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

From Angl-Am
Revision as of 08:43, 23 September 2021 by Christian Lassen (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

!!!CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!


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.


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 One, 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: xyz; due date W;t: xyz; due date Fun Home/ Mother: xyz; due date Btreakfast on Pluto: xyz; due date CitizenFour: xyz)

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

Theory Texts

Guiding Questions

On Sedgwick:

  • [...]
  • 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 (cf. Butler and Dollimore last week)? 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. ...
  • What other affects - beyond the paranoid - can camp address? What does camp have to offer the individual? Can camp serve as a coping strategy? Can camp inspire, mobilise qualities like resilience, uplift? And if so, how? Wherein lies the pleasure of camp?
  • How can camp make culture available for resignification? Can camp's subversions collapse culture into counterculture?

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

Theory Texts

  • TBA

Guiding Questions

  • TBA

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Four, November 01: Reparative Responses to AIDS: Adam Mars-Jones's "Slim"

Primary Material

  • Crisp, Quentin. The Naked Civil Servant. New York and London: HarperCollins, 2007. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Not Drowning but Waving," or: Embracing the Abject in Quentin Crisp's The Naked Civil Servant
  • Presentation Group: Theresa Lüdtke, Sven Vosteen

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Alicia Gagar

Session Five, November 15: Reparative Responses to AIDS: Adam Mars-Jones's "Remission"

Primary Material

  • Crisp, Quentin. The Naked Civil Servant. New York and London: HarperCollins, 2007. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "I wouldn't like you to think I was ashamed," or: Shame and Camp Performativity in Quentin Crisp's The Naked Civil Servant
  • Presentation Group: Alicia Gagar

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Leon Adrian Thomann
   May, 14: Abstract The Naked Civil Servant due

Session Six, November 22: Reparative Responses to Cancer: Margaret Edson's W;t I

Primary Material

  • Calamity Jane. Dir. David Butler. Perf. Doris Day and Howard Keel. 1953. Warner Home Video, 2003. DVD.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "That Ain't All She Ain't," or: De- and Reconstructing Heteronormative Gender Performmances in Calamity Jane
  • Presentation Group: Leon Adrian Thomann

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Tina Kraus, Leonie Ostendorp

Session Seven, November 29: Reparative Responses to Cancer: Margaret Edson's W;t II

Primary Material

  • Calamity Jane. Dir. David Butler. Perf. Doris Day and Howard Keel. 1953. Warner Home Video, 2003. DVD.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Once I Had a Secret Love," or: Camp Subtexts in Doris Day's Romantic Comedies
  • Presentation Group: Tina Kraus, Leonie Ostendorp

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Torge Freese
   June, 04: Abstract Calamity Jane due

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

Primary Material

  • Orton, Joe. What the Butler Saw. London et al.: Bloomsbury, 1969. Print

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Undress Me Then, Doctor," or: Social Change and the Undoing of Essentialising Concepts of Gender and Sexuality in What the Butler Saw
  • Presentation Group: Torge Feese

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Anne Boczaga, Anika Michulski

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

Primary Material

  • Orton, Joe. What the Butler Saw. London et al.: Bloomsbury, 1969. Print

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "What Is Unnatural?", or: Parodying Psychoanalysis in What the Butler Saw
  • Presentation Group: Anne Boczaga, Anika Michulski

Collected Guiding Questions

  • In which scenes does psychoanalysis come into play? How is it represented?
  • How is psychoanalysis deconstructed by means of camp?
  • How can the ending be read as a final deconstruction of psychoanalysis in its practical application considering the following passage? (Think about the way the ending in Calamity Jane works and whether there are similarities.)
 PRENTICE. Well, sergeant, we have been instrumental in uncovering a number of remarkable peccadilloes today. I’m sure you’ll co-operate in keeping them out of the papers?
 MATCH. I will, sir.
 RANCE. I’m glad you don’t despise tradition. Let us put our clothes on and face the world.
 They pick up their clothes and weary, bleeding, drugged, and drunk, climb the rope ladder into the blazing light. (92)
  • To what extent can Nick’s question “What is unnatural?” (60) be considered in terms of a reparative reading?
  • Which role does the pastiche of 1960s psychiatry play in Orton's portrayal of the "arbitrariness and narrowness of gender roles" (Dollimore 316) as well as their ascribed character?
  • To what extend is parody a feasible way of commenting on real life issues?

