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Cultural Studies Program

Courses :: Fall 2005

C601 Introduction to Cultural Studies:

Introduction to Rhetoric and Popular Culture
Professor Pezzullo; W 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Meets with CMCL-C501

C701 Special Topics in Cultural Studies:

Rhetorical Critiques of War: Critiquing the War on Terror
Professor Ivie; F 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., MJ 112
Meets with CMCL-C616 and AMST-G751

Rhetoric, Ideology, and Hegemony
Professor Lucaites; W 2:30 - 5:00 p.m., MJ 112
Meets with CMCL-C618

The Problem of the Media in Deleuze and Guattari
Professor Striphas; M 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., MJ112
Meets with CMCL-C793

History and Fiction: Frauds, Forgeries, and Imposters
Professors Wasserstrom and Lynch; TR 1:00 - 2:15 p.m.
Meets with HIST-H680 and ENG-L680
(See description below)

Aesthetics, Ethics, and Ideology
Professor Kenshur; TR 11:15 a.m - 2:30 p.m.
Meets with CMLT-C647 and ENG-L680
(See description below)

CULS-C790 Individual Readings in Cultural Studies

Crosslisted Courses:

CJUS-P670 Cross-Cultural Studies (Professor Kane)

GNDR-G601 Concepts of Gender (Professor Gremillion)

Selected Course Descriptions:

History and Fiction: Frauds, Forgeries, and Imposters:

Rather than surveying the history of the historical novel, this course aims instead to assess how cultures' connections to the past are mediated by the relationship--sometimes collaborative and sometimes competitive--between the discourses of fact and the discourses of fiction. The readings we are selecting for this course move across continents and centuries (from Herodotus and Sima Qian to Philip Roth and Rigoberta Menchú) and encompass historiographical theory and theories of fiction as well as histories, historical fictions and detective novels, and the hybrid "factions" and "true crime" writings that bridge those categories.  Our rubric "Frauds, Forgeries, and Imposters" is meant to register how often the most interesting thinking about the qualities specific to authentic history—thinking that engages scholars such as Natalie Zemon Davis, Jonathan Spence, John Brewer, and Simon Schama—has taken as its pretext figures (Martin Guerre most notably) who cause trouble for stable definitions of authenticity. Our readings this semester are, accordingly, populated by people who disappear or who give false accounts of themselves and by corpses whose cause of death is enigmatic --and to some degree remains so, since dead men tell no tales. Of course, that same rubric, "Frauds, Forgeries, and Imposters," frequently names the terms in which historians think about rival representations of the past.  (A persona that historians often adopt is, as we shall see, that of the coroner or detective who brings the perpetrators of these "crimes of writing" before the tribunal of history in order to separate the "true story" from the false stories that have obscured it.) Our selection of readings is, on the contrary, designed to make us more self-conscious about historians' reliance on fiction—their practice of converting fictions into evidence, for instance-- as well as more self-conscious about novelists' strategic alignments with historical renderings of the past. One recurrent theme in our readings will therefore be the covert presence of the literary inside the historical—the possibility, for instance, that to tell the past as a story is already to tell it as a fiction.  Another theme will be the entangled histories that connect forgeries and historical documents and that likewise connect, by extension, history-makers and history-finders.  We will also be considering the recent efflorescence of "what if" history— accounts of what never happened that deploy particular rhetorical strategies to invite their reading as histories.

Aesthetics, Ethics, and Ideology:

The course will examine aesthetic theories both in the context of their relationship to the evolution of literary forms and tastes, and, especially, in the context of larger debates over moral, political, and epistemological authority.  Our focus will be on British thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. During this period, ethical thought, by demonstrating the universal availability of moral knowledge and the universal capacity for moral action, reflected an impulse to avoid the political and social disorders that arise from religious sectarianism. But this universalizing impulse, with its democratic implications, often runs up against  the deeply held conviction that a social  hierarchy marked by subordination and deference is natural and necessary. The course will examine the tensions between these conflicting ideological pressures, and will treat the emergence of aesthetics as a by product of the  attempts to use ethical theory as a way to preserve the social order. A short preliminary paper and a longer term paper will be required. Students taking the course to meet proseminar requirements will do an in class presentation instead of a preliminary paper.