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Cultural Studies Program

Courses :: CULS C701 Topic: Traveling Texts: The Politics and Aesthetics of Intertextuality

Dr. Jane E. Goodman
Class meeting time: Fridays, 10-12:30, Second Semester

The relationship of texts to other texts has long been a key analytical concern in the disciplines of performance studies, media studies, rhetorical studies, anthropology, folklore, film studies, and literary studies. Such questions have been re-energized in recent years under the conceptual rubric of intertextuality, a term coined by Julia Kristeva based on the foundational work of the Bakhtin Circle. In this course, we will chart the foundations of the concept of intertextuality in the work of Bakhtin, Voloshinov, Kristeva, Barthes, and Genette. We will go on to investigate intertextuality as both a political and an aesthetic practice.

Questions we consider may include: What kinds of texts get appropriated by others, and for what reasons? How are texts linked to other texts so as to reinforce authority or open new spaces for critique? What do texts retain or shed as they travel to new contexts, and why?  How do we understand intertextually oriented perspectives with regard to such concepts as remediation, adaptation, genre, and performance? Classes will engage such topics as:

            *  Poetics and politics
            *  Institutions and authority
            *  Performance and identity
            *  Cultural memory and heritage
            *  Adaptation and appropriation
            *  Sequels and remakes
            *  Intellectual property and authorship
            *  Remediation

Students will develop an original research paper in which they explore one of more of the problems and perspectives of the course in relation to a body of empirical data (published materials, archival collections, historical sources, media representations, etc.).

The course is appropriate for graduate students in Communication and Culture, Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, English, Cultural Studies, History, and anyone else with an interest in issues of intertextuality.