Communication and Culture | Studies in Contemporary Communication
C626 | 3021 | Joan Hawkins

CMCL-C 626: Studies in Contemporary Communication
(Topic: Politics of Affect; Politics of Terror)
Class Number: 3021

Th 4:00P-6:30 P, Room TBA

Cross listed with G604 Perspectives in American Studies
Fills one of the requirements for the AMST major/minor

Professor: Joan Hawkins
Office: Mottier 113
Office Hours: Th 3:30P-5:30P
Phone: 5-1548

Since this is an AMST core course CMCL students who are doing the
Ph.D minor or joint major with AMST, may take this class for AMST
credit; but  you don’t have to be involved in the AMST program to
take it.

One of the core courses in the American Studies graduate curriculum,
G604 introduces students to some of the varying methodologies and
perspectives used in the field.  The special topic of the course
this year stresses the course’s links to the American Studies
Lecture Series, as well as to the feeling of political urgency and
engagement that draws many of us to American  Studies.

This course on affect articulates a critical with a political
context.  On the one hand, we witness a burgeoning scholarly
interest in matters of affect as it relates to the study of
embodiment, identity (gender, ethnic, national, sexual), and media
culture. This recent scholarship has both prompted and made possible
rich theoretical interventions and methodological innovations in the
consideration of ideology, image, audience, and other foundational
concepts for cultural critique. On the other hand, we witness the
onset of an official "war on terror," whose principle effect is
arguably the proliferation of terror and more particularly - from
Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo to the West Bank – an escalation of state-
sponsored terrorism. In ways with which we have hardly come to
reckon, the "war on terror" represents a legitimation strategy for
terrorism in the form of a militarized state apparatus, including
the surveillance and control of targeted racial, ethnic, and
national populations.

Students in this class will attend the American Studies Lecture
Series and in addition will meet as a group for readings,
screenings, discussion.  Readings and assignments will include some
older book-length works, designed to remind us what the politics of
terror and affect looked like before 9/11, as well as contemporary
post 9/11 essays.  Written course work will include a series of very
short (2 page) response papers to individual readings and talks, and
a 10-page conference paper suitable for presentation at the American
Studies Conference.   Students will be asked to attend one
performance and 2 film screenings outside class time.

Lectures:Glenn Hendler, “Riot Acts: Regarding the Violence of
Others” ( Hendler works on 19th century masculinity and sentiment);
Diana Fuss, “Despair” (Fuss works on Feminism and Queer Theory  and
this talk is about Emily Dickinson and affect; Ruthie
Gilmore, “Terror, Austerity, Race, Gender, Excess, Theater
Revisited: From Greater Los Angeles to Abu Ghraib”(politics of
prisons);Ann Cvetkovich, “Depression as Public Feeling” (feminism
and queer theory)

Readings will include
Brian Massumi, The Politics of Everyday Fear (Univ ersity of
Minnesota Press); Linda Williams, ed. Porn Studies (Duke); Critical
Art Ensemble, Digital Resistance (Autonomedia); Joan Hawkins,
Cutting Edge: Art Horror and the Horrific Avant-garde  (University
of Minnesota Press);Loïc Wacquant, Body and Soul: Notebooks of an
Apprentice Boxer (Oxford University Press)
If you have never read a novel by Kathy Acker, please read one of
your choice before the semester begins

essays on horror, porn, theater, and documentary; the photos from
Abu Ghraib;  the court trial of the avant-garde performance group
Critical Art Ensemble; compassion; disgust; paranoia; car crash
culture and fashion.

Films will include:
Fred Wiseman, Titicut Follies (1967); Stan Brakhage,  The Act of
Seeing with One’s Own Eyes  (1968);
Alan Sondheim and Kathy Acker, The Blue Tape (1974); Ela Troyano,
Latin Boys Go To Hell (1997);
Paul Morrissey, Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein (1973)

Performance: Alan Sondheim’s Assassins  (weekend of Feb 18)