Summer 2018 Undergraduate Courses

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.

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