States of Damage: C21 US Writing and Culture, 2013-14
Nick Lawrence (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stephen Shapiro (email@example.com)
Mark Storey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note: The module is divided into three groups of 25; each group rotates among the three tutors in units of 5 weeks each, bracketed by three joint sessions attended by everyone in the module. The schedule below numbers the weeks in term 1 as 1-10 (with week 6 as reading week) and in term 2 as 11-20 (with week 16 as reading week). The three joint sessions are as follows:
Introduction: C21 US writing and culture (joint session 1):
Slavoj Zizek, “Welcome to the Desert of the Real,” South Atlantic Quarterly 101.2 (Spring 2002): 384-389
Disaster capitalism (joint session 2):
Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine (Penguin, 2007) Read chapters 1-6; 14-17; 20 and the conclusion.
Guest lecture and panel discussion with Dan Hassler-Forest (Amsterdam University) (joint session 3): a section from Dan's book Capitalist Superheros will be distributed in advance. **This session will take place in the Humanities Studio**
It is a requirement of the module that you have the entire year’s texts in your possession before term 1 begins, and that you bring the assigned texts for each week to class. The campus bookshop may order these, but in most cases it will be easier and cheaper to get them online, especially for summer reading. Handouts, video clips and any other items will be provided in class.
Note that we require you to watch all assigned video works before the week in which they're assigned, but we don't specify in what form or mode you're to watch them - online, DVD, in company or alone; that's up to you. Otherwise, we welcome you reading through the syllabus works in advance, but if you do, try to read them within the context of their ‘unit’ appearance (in other words, if you start with Mark's unit, let's say, then stick with that).
Shapiro unit (weeks 2-7 OR weeks 8-13 OR weeks 14-19):
Terms 1 & 2 Millburn House Capital Rehearsal Room
George Saunders, Pastoralia (Bloomsbury, 2000) [Read only these: “Pastoralia”; “Winky”; “Sea Oak”; and “The Falls”]
Ivor Southwood, selections from Non-Stop Inertia [available on forum]
Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Zero Books, 2009) [skip sections 6 and 7]
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”
“Fuck You, Buddy” from The Trap (2007), dir. Adam Curtis (in-class viewing)
David Harvey, from A Brief History of Neoliberalism [handout]
Gerard Duménil and Dominique Lévy, p. 7-32; 45-54, The Crisis of Neoliberalism (Harvard UP, 2011) [handout]
Peter Mountford, A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism (Mariner, 2011)
Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge (Jonathan Cape, 2013)
Storey unit (weeks 2-7 OR weeks 8-13 OR weeks 14-19):
Term 1: From week 3 Avon Drama Studio, apart from: week 8 in WE1.16, week 9 in Avon Drama Studio, and week 10 in F1.11 (Engineering building, opposite Humanities).
Term 2: Reinvention Centre, Westwood
Giannina Braschi, United States of Banana (AmazonCrossing, 2011)
Colson Whitehead, Zone One (Vintage, 2011)
Brian Turner, Here, Bullet (Bloodaxe, 2005) and Phantom Noise (Bloodaxe, 2010)
Please also watch: Why We Fight (Dir. Eugene Jarecki, 2005) [the original link I put up has been muted for some reason (a copyright dispute!); this link should work, but the quality isn't great]
Homeland, Season 1 (Showtime, 2011)
Please watch through Season 1 of Homeland in its entirety before this week.
Lawrence unit (weeks 2-7 OR weeks 8-13 OR weeks 14-19):
Term 1: From week 3 Room WE1.17 apart from week 10 - S0.09
Term 2: Humanities Studio
The Wire, Season 1 (David Simon, dir., HBO, 2002)
John Kraniauskas, “Elasticity of Demand: Reflections on The Wire.” The Wire: Race, Class and Genre, ed. Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro (U of Michigan P, 2012) [handout]
Please watch through Season 1 of The Wire in its entirety before this week; we will use the Kraniauskas essay to focus discussion. I have several copies of Season 1 available outside my office door (H535) for those who want them.
Chris Ware, Building Stories (Jonathan Cape, 2012)
Kathi Weeks, Introduction, Chapters 1, 2, 5 and Epilogue, from The Problem of Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries (Duke 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]
Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers (Scribner, 2013)
Mike Daisey, The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (2011) [free download]