Difference between revisions of "S Reparative Readings: Cultivating Resilience, Mindfulness, and Healing in Contemporary Fiction"

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(Session 02, October 25: Theory Session - Paranoid and Reparative Readings I)
(Session 12, January 17: Reparative Responses to Politics: Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto II)
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* "Serious, Serious, Serious," or: The Reparative Uses of Camp in ''Breakfast on Pluto''
 
* "Serious, Serious, Serious," or: The Reparative Uses of Camp in ''Breakfast on Pluto''
  
* ''Presentation Group'':  
+
* ''Presentation Group'': Lea Griska, Anna Laber
  
 
'''Video Conference'''
 
'''Video Conference'''

Revision as of 10:25, 18 October 2021

COURSE OUTLINE

3.02.970: S Reparative Readings: Cultivating Resilience, Mindfulness, and Healing in Contemporary Fiction

  • [Module] ang971, ang972, ang973 - Culture and Difference
  • [Credits] M.A. English Studies: 12 KP; M.Ed. Gym: 9 KP; M.Ed. WiPäd 6 KP
  • [Instructor] Dr. Christian Lassen
  • [Time] Monday, 10-11 am: weekly chat (via "Meetings" on our Stud.IP page); Monday, 11-12 am: video conference for presentation groups, designed to discuss the presentation scheduled for the following week
  • [Room] online; until further notice: video conferences for presentation groups; power point presentations; chat (via "Meetings")
  • [Description] We are, all of us, trained to be – what Eve Sedgwick has called – paranoid readers, lingering on in a state of permanent alertness in order to anticipate the workings of regulatory regimes; seeking to see through the constructions of normative culture; sounding out the political and ideological effects of representation. Undeniably then, this paranoid approach to the text has characterised cultural studies at least since the pioneering publications of Michel Foucault, Judith Butler and their likes – and rightly so, as a critical attitude towards cultural texts is, of course, mandatory and indeed indispensable. However, does it have to be the only intelligible approach to cultural texts? In the face of an ongoing impoverishment of affective responses to culture, Sedgwick therefore aspires to reclaim a reading practice that addresses a completely different set of affects, namely those linked to the personal rather than the political and, therefore, to values such as resilience, mindfulness, recovery, healing, or uplift: reparative readings. Complementing rather than replacing the usual paranoid approaches, reparative reading practices are thus no less attached to the projects of growth and survival than paranoid reading practices; what is more, they may in fact balance out and smooth the straining effects of the latter. Focusing on works that represent affective responses to difficult feelings and emotions like anxiety, fear, loss or grief, this seminar investigates how textual and cultural analysis can benefit from the coexistence of paranoid and reparative readings, claiming that both are vital and indeed mutually reinforcing.
  • [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 (Mandatory Reading)

  • Mars-Jones, Adam. Monopolies of Loss. London: Faber and Faber, 1992. Print. [selected short stories; see below]
  • Edson, Margaret. W;t. 1993. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999. Print.
  • Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. London: Jonathan Cape, 2006. Print.
  • ---. Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama. Boston and New York: Mariner, 2012. Print.
  • Breakfast on Pluto. Dir. Neil Jordan. Perf. Cillian Murphy, Ruth Negga, Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, and Brendan Gleeson. 2005. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2006. DVD.[or, alternatively: McCabe, Patrick. Breakfast on Pluto. London: Picador, 1998. Print. (or any other edition)]
  • Citizenfour. Dir. Laura Poitras. Perf. Edward Snowdon, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras. 2014. Good Movies/Indigo, 2015. DVD.


Further Texts (Recommended Reading)

  • Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Touching Feeling. Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Durham: Duke UP, 2003. Print.
  • Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. A Dialogue on Love. Boston: Beacon, 1999. Print.
  • Felski, Rita. Uses of Literature. Malden, MA, and Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. Print.
  • Felski, Rita. The Limits of Critique. Chicago and London: The U of Chicago P, 2015. Print.
  • Felski, Rita. Hooked: Art and Attachment. Chicago and London: The U of Chicago P, 2020. Print.
  • Love, Heather. "Truth and Consequences: On Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading." Criticism 52.2 (Spring 2010): 235-241. Print.


