Comparative Studies 2367.04 Science and Technology in American Culture
MWF 11:25AM-2:35PM | Hagerty Hall 359 | Nancy Jesser
In this course we will examine the intersection between technology, science and US society, its cultures, and politics. Attention will be paid to the role of ‘experts’ and lay people as they interact and struggle over and with technologies and sciences. We will examine the social, cultural and economic production, context and role of specific technologies and knowledge’s throughout the semester with deep investigations of particular objects and subjects. Students will examine its development, representation and deployment to the class for discussion. This course will be primarily designed as a collaborative workspace. We will share a few core readings on technology and us culture that will provide a framework. And periodically watch and discuss documentaries about technology and the US. Groups will form around a shared interest in a technology/science. Each group will, with my help, locate appropriate readings and materials to provide the background research on the object. Much of class time will be spent on working on our papers, sharing research, ideas and so forth.
Comparative Studies 3607 Film and Literature as Narrative Art: Wildness and Wilderness in Film and Literature
MW 11:30AM-3:05PM F 1:30PM-3:35PM | Mendenhall Lab 125 | Richard Livingston
“In wildness is the preservation of the world,” Henry David Thoreau declared in 1851, a slogan taken up a century later by the Sierra Club and embraced by subsequent generations of rebels and rockers. Imagined in contrast and counterpoint to civilization, social order and conformism, wildness provides a way to explore core values and ambivalences about modern culture, including ideas of nature, the sacred, violence, masculinity, progress, technology and race.This class will examine images of wildness and wilderness developed in American film, literature and popular culture, from New England colonialism to postmodern commodification and ecological “rewilding.” Readings from Thoreau, London, Leopold, Krakauer and Strayed, among others; documentary and fiction films by John Ford, Elia Kazan, Sean Penn, Werner Herzog, Benh Zeitlin and others. Three papers, take-home final. GE VPA and diversity global studies course.