Schedule for LITR 400: Narrative in Film and Literature (Fall 2011)

Wed, Aug. 31:

Introduction of Students & Course/ Check handouts for your group number and an explanation of the homework tasks: /groups.htm and /hmwk.htm. Abbreviations are as follows: Electronic Reserves (ER); response on the required film and required theorist (RSt), or on the optional and required films (RSf); quotation from the optional theorist (QT); discussion question on the required film (DQf) or on the required theory (DQt); no homework task that week (n/a). Green asterisks (***) indicate that the film is on reserve at the library.

Wed, Sept. 7:

Background: “Rediscovering Film Studies,” Chap. 1, Introduction to Film Studies (FS)

Theorist: Roland Barthes, S/Z (ER)

Literature: Begin Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (1955), pg. 3-55

* Homework: Write a discussion question about Lolita and be prepared to respond to a peer’s question in class. Bring two copies of your question (each on separate pages), one with and one without your name.

Mon, Sept. 12:

Film: Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window (1954) ***

Background: “Genre Theory,” Introduction to Film Studies, Chap. 5 (FS)

Literature: Continue Nabokov’s Lolita, pg. 56-109

Optional Theorist: Slavoj Žižek, Looking Awry (ER)

* Homework: Group 1 (RSf); Group 2 (DQt); Group 3 (n/a); Group 4 (QT); Group 5 (DQf); Group 6 (RSt); Group 7 (n/a)

Wed, Sept. 14:

Recommended Film: Hal Hartley, Trust (1990) ***

Theorist: Sigmund Freud, Abridged “On Narcissism” (ER)

Other Required Reading: Jacques Lacan, “What is a Picture?” (ER)

Literature: Continue reading Nabokov’s Lolita, pg. 110-54

Mon, Sept. 19:

Film: Sam Mendes, American Beauty (1999) ***

Background: “Gender and Film,” Introduction to Film Studies, Chap. 10 (FS)

Literature: Continue Nabokov’s Lolita, pg. 155-209

Optional Theorist: Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” Part 1 (ER)

* Homework: Group 1 (DQt); Group 2 (n/a); Group 3 (QT); Group 4 (DQf); Group 5 (RSt); Group 6 (n/a); Group 7 (RSf)

Wed, Sept. 21:

Recommended Film: Hal Hartley, Trust (1990) ***

Theorist: Mary Ann Doane, “Economy of Desire” (ER)

Literature: Continue reading Nabokov’s Lolita, pg. 209-58

Mon, Sept. 26:

Film: Stanley Kubrick, Lolita (1962) ***

Background: Joseph Boggs, “Film Adaptation” (FS)

* Homework: Finish Nabokov’s Lolita, pg. 259-309, and be prepared to discuss both the literary and filmic versions of it in class.

Wed, Sept. 28:

Recommended Film: Christopher Nolan, Memento (2000) ***

Theorist: Frederic Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society” (ER)

* Homework: Write a response comparing/contrasting some aspect of the literary and filmic versions of Lolita, incorporating quotes from Jameson and one other required or optional theorist read thus far. Submit your response to Turn It In by class time: http://www.turnitin.com/ (class #2821673; password “film”).

Mon, Oct. 3:

Film: Jean Pierre Jeunet, Amelie [Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain](2001) ***

Background: “Film Form and Narrative,” Introduction to Film Studies, Chap. 3 (FS)

Optional Theorist: Ann Bermingham, Abridged “Picturesque and Ready-to-Wear Femininity” (ER)

* Homework: Group 1 (n/a); Group 2 (QT); Group 3 (DQf); Group 4 (RSt); Group 5 (n/a); Group 6 (RSf); Group 7 (DQt)

Wed, Oct. 5:

Recommended Film: Christopher Nolan, Memento (2000) ***

Theorist: John Berger, Abridged Ways of Seeing (ER)

Mon, Oct. 10:

Film: Billy Wilder, Sunset Blvd. (1950) ***

Background: “Industrial Contexts,” Introduction to Film Studies, Chap. 2 (FS)

Optional Theorist: Walter Benjamin, Abridged “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (ER)

* Homework: Group 1 (QT); Group 2 (DQf); Group 3 (RSt); Group 4 (n/a); Group 5 (RSf); Group 6 (DQt); Group 7 (n/a)

Wed, Oct. 12:

Recommended Film: Sidney Lumet, Dog Day Afternoon (1975) ***

Theorist: Abridged Horkheimer and Adorno, “Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” (ER)

Mon, Oct. 17:

NO Regular CLASS: Meet in the library for research demonstration.

Wed, Oct. 19:

Film: David Fincher, Fight Club (1999) ***

Theorist: Jean Baudrillard, Abridged “Simulacra and Simulations” (ER)

* Homework: Write a discussion question about Fight Club (ideally drawing on Baudrillard) and be prepared to respond to a peer’s question in class. Bring two copies of your question (each on separate pages), one with and one without your name.

