Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘thrill

Me in TNI, Occupy MLA, Seven Short Stories about Drones, Wes Anderson’s ‘Godzilla,’ and More

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* My piece on ecological science fiction and pessimistic despair from the “Weather” issue of The New Inquiry is online: Après Nous, le Déluge. Don’t let the title fool you; it’s in English!

Perhaps Lear would have thought it all a bit too on-the-nose—but now our suicidal urges and our selfishness and our sickening disregard for the future come back to us as hurricanes and heat-waves. Let a thousand science fictional panoramas bloom: the Statue of Liberty frozen over, toppled in the sand, neck-deep in water. Hollywood on fire. Texas cracked with drought. Hundred-year storms every other year. Après nous, la glace, le feu, le désert, le déluge.

* In case you missed it last night, my course this semester: “Thrill and Dread in the American Century.”

* Profhacker has a writeup from the people behind the Occupy MLA hoax for people who are still curious just what was going on there. If my Twitter timeline is any indication, it’s fair to say this was not well-received. Personally I think it’s very hard to argue this was about advancing cause of adjuncts and NTT faculty in any meaningful way, though I can see why they want to say so now. Nothing about the portrayal of the Occupy MLA participants either this year or last year cast critics of academic labor in a good light. Bérubé agrees! For a somewhat more nuanced take, see Noel Jackson’s timeline.

* Bad news for the for-profit education industry. But don’t worry! We’ve got the next revenue stream all queued up.

MOOCs are designed to impose, not improved learning, but a new business model on higher education, which opens the door for wide-scale profiteering. Public institutions of higher education then become shells for private interests who will offer small grants on the front end and reap larger profits on the back end.

chickengodzillamovies2* Wes Anderson’s Godzilla.

But, in fact, we’ve got two grand experiments of her theory,” he said. “The first is the American South, where teachers unions are weak and the schools are not lighting the world on fire. The other is charter schools, which are 88 percent non-unionized. In charters, you can do everything that Michelle Rhee wants to do — fire bad teachers, pay good teachers more. And yet, the most comprehensive studies looking at charter schools nationally find mediocre results.”

* Teju Cole: Seven short stories about drones. Mirrored at TNI.

2. Call me Ishmael. I was a young man of military age. I was immolated at my wedding. My parents are inconsolable.

* io9 tells you to set your DVR to Continuum,the most intriguing new time travel show in years.”

Supreme Court Justice Death Calculator. I’ll save you the trouble:

The probability of at least 1 conservative justice dying by 2017: 46.62%.

While popular culture has for centuries reflected an older form of law and justice, its capacity to undermine the very pluralist and discursive openness which are its well-spring, demonstrates the dangers to which the rhetoric of urgency and the emotional power of medium and message are prone. In a world shorn of its faith in the traditional structures which sustained the moral economy and the moral legality, the appeal to simply trust in an inarticulable justice sustained by an emotional pitch which is in ‘24’ at every moment apparent, opens the prospect of legal terrorism.

* “Dean Kamen, inventor of the SegWay, has a new invention out! This one is for dieting, and it sucks food out of the stomach before the body can absorb it.” Well, that all checks out.

Aaron Swartz Faced A More Severe Prison Term Than Killers, Slave Dealers And Bank Robbers.

* And a public service announcement: Harmontown comes to Wisconsin next week…

Spring 2013 Course: “Thrill and Dread in the American Century”

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The new semester at Marquette begins tomorrow, and I’ll be teaching the second half of the American literature survey sequence. The full syllabus is on my website here, but you can see the course theme and provisional schedule below…

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ENGLISH 2520-101:
INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN LITERATURE 2
Thematic Title: Thrill and Dread in the American Century
MWF 10:00-10:50 AM

“To be modern,” Marshall Berman wrote, “is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and the world—and, at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are.” This course traces the development of this tension between hope and disaster, between “thrill” and “dread,” in American literature since the Civil War. In this course we will examine and interrogate this explosive sense of what it means to be “modern” with respect to themes of history and futurity, identity and difference, politics, community, war, empire, and the environment. From the private lives of individuals and families to the very public relationships that exist in and between diverse communities to the nation’s assent to global superpower status in the context of a nuclear-powered Cold War, we will find America in the post-Civil-War period understands itself as a place where anything can happen—in good ways, and in bad.

PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE
Any changes to this schedule will be announced in class as they become necessary.

Students should come to class prepared to discuss the listed texts or chapters.

