2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Postmodernity and Postmodernism: Barth, Baudrillard, DeLillo, Murakami, Pynchon and World Cinema

Fall 2012 quarter

Harumi Moruzzi cultural studies, film studies, literature
Fields of Study
cultural studies, literature, moving image, philosophy and sociology
Preparatory for studies or careers in
literature, philosophy, sociology, cultural studies and film studies.

For the West and Japan, the 19th century was a heady century that embraced the utopian notion of perfectibility of human society through science and technology. However, by the beginning of the 20th century this giddy sense of unremitting human progress and spread of democracy began to be gradually challenged by various iconoclastic ideas, such as Freudian psychoanalytic theory, Einstein's theory of relativity and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. A sense of confusion, anarchy and dread expressed itself in various art works in the first decade or so of the 20th century in strikingly similar ways to that of our own time, which suffered perhaps a more radical and real disillusionment regarding humanity and its future through its experience of Nazi holocaust and the atomic bomb explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our contemporary experience, at the beginning of the 21st century, is still generally and vaguely called the postmodern time or postmodernity. But, what is postmodernity? What is postmodernism? In this program we will explore the complexities of the concepts of postmodernity and postmodernism through lectures, book seminars, films and film seminars.

At the beginning of the quarter, students will be introduced to the rudiments of film analytical terms in order to develop a more critical attitude toward the film-viewing experience. Early in the quarter, students will also be introduced to major literary theories in order to familiarize themselves with varied approaches to the interpretation of literature. Then, students will examine postmodernity and postmodernism as manifested in the literary works of John Barth, Don DeLillo, Haruki Murakami and Thomas Pynchon as well as in the films directed by Godard, Lynch, and other contemporary filmmakers, while exploring the significance and implications of such literary and cinematic works through the various theoretical works of Baudrillard, Foucault, Jameson, Lyotard and other influential thinkers.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
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