHugh, After the Apocalypse (Big Mouth House, 2011)

Week 5/10
David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years (selections) (Melville, 2011)
Read these pages: 1-13; 21-28; 43-52; 62-71; 223-250; 251-257; 282-287; 296-305; and 307-391.

Prof Shapiro term 1 (week 2-5 or 7-10):

Week 2/7 [week 7 rescheduled to Tuesday 6-8, location Ramphal, R3.41]
1. George Saunders, Pastoralia (Bloomsbury, 2000)
Read only these:"Pastoralia"; "Winky" "Sea Oak"; and "The Falls"
2. Ivor Southwood, selections from Non-Stop Inertia (look on forum)
3. Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Zero Books, 2009)
SKIP sections 6 and 7

Week 3/8

John Lanchester, Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay (Penguin, 2010)
please also watch this 20 minute TED lecture by Barry Schwartz, "The paradox of choice": on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO6XEQIsCoM

Week 4/9
"Fuck You, Buddy" from The Trap (2007), dir. Adam Curtis
*Start reading David Foster Wallace, The Pale King (Hamish Hamilton, 2011)

Read only these sections: 1-6; 8-9; 13-14; 17; 19; 22; 24-25; 27; 44-45 and “Notes and Asides” pps 543- end of book.

Week 5/10 [week 10 rescheduled to Tuesday 6-8, location Ramphal, R3.41]
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King (Hamish Hamilton, 2011)

TERM 2

Week 1: Joint session
Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine (Penguin, 2007)
Read these sections:
Introduction; chapters 1-6; chapters 14-17 (USA and Iraq chapters); chapter 20, “Disaster Apartheid”; and Conclusion: “Shock Wears Off”.

Dr Storey term 2 (week 2-5 or 7-10):

Week 2/7
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (Virago, 2004)
*Optional extra: Chris Hedges, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (Vintage, 2007)

Week 3/8
Bret Easton Ellis, Lunar Park (Picador, 2005)

Week 4/9
Brian Turner, Here, Bullet (Bloodaxe, 2005) and Phantom Noise (Bloodaxe, 2010)

Week 5/10
Chalmers Johnson, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (Henry Holt, 2007)
*I'd recommend you read it all, but definitely read the prologue, chapters 1-3 and 7.



Dr Lawrence term 2 (week 2-5 or 7-10):

Week 2/7
The Wire, Season 1 (David Simon, dir., HBO, 2002-2003)
*Be sure to watch all episodes of Season 1 of The Wire before this week. We will focus discussion of the series with the following essays:

John Kraniauskas, "Elasticity of Demand: Reflections on The Wire." The Wire: Race, Class and Genre. Ed. Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2012. [handout]

Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro, "Tales of the Neoliberal City: The Wire’s Boundary Lines." The Wire: Race, Class and Genre. Ed. Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2012. [handout]

Week 3/8
Gerard Duménil and Dominique Levy, Introduction, Part I and Part VIII, The Crisis of Neoliberalism (Harvard UP, 2011) [handout]
Jason W. Moore, "Wall Street is a Way of Organizing Nature," Upping the Anti: A Journal of Theory and Action 12 (May 2011) [handout]

Week 4/9
Roberto Bolaño, "Part IV: The Part about the Crimes," from 2666 (Picador, 2008)

Week 5/10
Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (Nation Books, 2012)