Monday

January 14

Introduction to the Course

Wednesday

January 16

NA-C: Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”

Friday

January 18

NA-C: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wall-paper”

Monday

January 21

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY—NO CLASS

Tuesday

January 22

DROP/ADD ENDS

Wednesday

January 23

NA-C: Pauline Hopkins, “A Dash for Liberty”

NA-C: James Weldon Johnson, “Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man”

Friday

January 25

NA-C: Stephen Crane, “The Open Boat”

Monday

January 28

NA-C: Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”

NA-C: “The Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee”

Wednesday

January 30

NA-D: “Modernist Manifestos”: F.T. Marinetti, Mina Loy, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes

Friday

February 1

NA-D: Carl Sandburg, Gertrude Stein, Robert Frost, poems

Monday

February 4

NA-D: Langston Hughes, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, poems

Wednesday

February 6

NA-D: William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”

FIRST PAPER WORKSHOP DAY

Friday

February 8

Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” [ARES]

Monday

February 11

Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” [ARES]

Wednesday

February 13

James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues” [ARES]

Friday

February 15

Edgar Allan Poe, “Annabel Lee” [D2L]

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, foreword and chapters 1-5

Monday

February 18

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, chapters 6-13

FIRST PAPER DUE

Wednesday

February 20

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, chapters 14-23

Friday

February 22

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, chapters 24-33

Monday

February 25

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, part 2, chapters 1-7

Wednesday

February 27

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, part 2, chapters 8-16

Friday

March 1

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, part 2, chapters 17-24

Monday

March 4

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, part 2, chapters 25-31

Wednesday

March 6

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, part 2, chapters 31-36

Friday

March 8

NA-E: John Cheever, “The Swimmer”

Monday

March 11

SPRING BREAK—NO CLASS

Wednesday

March 13

SPRING BREAK—NO CLASS

Friday

March 15

SPRING BREAK—NO CLASS

Monday

March 18

NA-E: Allen Ginsberg, “Howl”; “Footnote to Howl”; “A Supermarket in California”; America” [D2L]

Wednesday

March 20

NA-E: Sylvia Plath, Frank O’Hara, Amiri Baraka, poems

Friday

March 22

CLASS CANCELLED / CONFERENCES

Monday

March 25

NA-E: Donald Barthelme, “The Balloon”

SECOND PAPER WORKSHOP

Wednesday

March 27

NA-E: Raymond Carver, “Cathedral”

Friday

March 29

EASTER HOLIDAY—NO CLASS

Monday

April 1

Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried” [ARES]

Wednesday

April 3

NA-E: Toni Morrison, “Recitatif”

Friday

April 5

CLASS CANCELLED / MOVIE NIGHT! TBA

Monday

April 8

NA-E: Adrienne Rich, Galway Kinnell, Yusef Komunyaka, poems

SECOND PAPER DUE

Wednesday

April 10

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower, chapters 1-5

Friday

April 12

CLASS CANCELLED / MOVIE NIGHT! TBA

LAST DAY TO WITHDRAW

Monday

April 15

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower, chapters 6-9

Wednesday

April 17

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower, chapters 10-13

Friday

April 19

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower, chapters 14-16

Monday

April 22

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower, chapters 17-19

Wednesday

April 24

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower, chapters 20-22

Friday

April 26

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower, chapters 23-25

Monday

April 29

NA-E: Junot Díaz, “Drown”

Wednesday

May 1

Wells Tower, “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned” [ARES]

Friday

May 3

Joe Wenderoth, “Letters to Wendy’s” [D2L]

FINAL PAPER WORKSHOP

LAST DAY OF CLASS

Tuesday

May 7

FINAL PAPERS DUE BY DIGITAL DROPBOX BY 10 AM

 

Written by gerrycanavan

January 13, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Next Semester’s Courses Today

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2520 Intro to American Literature 2

Thematic Title: “Thrill and Dread in the American Century”

Description: “To be modern,” Marshall Berman wrote, “is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and the world—and, at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are.” This course traces the development of this tension between hope and disaster, between “thrill” and “dread,” in American literature since the Civil War. In this course we will examine and interrogate this explosive sense of what it means to be “modern” with respect to themes of history and futurity, identity and difference, politics, community, war, empire, and the environment. From the private lives of individuals and families to the very public relationships that exist in and between diverse communities to the nation’s assent to global superpower status in the context of a nuclear-powered Cold War, we will find America in the post-Civil-War period understands itself as a place where anything can happen—in good ways, and in bad.

Readings: Norton Anthology C,D,E; Nabokov’s Lolita (1958); Butler’s Parable of the Sower (1993)

More Spring 2013 offerings from the English department here.