Mon, Oct. 24:

Film: Mike Nichols, The Graduate (1967) ***

Background: “Cinematic Authorship,” Introduction to Film Studies, Chap. 4

Optional Theorist: Noam Chomsky, “Manufacturing Consent” (ER)

* Homework: Group 1 (DQf); Group 2 (RSt); Group 3 (n/a); Group 4 (RSf); Group 5 (DQt); Group 6 (n/a); Group 7 (QT)

Wed, Oct. 26:

Recommended Film: Sidney Lumet, Dog Day Afternoon (1975) ***

Theorist: Louis Althusser, Complete “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” (ER)

Mon, Oct. 31:

Film: Douglas Sirk, Imitation of Life (1959) *** [John M. Stahl’s 1934 Imitation of Life Optional]

Background: “Ethnicity, Race, and Cinema,” Introduction to Film Studies, Chap. 12 (FS)

Optional Theorist: Lauren Berlant, “National Brands National Body” (ER)

* Homework: Group 1 (RSt); Group 2 (n/a); Group 3 (RSf); Group 4 (DQt); Group 5 (n/a); Group 6 (QT); Group 7 (DQf)

Wed, Nov. 2:

Recommended Film: Roman Polanski, Chinatown (1974) ***

Theorist: bell hooks, “Oppositional Gaze” (ER)

Other Required Reading: W. E. B. DuBois, “Double Consciousness” (ER)

Mon, Nov. 7:

Film: Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing (1989) ***

Background: “Researching and Writing,” Part 1 (ER)

Optional Theorist: Edward Said, “Imagined Geographies” (ER)

Other Optional Reading: W. J. T. Mitchell, “Violence of Public Art” (ER)

* Homework: Group 1 (n/a); Group 2 (RSf); Group 3 (DQt); Group 4 (n/a); Group 5 (QT); Group 6 (DQf); Group 7 (RSt)

Wed, Nov. 9:

Recommended Film: Roman Polanski, Chinatown (1974) ***

Theorist: Benedict Anderson, Abridged Imagined Communities (ER)

Mon, Nov. 14:

Film: Stephen Frears, Dirty Pretty Things (2002) ***

Background: “Researching and Writing about Film,” Part 2-3 (ER)

Optional Theorist: Michel Foucault, “Of Other Spaces” (ER)

* Homework: Group 1 (QT); Group 2-4 (DQf) ; Group 5 (n/a); Group 6-7 (DQt); All groups work on the Research Proposal (/essay.htm).

Wed, Nov. 16:

Recommended Film: Neil Jordan, The Crying Game (1992) ***

Theorist: Arjun Appadurai, “Here and Now” (ER)

Mon, Nov. 21:

Film: Kimberly Peirce, Boys Don’t Cry (1999) ***

Background: “Lesbian and Gay Cinema,” Introduction to Film Studies, Chap. 11 (FS)

Theorist: Judith Halberstam, “Transgender Gaze” (ER)

 * Homework: Group 1-2, & 5 (DQf); Group 3-4  (n/a); Group 6-7 (DQt); All groups work on the Research Proposal (/essay.htm).

Nov. 23-27:

NO CLASS: Fall Break

Mon, Nov. 28:

Film: Pedro Almodóvar, All About My Mother [Todo sobre mi madre] (1999) ***

Background: “Spectator, Audience, and Response,” Introduction to Film Studies, Chap. 7 (FS)

Optional Theorist: Johannes Fabian, “Of Dogs Alive, Birds Dead” (ER)

* Homework: Group 1-2 (n/a); Group 3 (DQt); Group 5 (QT); Group 4 & 6-7 (DQf); All groups work on the Research Proposal (/essay.htm).

Wed, Nov. 30:

** Research Proposal Due

Recommended Film: Neil Jordan, The Crying Game (1992) ***

Theorist: Judith Butler, Gender Trouble (ER)

* Homework: Finish the Research Proposal (/essay.htm). Submit two copies: a hard copy during class time and a digital copy beforehand at Turn It In.

Mon, Dec. 5:

Film: Martin Scorsese, Taxi Driver (1976) ***

Optional Theorist: Debord, Society of the Spectacle (ER)

Other Optional Reading: Cynthia Fuchs, “Vietnam Meets Noir” (ER)

 * Homework: Group 2 (DQt); Group 3  (QT) ; Group 1, & 4-5 (DQf); All groups work on the Research Paper due 12PM on Dec. 19 (/essay.htm).

Wed, Dec. 7:

Recommended Film: Mike Leigh, Naked (1993) ***

Theorist: Ella Shohat, Abridged “Tropes of Empire” (ER)

 * Homework: All groups work on the Research Paper due 12PM on Dec. 19 (/essay.htm).

Mon, Dec. 12:

Film: Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction (1994) ***

Optional Theorist: bell hooks, “Pulp Fiction” (ER)

* Homework: All groups work on the Research Paper due 12PM on Dec. 19 (/essay.htm).

Wed, Dec. 14

Research Presentations (3:00 - 4:30 PM)

Wed, Dec. 19

Research Paper (/essay.htm) due by 12PM on December 19 at Turn It In.  If you want commentary on your paper, drop off a hard copy, together with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, in my English Department mailbox by the due date.