ASSIGNMENTS

  • [Prüfungsleistung]

M.A. English Studies: asynchrones (Gruppen-)Referat (max. 2 Personen; ca. 25-30 Folien.) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (15 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (20 Seiten)] (9 KP) + Project/ Essay (3 KP)

M.Ed. Gym.: asynchrones (Gruppen-)Referat (max. 2 Personen; ca. 25-20 Folien) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (15 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (20 Seiten)] (9 KP)

M.Ed. WiPäd: asynchrones (Gruppen-)Referat (max. 2 Personen; ca. 25-30 Folien) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (10 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (15 Seiten)] (6 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] 15. März 2022.




Session 01, October 18: Introduction

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, ca. 25-30 Folien) 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 (15. März). 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, ca. 25-30 Folien) 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 (15. März). 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, ca. 25-30 Folien) 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 (15. März). 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 audio commentary to the presentation, 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 Thursday 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 Tuesday, October 12th. 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. Monday 11-12 am. 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 Monopolies of Loss: November 19; due date W;t: December 03; due date Fun Home/ Ar You My Mother?: January 07; due date Btreakfast on Pluto: January 21; due date CitizenFour: January 28)

  • Weekly 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. Monday 10-11 am. Please make sure to read/ watch the presentations before you join the chat. The second part of each session, i.e. Monday 11-12 am, is booked for the respective presentation groups (see video conference for presentation groups)

   Summary: Presentations

1. Pick a presentation topic and contact me via e-mail (starting October 12th). 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.

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 Monday, 11-12 am.

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

6. Join the chat and be ready to answer questions on the day of your presentation. Chats take place on Monday, 10-11 am.

Session 02, October 25: Theory Session - Paranoid and Reparative Readings I

Theory Texts

Guiding Questions

On Sedgwick:

  • What, according to Sedgwick, characterises a "paranoid" reading practice"? Why would Sedgwick classify currently dominant modes of critique - deconstructivism, discourse analysis, etc. - as "paranoid"? What are the benefits/ advantages of "paranoid" reading practices and what are their limits/shortcomings/disadvantages?
  • What affective responses do "paraniod" reading practices trigger? How would you describe the permanent impact and effects of these responses on the reader/scholar?
  • What affective responses are ignored or simply not addressed in "paranoid" reading practices? What are we looking for in a text? And what else could we be looking for?
  • How can one do better justice to texts that serve a different set of affective responses? Are they simply 'naive'/'sentimental'? Would "paranoid" reading practices allow for readings that are 'imaginative', 'consoling', even 'therapeutic'?
  • Does the fact that we, as cultural studies scholars, do share a (de-)constructivist and anti-essentialist perspective necessarily oblige us to limit our theoretical toolkit and to exclusively pursue only ever one epistemological approach/ mode of knowledge production?
  • Why is "the queer-identified practice of camp [...] misrecognized when it is viewed, as Butler and others view it, [solely] through paranoid lenses"?
  • Which aims and needs can camp meet beyond those of a political/paranoid agenda, i.e. beyond exposure, deconstruction and demystification? How can camp balance out the effects of a political/paranoid mindeset, i.e. anxiety, permanent alertness, the need to see through dominant/normative constructions and performances?
  • Why may these political/paranoid agendas be partly deficient (or not altogether rewarding)? Can we place all our faith in exposure? Does exposure automatically lead to change or to a shift in power relations? Think of Trump, etc. ...
  • How can camp make culture available for resignification? Can camp's subversions collapse culture into counterculture?

Session 03, November 01: Theory Session - Paranoid and Reparative Readings II

Theory Texts

Guiding Questions

  • TBA

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session 04, November 01: Reparative Responses to Death: Coping with AIDS in Adam Mars-Jones's "Slim"

Primary Material

Secondary Material

Further Material

Presentation

  • "[A] Very Promising Therapeutic Tool," or: Appropriating and Subverting (Heteronormative) Culture in "Slim"
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference Lisa Michels

  • Video Conference Group:

Session 05, November 15: Reparative Responses to Death: Coping with AIDS in Adam Mars-Jones's "Remission"

Primary Material

Secondary Material

Further Material

Presentation

  • "Good Thought. Hang on to That,": or: Cultivating Camp Coping Strategies in Times of AIDS
  • Presentation Group: Lisa Michels

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Miriam Goy, Tabea Hirsch
   November, 19: Abstract Monopolies of Loss due

Session 06, November 22: Reparative Responses to Death: Coping with Cancer in Margaret Edson's W;t I

Primary Material

  • Edson, Margaret. W;t. 1993. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999. Print.

