|UDCC 1000/PINS Seminar, Section 6||W. Scott Howard|
|Fall, 2000||Department of English|
|Sturm Hall 312||Sturm Hall 387E|
Against the Grain: Mourning & the Work of Culture
There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism. And just as such a document is not free of barbarism, barbarism taints also the manner in which it was transmitted from one owner to another. A historical materialist therefore dissociates himself from it as far as possible. He regards it as his task to brush history against the grain.—Walter Benjamin, "Theses on the Philosophy of History," VII [my emphasis]
Course URL: http://www.du.edu/~showard/UDCC1000.900.html
Blackboard URL: http://du.blackboard.com/
Course Description: This UDCC/PINS seminar concerns relationships between loss, grief, memory, imagination, artistic representation, and the writing of cultural history. Our interdisciplinary examination of private and public works of mourning will address the following topics: the Orpheus myth in film and literature; the western poetic elegy from 100 BC to the present; the Holocaust; the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial; the AIDS Memorial Quilt; and the artistic composition and cultural work of individual monuments in Denver’s Civic Center. Students will study film, poetry, literature, art, digital media and social theory, and will conduct much of their research and writing via Blackboard and other Internet/WWW resources.
PINS: This UDCC seminar is also sponsored by the University of Denver’s Partners in Scholarship Program (PINS). Students—either as individuals or small groups—may choose to submit proposals for PINS research projects to be conducted and completed during Winter Quarter, 2001. Limited funding for research related expenses will be available for granted projects. Proposals must consist of the following components in order to be considered: 1. one project statement (2 pages) that presents the project’s title, participants, topic, scope, procedures, and methods for evaluation; 2. one itemized budget with rationale for each line. PINS awardees must submit receipts in order to be reimbursed for project related expenses and also must complete their research projects by the end of Winter Quarter, 2001 to receive PINS distinction.
Teaching Method: seminar (lecture & discussion)
Method of Evaluation:
8 short (1 page) informal response essays
2 short (5 page) papers
participation & presentation
informal response essays 20%
short papers 70%
participation & presentation 10%
Attendance Policy: More than one inexcusable absence will result
in a failing grade for the seminar.
Caruth, Cathy, ed. Trauma: Explorations in Memory. Baltimore:
The Johns Hopkins University Press,
1995. ISBN: 0-801-85007-X. $16.95 (optional).
Forche, Carolyn, ed. Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry
of Witness. New York: W. W. Norton
& Co., 1993. ISBN: 0-393-30976-2. $24.95 (optional).
Michaels, Anne. Fugitive Pieces. New York: Random House, 1996.
ISBN: 0-679-77659-1. $12.00
Mitford, Jessica. The American Way of Death Revisited. New York:
Random House, 1998. ISBN: 0-679-
77186-7. $14.00 (required).
Sturken, Marita. Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic,
and the Politics of
Remembering. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. ISBN: 0-520-20620-7. $17.95
Zeiger, Melissa F. Beyond Consolation: Death, Sexuality, and the
Changing Shapes of Elegy. Ithaca:
Cornell University Press, 1997. ISBN: 0-801-48441-3. $16.95 (optional).
Reserve Readings & Photocopies: Selected works in poetry,
prose, theory, and criticism are available at The Penrose Library, reserve
desk. The cost for photocopying these materials will be $10-$15.
Week 1 The Orpheus Myth in Film & Literature
T 9/12 Camus: Black Orpheus (in-class film)
Week 2 The Orpheus Myth in Film & Literature
T 9/19 Essays due/Mythology & Folklore WWW resources: http://www.du.edu/~showard/W3rs.900.html/Camus: selections from Black Orpheus (in class film)/Ovid: selections from Metamorphoses (handout)/Gaiman: "Orpheus" (handout)
Week 3 The Western Elegy From Bion to Bronk
T 9/26 Essays due/Selected elegies (on reserve)/Forche: selections from Against Forgetting (on reserve)
Week 4 Psychoanalytic Paradigms I: Mourning & Melancholia
T 10/3 Essays due/Freud: "Mourning and Melancholia" & "On Transience" (on reserve)/Michaels: Fugitive Pieces (first half)
Week 5 Psychoanalytic Paradigms II: Melancholic Mourning
T 10/10 Essays due/Ramazani: selections from Poetry of Mourning (on reserve)/Zeiger: selections from Beyond Consolation (on reserve)/Michaels: Fugitive Pieces (second half)/Kurosawa: selections from Dreams (in-class film)
Week 6 The Holocaust & Testimony
T 10/17 1st paper due/Lanzmann: selections from Shoah, part 1 (in-class film)
Week 7 The Holocaust & Testimony
T 10/24 Essays due/Lanzmann: selections from Shoah, part 1 (in-class film)/Felman & Laub: selections from Testimony (on reserve) /Caruth: selections from Trauma: Explorations in Memory (on reserve)/ Forche: selections from Against Forgetting (on reserve)
Week 8 The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
T 10/31 Essays due/Mock: Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (in-class film)/Sturken: selections From Tangled Memories/Mitford: selections from The American Way of Death Revisited/Forche: selections from Against Forgetting (on reserve)
Week 9 The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt
T 11/7 Essays due/Thompson: Lest We Forget (film)/Sturken: selections from Tangled Memories/ Mitford: selections from The American Way of Death Revisited/Brown: The Gifts of the Body/Benjamin: "Theses on the Philosophy of History" (handout)
Week 10 Denver’s Civic Center
T 11/14 Field trip to Civic Center
SA 11/18 Examinations commence
Week 11 Examination Week
T 11/21 Time & location TBA/Presentations/2nd papers due/PINS proposals due/Examinations conclude