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Syllabus 2014-15

Note to students: You will find below the core reading for the module. Check this page regularly for minor modifications to bibliographies and secondary reading. We have scanned and uploaded some critical texts; click on links as appropriate.


Term One

Week 1.Introduction
Presentation of the class and introduction to the texts to be used in the following two weeks

Week 2-3. Manifestos: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (etext available online); from Modernism: An Anthology of Sources and Documents: Wyndham Lewis, “Vorticism”; Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, “The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism” and “The Variety Theatre”; Mina Loy, “Feminist Manifesto”; Guillaume Apollinaire, “The Cubist Painters”; Tristan Tzara, "Dada Manifesto," "Note on Art" and "Note on Negro Art"; Kurt Schwitters, Merz, "Consistent Poetry" and "To All the Theatres of the World"; George Grosz, "Art is in Danger"; “Manifesto issued by the Syndicate of Technical Workers, Painters, and Sculptors”; André Breton, “The First Manifesto of Surrealism”; Antonio Gramsci, “Marinetti the Revolutionary,” “Theatre and Cinema”; Leon Trotsky, “Literature and Revolution”; and Luis Bunuel, “Suburbs.”

Recommended Reading: M. Perloff, "Violence and Precision: The Manifesto as Art Form."

Week 4. James Joyce, Dubliners.

Recommended Reading: D. Lloyd, "Counterparts: Dubliners, Masculinity, and Temperance Nationalism."

Week 5. Ezra Pound, Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir, and short poems (handout).

Recommended Reading: D. Tiffany, "Memory Cells."

Week 7. Hugh MacDiarmid, A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle.

Recommended Reading: Scott Lyall, Hugh MacDiarmid's Poetry and Politics of Place.

Week 8. Gertrude Stein, "Miss Furr and Miss Skeen," "Composition as Explanation," "Susie Asado" and "Preciosilla, " “Four Saints in Three Acts” “What are Master-pieces and Why Are There So Few of Them.”

Recommended Reading: Mena Mitrano, "Linguistic Exoticism and Literary Alienation: Gertrude Stein's 'Tender Buttons.''' Modern Language Studies, vol. 28, no. 2, (Spring, 1998).

Week 9. Pablo Neruda,from Selected Poems: "Tonight I Can Write," "Weak With The Dawn," "Ars Poetica," "Lone Gentleman," "Barcarole," "Walking Around," "There's No Forgetting," "I'm Explaining A Few Things," "Discoverers of Chile," "Ode To The Tomato," "Ode To The Clothes," "And How Long?," "Too Many Names," "The Portrait In The Rock," "Fiesta's End," "The People," "Poetry," in addition to "The United Fruit Co." (handout or etext) and excerpts from Memoirs and Passions and Impressions.

Recommended Reading: Greg Dawes, "Realism, Surrealism, Socialist Realism and Neruda's 'Guided Spontaneity.' Cultural Logic, vol. 6, 2003.

Week 10. Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Recommended Reading: Rosemary V. Hathaway, "The Unbearable Weight of Authenticity: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and a Theory of "Touristic Reading." Journal of American Folklore 117 (464): 168-190.


Term Two

Week 1. Sergei Eisenstein, dir., Battleship Potemkin; Eisenstein, Film Form: Essays in Film Theory (whole book except last essay, 'Dickens, Griffith, and the Film Today'; Dziga Vertov, Man with a Camera.

Week 2. Bertolt Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and excerpts from Brecht on Theatre: 13. 'The Modern Theatre is the Epic Theatre'; 15. 'The Film, the Novel and Epic Theatre'; 20. 'Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction'; 21. 'The German Drama: pre-Hitler'; 24. 'Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting'; 26. 'On Gestic Music'; 27. 'The Popular and the Realistic'; 29. 'The Street Scene'; 31. 'Short Description of a New Technique of Acting which Produces an Alienation Effect'; 38. 'A Short Organum for the Theatre'.

Recommended Reading: Frederic Jameson, from Brecht and Method; Darko Suvin, 'Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle and Marxist Figuralism'

Week 3. Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to My Native Land.
Recommended Reading: André Breton, 'A Great Black Poet': Aimé Césaire', from Breton, What is Surrealism?

Week 4. Mishima Yukio, Forbidden Colours/ Kinjiki.

Week 5. Marguerite Duras (screenplay) and Alain Resnais (director), Hiroshima Mon Amour; screenplay to be read for seminar).

Recommended Reading: Siobhan S. Craig, "Tu n'as rien vu à Hiroshima: Desire, Spectatorship and the Vaporized Subject in 'Hiroshima Mon Amour.'" Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 22:25-35, 2005.

Week 7. Kobo Abe, Woman of the Dunes/ Suna no Onna.

Week 8. Situationism - essays from ed. Tom McDonough, Guy Debord and the Situationist International (available online - look it up on the Warwick library site and follow the link): Debord, 'Report on the Construction of Situations...' (1957); Debord, 'One More Try If You Want To Be Situationists' (1957); Debord, 'Contribution to the Debate "Is Surrealism Dead Or Alive" (1958); Debord, 'The Situationsist and the New Forms of Action in Politics or Art'' (1967); Rene Vienet, 'The Situationists and the New Forms of Action Against Politics and Art'; Tom McDonough, 'Situationist Space'; Girogio Agamben, 'Difference and Repeititon: On Guy Debord's Films'; Jean-Luc Godard, dir. Weekend (screening to be arranged); critical writings from Godard On Godard: 2. 'Towards a Political Cinema'; 9. 'Defence and Illustration of Classical Construction'; 14. 'Montage my Fine Care'; 30. 'Mizoguchi'; 45. 'Jean-Luc Godard Interviews Astruc'; 77. 'Jean Renois and Television'; 93. 'Interview With Jean-Luc Godard'; 103. 'Questionnaire to French Film-makers'; 110. 'Speech Delivered at the Cinematheque Francaise...'; 113. 'One Should Put Everything into a Film'; 116. 'Manifesto'

Week 9. Abdelwahab Meddeb, Talismano

Week 10. Roberto Bolano, The Savage Detectives