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* An "Exotic" Invasion: Orientalism, the Opium Wars, and Representations of the Other in ''Confessions of an English Opium-Eater''
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* Enter the Malay: Orientalism, the Opium Wars, and Representations of the Other in ''Confessions of an English Opium-Eater''
  
 
* ''Presentation Group'':
 
* ''Presentation Group'':

Revision as of 15:37, 1 April 2020

Under Construction!

SUBJECT TO ALTERATIONS!

COURSE OUTLINE

3.02.980: S Jagged Little Pills: Self-Enhancement and Substance Abuse in Literature and Film, from Opium to Neuroenhancers

  • [Module] ang981,ang982, ang983 - The Canon and the Margins
  • [Credits] M.A. English Studies: 12 KP; M.Ed. Gym: 9 KP; M.Ed. WiPäd 6 KP
  • [Instructor] Dr. Christian Lassen
  • [Time] Wednesday, 12-1 am/pm: weekly chat (via "Meetings" on our Stud.IP page); Wednesday, 1-2 pm: video conference for presentation groups, designed to discuss the presentation scheduled for the following week
  • [Room] A04 4-411; until further notice: video conferences for presentation groups; power point presentations; chat (via "Meetings")
  • [Description] According to Foucault, the principle aim of a biopolitical society in a Capitalist culture is to enhance and optimise life in order to maximise productivity. Consequently, the lives of both individuals and society as a whole have long been organised in ways that apparently meet precisely these ends. And yet, the neo-liberal policies of the last decades arguably seem to have reinforced this development, not least by leading individuals to manipulate their own mental and physical capacities so as to enhance their efficiency and to 'optimise' themselves. Building on Foucault's concept of biopower, this seminar problematises literary and cinematic representations of substance (ab-)use in the context of self-enhancement and self-optimisation. We will discuss the use of a wide range of drugs, such as opium, cocaine, or nootropics, and their various intended effects, be they medicinal, recreational, or performance-enhancing (via micro-dosing, for example). The aim of the seminar is, therefore, twofold: firstly, it traces the historical construction of addiction and the emergence of the addict as an identity category; and secondly, it seeks to deconstruct the mechanisms of an ideological regime that, paradoxically, has come to criminalise and ostracise behaviours it arguably incites at the same time. Moreover, it may in fact require these very behaviours in order to thrive – not uncommonly, that is, at the expanse of those who suffer the effects of addiction.
  • [Office Hours] see Stud.IP; until further notice, office hours will be held via video conference. Please sign up for a time slot on my Stud.IP profile ("Sprechstunden") and you will receive a link to the virtual conference room.


PRIMARY TEXTS

  • De Quincey, Thomas. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Other Writings. 1821. Oxford: OUP, 2008. Print.
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. 1886. Ed. Katherine Linehan. New York and London: Norton, 2003. Print.
  • Conan Doyle, Arthur. The Sign of Four. 1890. London Penguin, 2001. Print. (excerpts)
  • Limitless. Dir. Neil Burger. Perf. Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro. 2011. Concorde, 2011. DVD.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street. Dir. Martin Scorsese. Perf. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie. 2013. Universal, 2014. DVD.


ASSIGNMENTS

  • [Prüfungsleistung]

M.A. English Studies: Referat (max. 2 Personen; 45-60 min.) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (15 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (20 Seiten)] (9 KP) + Project/ Essay (3 KP)

M.Ed. Gym.: Referat (max. 2 Personen; 45-60 min.) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (15 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (20 Seiten)] (9 KP)

M.Ed. WiPäd: Referat (max. 2 Personen; 45-60 min.) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (10 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (15 Seiten)] (9 KP)

  • [Aktive Teilnahme] 4 Abstracts, jeweils inklusive Thema, Forschungsstand, These und Outline des Arguments (je 1 Seite insgesamt)

Please note that written assignments (abstracts, short term papers, long term papers) need to be composed according to the style sheet ("Leitfaden")of the University of Oldenburg, which can be accessed via the 'Institutswiki'-page of the English department. The style sheet not only provides relevant information on how to write a correct bibliography but it may also help you to structure your work according to academic standards.

Please make sure to sign the "Erklärung zum 'Plagiat'" and to attach it to your research papers.

  • [Abgabefrist] September, 15, 2020.




Introduction [Session One]

Organisational Matters

  • Assignments

Assignments are graded and mandatory.

