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Syllabus 2018/19


Week 1: Introduction: The Road Novel in the Long Twentieth Century
Giovanni Arrighi “Introduction” The Long Twentieth Century (1994)
Flannery O’Connor “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (1953)
*Bring in an add, film clip, or other cultural artefact about 1950s road culture

Suggested Secondary Reading:
Matthew Huber. “Oil, Life, Politics” Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital (2013)
Karl Marx “Chapter 4: The General Formula for Capital” Capital (1867)

Unit 1: Production

Week 2
*Jack Kerouac, On the Road (Penguin, 1956)
Norman Bel Geddes. “Highways and Horizons” Magic Motorways (1940)

Selected Secondary Reading:
Elaine Tyler May “Introduction” Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War (1998)

Week 3
*Che Guevara Motorcycle Diaries (Perennial, 1957)
Aimé Césaire Discourse of Colonialism (1950)

Selected Secondary Reading:
Josefina Saldana Portillo “On the Road with Che Guevara and Jack Kerouac: Melancholia and Colonial Geographies of Race in the Americas” New Formations (2002)
---. Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development (2003)
W.W. Rostow The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (1960)

Unit Two: Circulation

Week 4
Stephen Spielberg Duel (1971) (film screening to be organised earlier in the week)
Midnight Notes Collective “Oil, Guns, and Money” Midnight Oil: Work, Energy, War 1973-1992 (1999)

Selected Secondary Reading:
Deb Cowen “The Revolution in Logistics” The Deadly Life of Logistics: Mapping Violence in Global Trade (2014)
Fredric Jameson “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture” Social Text (1979)

Week 5
*Samuel Delany Dhalgren (Gateway, 1975)
James and Grace Lee Boggs “The City is the Black Man’s Land” Pages From a Black Radical's Notebook (1966)

Selected Secondary Reading:
William Sites “Building an Urban Neoliberalism: The Long Rebirth of New York” Remaking New York: Primitive Globalization and the Politics of Urban Community (2003)
Peter Gallison “War Against the Center” Grey Room (2001)

Week 6: Reading Break

Week 7
*Samuel Delaney Dhalgren (1975)
Joshua Clover. “Introduction.” Riot Strike Riot (2016)

Selected Secondary Reading
Raymond Mohl “Stop the Road: Freeway Revolts in American Cities” Journal of Urban History (2004)
Eric Avila The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City (2014)
Samuel Delany Times Square Red, Times Square Blue (1999)

Unit 3: Collapse

Week 8
*Cormac McCarthy The Road (Picador, 2006)
Imre Szeman “System Failure: Oil, Futurity, and the Anticipation of Disaster” (2007)

Selected Secondary Reading:
Jason Moore “Cheap Food and Bad Money: Food, Frontiers, and Financialization in the Rise and Demise of Neoliberalism” Review (2010)
Lee Edelman No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004)
Rebekah Sheldon The Child to Come: Life After Human Catastrophe (2016)

Week 9
*Jessmyn Ward Sing, Unburied Sing (Bloomsbury, 2017)
Sylvia Wynter “Novel and History, Plot and Plantation” Small Axe (1971)
Christina Sharpe “The Wake” In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (2016)

Suggested Secondary Reading:
Ruth Wilson Gilmore Golden Gulags: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (2007)
Saidiya V. Hartman “The Time of Slavery” South Atlantic Quarterly (2002)

Week 10
*Yuri Herrera Signs Preceding the End of the World (& Other Stories, 2015)
Lisa Marie Cacho “Grafting Terror onto Illegality” Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected (2012)