Secondary Material

Further Reading

Presentation

  • Reparative Pedagogy in W;t, or: Teaching Compassion, Caregiving and a New Ars Moriendi in the Medical Humanities
  • Presentation Group: Miriam Goy, Tabea Hirsch

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Karsten Richtsmeier

Session 07, November 29: Reparative Responses to Death: Coping with Cancer in Margaret Edson's W;t II

Primary Material

  • Edson, Margaret. W;t. 1993. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • Of Holy Sonnets and The Runaway Bunny, or: Intertextuality, Spirituality, and the Ambivalent Role of Christianity in W;t
  • Presentation Group: Karsten Richtsmeier

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Ngoc Anh Vu Hoang, Louisa Kravagna
   December, 03: Abstract W;t due

Session 08, December 06: Reparative Responses to Loss: Alison Bechdel's Fun Home I

Primary Material

  • Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. London: Jonathan Cape, 2006. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • Putting Grief into Boxes, or: Reparative Readings, Fun Home, and the Narrative's Use of Comics Form
  • Presentation Group: Ngoc Anh Vu Hoang, Louisa Kravagna

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Celine Jegust, Melina Kloth

Session 09, December 13: Reparative Responses to Loss: Alison Bechdel's Fun Home II

Primary Material

  • Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. London: Jonathan Cape, 2006. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • Creating a Queer Sense of Belonging, or: Memory, Loss, and Healing in Fun Home
  • Presentation Group: Celine Jegust, Melina Kloth

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Hang Dao, Daniela Stüker

Session 10, December 20: Reparative Responses to Loss: Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother?

Primary Material

  • Bechdel, Alison. Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama. Boston and New York: Mariner, 2012. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • Minding the Self, or: Self-Care, Nonanalytic Activity, and the Reparative Potential of Literature in Are You My Mother?
  • Presentation Group: Hang Dao, Daniela Stüker

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Malte Stolle
   January, 07: Abstract Fun Home/ Mother due

Session 11, January 10: Reparative Responses to Politics: Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto I

Primary Material

  • Breakfast on Pluto. Dir. Neil Jordan. Perf. Cillian Murphy, Ruth Negga, Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, and Brendan Gleeson. 2005. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2006. DVD. [or, alternatively: McCabe, Patrick. Breakfast on Pluto. London: Picador, 1998. Print. (or any other edition)]

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • The Trouble with the Troubles, or: Realist vs. Stylised Modes of Representing Politics in Breakfast on Pluro and In the Name of the Father
  • Presentation Group: Malte Stolle

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session 12, January 17: Reparative Responses to Politics: Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto II

Primary Material

  • Breakfast on Pluto. Dir. Neil Jordan. Perf. Cillian Murphy, Ruth Negga, Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, and Brendan Gleeson. 2005. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2006. DVD. [or, alternatively: McCabe, Patrick. Breakfast on Pluto. London: Picador, 1998. Print. (or any other edition)]

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Serious, Serious, Serious," or: The Reparative Uses of Camp in Breakfast on Pluto
  • Presentation Group: Lea Griska, Anna Laber

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Marcell Schrader
   January, 21: Abstract Breakfast on Pluto due

Session 13, January 24: Reparative Responses to Politics: Laura Poitras's Citizenfour

Primary Material

  • Citizenfour. Dir. Laura Poitras. Perf. Edward Snowdon, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras. 2014. Good Movies/Indigo, 2015. DVD.

Secondary Material

Further Reading

Presentation

  • Outstaring Surveillance, or: Big Data, Paranoia, and Reassessing Culture's Faith in Exposure in Citizenfour
  • Presentation Group: Marcell Schrader
   January, 28: Abstract CitizenFour due

Session 14, January 31: RPO Session

Guidelines for finding your RPO topic:

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

   March, 15: Term Paper due

Please upload your paper to the folder "Ausarbeitungen und Hausarbeiten" on our Stud.IP page and send a printed copy to the address below.

Bitte stellen Sie Ihre Prüfungsleistung in den Ordner "Ausarbeitungen und Hausarbeiten" auf unserer Stud.IP-Seite ein und senden Sie eine gedruckte Fassung an die untenstehende Adresse.

Dr. Christian Lassen

Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik

Fakultät III: Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften

Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg

Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118

26129 Oldenburg