M.A. English Studies: In order to obtain 12 credits (KP), you will have to give a (group) presentation (Referat, 45-60 min.) on one of the presentation topics specified in the syllabus. In addition to that, you will have to hand in a short term paper (Ausarbeitung, 10 Seiten) by the end of term (September, 15). In exceptional cases, you may hand in a long term paper (Hausarbeit, 15 Seiten) instead of the above. However, an exception is only granted upon consultation. As M.A. students, you will have to hand in an extra project/essay, the topic and design of which we will discuss during an individual consultation.

M.Ed. Gym: In order to obtain 9 credits (KP), you will have to give a (group) presentation (Referat, 45-60 min.) on one of the presentation topics specified in the syllabus. In addition to that, you will have to hand in a short term paper (Ausarbeitung, 15 Seiten) by the end of term (September, 15). In exceptional cases, you may hand in a long term paper (Hausarbeit, 20 Seiten) instead of the above. However, an exception is only granted upon consultation.

M.Ed. WiPäd: In order to obtain 6 credits (KP), you will have to give a (group) presentation (Referat, 45-60 min.) on one of the presentation topics specified in the syllabus. In addition to that, you will have to hand in a short term paper (Ausarbeitung, 10 Seiten) by the end of term (September, 15). In exceptional cases, you may hand in a long term paper (Hausarbeit, 15 Seiten) instead of the above. However, an exception is only granted upon consultation.

  • Presentation Topics, Presentation Groups, Video Conferences for Presentation Groups

Presentation Topics are specified on your syllabus. In order to prepare your presentations, please pick a topic, get together in groups (see below) and write up a power-point presentation. Add your commentary to the presentation, for example via open cast, save the file and send it on to me so that we can discuss your presentation in a video conference (see below). After that, you make your file available on Stud.IP on the Friday before your presentation so that all participants can read/ watch the presentation in time, i.e. before the session/ chat.

Requests regarding your choice of presentation topics can be send to me via e-mail, starting on Monday, April, 06. I will sign you in in the order of the requests' arrival. Please check this page regularly to see if your requests have been met.

Video Conferences for presentations take place in the second part of the weekly sessions, i.e. Wednesday 1-2 pm. Please make sure that you attend the video conference the week before your presentation is due.

  • Active Participation

Active Participation is ungraded but mandatory. In order to fulfil the requirements, you will have to write four abstracts, each including a topic, a state of research, a thesis statement, and a brief outline of your argument (approx. 1 page), in the course of the seminar. You can choose your own topic; however: all abstracts have to address different primary texts. In other words, your abstracts will have to cover four out of five primary materials. They are due by the end of the week (i.e. Friday) that marks the ending of the respective sections, i.e. due date Confessions of an English Opium-Eater: May, 15; due date Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: May, 29; due date The Sign of Four: June, 05; due date Limitless: June 26; due date The Wolf of Wall Street: June 26; due date Twilight: July, 10)

  • Chat

In order to discuss the presentations and related topics, I will be in the chatroom ("Meetings" on our Stud.IP page) during the first part of each session, i.e. Wednesday 12-1 am/pm. Please make sure to read/ watch the presentations before you join the chat. The second part of each session, i.e. Wednesday 1-2 pm, is booked for the respective presentation groups (see video conference for presentation groups)

  • Seminarapparat

Relevant secondary material will be made available on Stud.IP. Please note that, additionally, the syllabus includes an extensive bibliography that may be helpful with regard to your presentations and written assignments (abstracts; short/ long term papers).

   Summary: Presentations

1. Pick a presentation topic and contact me via e-mail (starting April, 06). Check below for available places. Presentation groups may consist of a maximum of 2 people.

2. Contact the other members of your group and prepare your presentation, i.e. power-point presentation with audio commentary (e.g. with open cast).

3. Send me your presentation 8 days before your presentation is scheduled.

4. Discuss your presentation with me in a video conference 7 days, i.e week, before your presentation is scheduled. Video conferences take place on Wednesdays, 1-2 pm.

5. Upload your file on the Friday before your presentation is scheduled.

6. Join the chat and be ready to answer questions via chat on the day of your presentation. Chats take place on Wednesdays, 12-1 am/pm.

