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Syllabus for 2022-23

Term 1

note: if there's not a link, then you don't need to buy anything, an electronic copy will be provided. If there is a link, then please purchase the text!
Week 1. Introduction

C21 US writing and culture

Week 2. Neoliberalism

watch: “Fuck You, Buddy” from The Trap (2007), dir. Adam Curtis


1. Mark Fisher, selections from Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Zero Books, 2009).

2. Ivor Southwood, selections from Non-Stop Inertia (Zero Books, 2011). Read pages 1-30.

3. Dale Beran, “4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump”

4. Philip Mirowski, "A Short Course in Neoliberal Economic Doctrine"

5. (optional) Dale Beran, "The Boogaloo Tipping Point: What happens when a meme becomes a terrorist movement?"

Week 3. Ways of looking at Time and Cultures of Solidarity.

1. Gerard Duménil and Dominique Lévy, from The Crisis of Neoliberalism (Harvard UP, 2011): 7-32, 45-54.

2. Michael Denning, selections from The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century, 3-50.

Week 4. Zombie life

Ling Ma, SeveranceLink opens in a new window (2019)

2.selections from Matthew Soules, Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin: Architecture and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century (2021)

Week 5. Microaggressions

1. Claudia Rankine, Citizen, An American LyricLink opens in a new window (Graywolf, 2014), parts I-V, pages 5-79.

2. Sofia Samatar, “Skin Feeling"

3. #blacklivesmatter videos

Please listen to Charlie Parker’s “Relaxin’ at Camarillo” and read the short article “Hair Relaxer Facts – What is A Hair Relaxer?” (Teen Vogue) and wikipedia entry on microagression

Week 6. Reading Week

Week 7. Intersectionality

Kiley Reid, Such a Fun AgeLink opens in a new window (2021)

Week 8. Apocalypse

Rumaan Alam, Leave the World BehindLink opens in a new window (2020)

Week 9. Monsters

Emil Ferris, My Favorite Thing is MonstersLink opens in a new window (2017)

Week 10 History of the Megamachine

Fabian Scheidler, The End of the Megamachine: A Brief History of a Failing CivilizationLink opens in a new window (2021)

Term 2

Week 1. Learning how to make Comics Even if you don't know how to draw

Lynda Barry, Making ComicsLink opens in a new window (2019)

Week 2. Mass Prison Industrial Complex videos

list to come

Week 3. Prison Narratives I

Colson Whitehead, The Nickel BoysLink opens in a new window (2020)

Week 4. Prison Narrative II

Rachel Kushner, The Mars RoomLink opens in a new window (2019)

Week 5. Digital Life

1. Charles Duhigg, “How Companies Learn Your Secrets”

2. Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan, AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future Week Link opens in a new window

Week 6. Reading week

Week 7. How we think, how we feel

Lisa Feldman Barrett, How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the BrainLink opens in a new window (2018)

Week 8. Design Questions

1. Ellen Lupton et al., Extra Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-racist, Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic DesignersLink opens in a new window (2021).

2. selection from Douglas Thomas, Never Use Futura (2017).

Week 9. Witches

Emily St. John Mandel, The Sea of TranquilityLink opens in a new window (2022)

Week 10. Retrospective

video group discussion