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Miriam Goy, Nele Buchholz
   June, 18: Abstract What the Butler Saw due

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

Primary Material

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Dir. Jim Sharman. Perf. Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick. 1975. Twentieth Century Fox, 2013. DVD.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Science Fiction, Double Feature," or: Re-Writing Frankenstein in The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Presentation Group: Miriam Goy, Nele Buchholz

Collected Guiding Questions

  • Which specific moments from Frankenstein can be identified in an altered manner, and what effect does the revision of these moments have?
  • To which extent is the term ‘adaptation’ appropriate (or not) in regards to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the plot and characters in The Rocky Horror Picture Show?
  • How does The Rocky Horror Picture Show represent the public and private sphere and questions the norms and restrictions that the queer and thus subversive community faces?

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Wiebke Barkemeyer

Session Eleven, January 10: Reparative Responses to the Political: Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto I

Primary Material

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Dir. Jim Sharman. Perf. Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick. 1975. Twentieth Century Fox, 2013. DVD.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "In Just Seven Days I Can Make You a Man," or: Queer Pedagogy, Music, and Glam Rock's Camp Attack on Normative Masculinities
  • Presentation Group: Wiebke Barkemeyer

Collected Guiding Questions

  • How does Rocky Horror's glam rock function to construct and / or deconstruct notions of gender?
  • Which attributes of the character Frank-N-Furter could be seen as problemtic (to the queer community) in his depiction of the "lovable bad-guy"?
  • Can this trivialization of non-cisgender characters really be part of the emancipation of sexuality (cf. Foucault)?
  • How does the appearance of Dr. Frank N. Furter as "a hybrid of genders and sexuality" (Lamm 199) contribute to a deconstruction of heteronormative gender performances in RHPS?
  • How and to what extent does glam rock challenge heteronormative representations of masculinity in music?
  • What influence does the choice of musical styles have on the plot and character development in The Rocky Horror Picture Show?
  • How does Frank's representation as a glam rocker influence the construction / deconstruction of gender?

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Maximilian Warden, Andrei Ceaus
   July, 02: Abstract The Rocky Horror Picture Show due

Session Twelve, January 17: Reparative Responses to the Political: Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto II

Primary Material

  • Velvet Goldmine. Dir. Todd Haynes. Dir. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Toni Collette. 1998. Miramax, 2000.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • From Wilde to Bowie, or: Inheritance, Cultural Memory, and the History of Camp
  • Presentation Group: Maximilian Warden, Andrei Ceaus

Collected Guiding Questions

  • Which elements of "high and low culture" are used in the film and how can their hybridisation be read in terms of camp?
  • How does Velvet Goldmine provoke its viewers to rethink sexual identity in general, connections between sexuality and society as well as the history behind the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality?
  • What impact does Velvet Goldmine's erratic narrative technique have on the plot, and to what extent is Haynes defying a dominant trend of realism in film/challenging traditional conventions in the film genre?
  • To what extent can Oscar Wilde actually be compared to a glam rock artist?
   July, 09: Abstract Velvet Goldmine due

Session Thirteen, January 24: Reparative Responses to the Political: Laura Poitras's CitizenFour

Primary Material

  • Velvet Goldmine. Dir. Todd Haynes. Dir. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Toni Collette. 1998. Miramax, 2000.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • From Wilde to Bowie, or: Inheritance, Cultural Memory, and the History of Camp
  • Presentation Group: Maximilian Warden, Andrei Ceaus

Collected Guiding Questions

  • Which elements of "high and low culture" are used in the film and how can their hybridisation be read in terms of camp?
  • How does Velvet Goldmine provoke its viewers to rethink sexual identity in general, connections between sexuality and society as well as the history behind the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality?
  • What impact does Velvet Goldmine's erratic narrative technique have on the plot, and to what extent is Haynes defying a dominant trend of realism in film/challenging traditional conventions in the film genre?
  • To what extent can Oscar Wilde actually be compared to a glam rock artist?
   July, 09: Abstract Velvet Goldmine due

Session Fourteen, 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