Session Two, April, 22 Theory Session: From Biopower and Biopolitics to Neuroethics

Theory Texts

  • Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Vol. I: The Will to Knowledge. London: Penguin, 1979. 133-45. Print.
  • Rose, Nicolas. "Neurochemical Selves." Society 41 (2003): 46-59. Print. (Excerpts)

Guiding Questions

Session Three, April, 29, Theory Session: Opium, Nitrous Oxide, and Cocaine in Nineteenth-Century Literature

Theory Texts

  • Ruston, Sharon. "Representations of Drugs in 19th-Century Literature." Discovering Literature: Romantics & Victorians. British Library, 15 May 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2020.
  • Ruston, Sharon. "'High' Romanticism: Literature and Drugs." The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism. Ed. David Duff. Oxford: OUP, 2018. 341-54. Print.
  • Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. "Epidemics of the Will." Tendencies. London: Routledge, 1994. 130-42. Print.

Guiding Questions

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Four, May, 06, Romanticising Opium: Recreational Drug Use Between Creativity and Addiction

Primary Material

  • De Quincey, Thomas. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Other Writings. 1821. Oxford: OUP, 2008. Print.

Secondary Material

  • Catani, Damian. "The 'Spleen' and 'Idéal' of Opium: Baudelaire and Thomas de Quincey." Dix-Neuf 17.3 (2013): 237-50.

Presentation

  • Writing 'Under the Influence,' or, The Romantics and Their Ambivalent Opium Narratives: Thomas De Quincey, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Charles Baudelaire
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Five, May, 13, Dealing with Opium: British Imperialism and the Historical Context of 19th-Century Opium Trade

Primary Material

  • De Quincey, Thomas. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Other Writings. 1821. Oxford: OUP, 2008. Print.

Secondary Material

  • TBA

Presentation

  • Enter the Malay: Orientalism, the Opium Wars, and Representations of the Other in Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:
   May, 15: Abstract Confessions of an English Opium-Eater due

Session Six, May, 20, Enter the Scientist: Experimenting with the Substance

Primary Material

  • Stevenson, Robert Louis. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. 1886. Ed. Katherine Linehan. New York and London: Norton, 2003. Print.

Secondary Material

  • Harrison, Debbie. "Doctors, Drugs, and Addiction: Professional Integrity in Peril at the Fin de Siècle." Gothic Studies 11.2 (2009): 52-62. Print.
  • Wright, Daniel L. "'The Prisonhouse of My Disposition': A Study of the Psychology of Addiction in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Studies in the Novel 26.3 (1994): 254-67. Print.

Presentation

  • A Case Study in Addiction: Strange Case's Narratological Design and Its Ambivalent Representation of Dr Jekyll as a Medical Doctor and a (Mad) Scientist
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Seven, May, 27, Exploring the Self: Unleashing Queer Doubles in Victorian Gothic Fiction

Primary Material

  • Stevenson, Robert Louis. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. 1886. Ed. Katherine Linehan. New York and London: Norton, 2003. Print.

Secondary Material

  • Showalter, Elaine. "Dr Jekyll's Closet." The Haunted Mind: The Supernatural in Victorian Literature. Eds. Elton S. Smith and Robert Haas. Lanham, MD, and London: Scarecrow, 1999. 67-88. Print.
  • Halberstam, Judith. Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters. Durham, NC, and London: Duke UP, 1995. 53-85. Print.

Presentation

  • Through the Backdoor, or, Inside Doctor/House: Metonymies (and Topographies) of Same-Sex Desire
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:
   May, 29: Abstract Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde due

Session Eight, June, 03, Enter the Genius: Ennobling Substance Abuse in Late-Victorian Crime Fiction

Primary Material

  • Conan Doyle, Arthur. The Sign of Four. 1890. London Penguin, 2001. Print. (excerpts)

Secondary Material

  • Small, Douglas. "Sherlock Holmes and Cocaine: A 7% Solution for Modern Professionalism." ELT 58.3 (2015): 341-60. Print.
  • O'Dell, Benjamin D. "Performing the Imperial Abject: The Ethics of Cocaine in Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four." The Journal of Popular Culture 45.5 (2012): 979-99. Print.

Presentation

  • The Detective v. the Doctor, or: Late 19th- century Discourses on Cocaine, Representations of Cocaine Addiction and Their Effects on the Master Detective
  • Presentation Group:
   June, 05: Abstract The Sign of Four due

Session Nine, June, 10, Theory Session: Neuroenhancers in Twenty-First-Century Films

Theory Texts

  • Hildt, Elisabeth. "Cognitive Enhancement – A Critical Look at the Recent Debate." Cognitive Enhancement: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Eds. Elisabeth Hildt and Andreas G. Franke. Springer: Dordrecht, 2013. 1-14. Print. (Excerpts)
  • Wagner, Greta. "Leveling [sic] the Playing Field: Fairness in the Cognitive Enhancement Debate." Cognitive Enhancement: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Eds. Elisabeth Hildt and Andreas G. Franke. Springer: Dordrecht, 2013. 217-31. Print.
  • Roxburgh, Natalie. "The Rise of Psychopharmacological Fiction." Representations of Science in Twenty-First-Century Fiction. Eds. Nina Engelhardt and Julia Hoydis. London: Palgrave. 19-35. Print.

Guiding Questions

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Ten, June, 17, Constructing the Self: Pop-Cultural Representations of Self-Empowerment

Primary Material

  • Limitless. Dir. Neil Burger. Perf. Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro. 2011. Concorde, 2011. DVD.

Secondary Material

  • Zwart, Hub. "Limitless as a Neuropharmaceutical Experiment and as a Daseinsanalyse: On the Use of Fiction in Preparatory Debates on Cognitive Enhancement." Medicine, Health Care, and Philosophy: A European Journal 17.1 (2014): 29-38. Print.
  • Heuner, Ulf. "100% Gehirn plus/minus 100% Moral: Neuroenhancement in Limitless." Zocker, Drogenfreaks & Trunkenbolde: Rausch, Ekstase und Sucht in Film und Serie. Eds. Martin Poltrum, Bernd Rieken and Thomas Ballhausen. Berlin: Springer. 2019. 437-52. Print.

Presentation

  • "I Was Blind but now I See": Representing Enhancement Enthusiasm Visually and Cinematographically
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Eleven, June, 24, "What Dreams May Come?": A Society Between Self-Enhancement and Self-Annihilation

Primary Material

  • Limitless. Dir. Neil Burger. Perf. Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro. 2011. Concorde, 2011. DVD.

Secondary Material

  • Zwart, Hub. "Limitless as a Neuropharmaceutical Experiment and as a Daseinsanalyse: On the Use of Fiction in Preparatory Debates on Cognitive Enhancement." Medicine, Health Care, and Philosophy: A European Journal 17.1 (2014): 29-38. Print.
  • Heuner, Ulf. "100% Gehirn plus/minus 100% Moral: Neuroenhancement in Limitless." Zocker, Drogenfreaks & Trunkenbolde: Rausch, Ekstase und Sucht in Film und Serie. Eds. Martin Poltrum, Bernd Rieken and Thomas Ballhausen. Berlin: Springer. 2019. 437-52. Print.

Presentation

  • "What Dreams May Come?": Limitless as a Cautionary Tale
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:
   June, 26: Abstract Limitless due

Session Twelve, July, 01, Enter the Yuppie: Neo-Liberal Identity Performances

Primary Material

  • The Wolf of Wall Street. Dir. Martin Scorsese. Perf. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie. 2013. Universal, 2014. DVD.

Secondary Material

  • Roxburgh, Natalie. "Entertainment, Optimization, and Self-Medication in The Wolf of Wall Street." Business-Fiktionen und Management Inszenierungen. Eds. Christine Künzel et al. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2018. 289-302. Print.
  • Kogan, Ilany. "Master of the Universe: Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street Through a Psychoanalytic Lens." The American Journal of Psychoanalysis 78 (2018): 267-86. Print.

Presentation

  • "And I Choose Rich Every Fucking Time": Neo-Liberalism, Biopolitical Societies, and Self-Optimisation in The Woolf of Wall Street
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Thirteen, July, 08, Enter Popeye: Parodying Self-Optimisation and Self-Enhancement

Primary Material

  • The Wolf of Wall Street. Dir. Martin Scorsese. Perf. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie. 2013. Universal, 2014. DVD.

Secondary Material

  • Raile, Paolo. "Aufstieg und Fall des Jordan Belfort." Zocker, Drogenfreaks & Trunkenbolde: Rausch, Ekstase und Sucht in Film und Serie. Eds. Martin Poltrum, Bernd Rieken and Thomas Ballhausen. Berlin: Springer. 2019. 175-90. Print.
  • Ferriss, Suzanne. "Refashioning the Modern American Dream: The Great Gatsby, The Wolf of Wall Street, and American Hustle." The Journal of American Culture 41.2 (2018): 153-75. Print.

Presentation

  • Spinach Overdose: Parodying Self-Enhancement Through Popeye, Miami Vice, and Other Intertextual References in The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Presentation Group:
   July, 10: Abstract The Wolf of Wall Street due

Session Fourteen, July, 15, RPO Session

Guidelines for finding your RPO topic:

Your RPO topic needs to be related to at least one of the primary texts

   September, 15: Term Paper due