MACT-eligible courses - last updated Spring 2018
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Courses are approved as MACT-eligible at the discretion of the MACT director and Executive Committee. To be eligible for credit toward the certificate, a course 1) must be taught in a CAS department or program, 2) must engage in critical inquiry through the lens of the arts and humanities (for example, courses in the practice of physical science would be precluded), 3) must significantly address intersections of media, art, culture, and technology, 4) must be open to enrollment by students outside the listing department/program, 5) cannot be a required course for a departmental degree. Courses are approved with specific topics and instructors because MACT relies largely on "topics" courses whose subjects and approaches vary. Courses may have their own pre-requisites, and are open to MACT students by permission of the instructor. Any Stony Brook faculty member can request a course be listed here as MACT-eligible by submitting a description and syllabus to mediaartculturetechnology@gmail for Executive Committee vote no later than one month before enrollment opens for the term. Students may count a maximum of 2 courses (6 credits) prior to enrollment in MACT toward the 5 courses (15 credits) required.
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YEARTERM
Instructor (last, first)
Dept Abbreviation
No.Bulletin TitleTopic/SubtitleOptional description (double-click cells below to show full text)
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2018FallBalce Cortes, NerissaAAS505Travel & EmpireThe Pacific, Travel and EmpireThis course begins with the premise that travel narratives and modern visual culture illuminate the relationship between the violence and romance of travel. The course includes modern travel narratives (i.e. fiction by Asian Americans) that focus on the lives of those who are forced to travel or migrate due to civil war, poverty and.or economic instability, We will study and analyze fiction, film (features and documentaries) and photographs about former colonies.
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2018FallUroskie, AndrewARH546Topics in 20th Century ArtArt and the Moving Image(PhD level only) This will not be a course on “experimental film” or “video art” as those fields have been typically and restrictively understood, but seeks to embark upon a wide-ranging consideration of influence of moving-image technologies to the evolution of modern and contemporary art. Attending to the massive influx of film and video art since the 1990s from an oblique angle, our seminar will construct an aesthetic and conceptual genealogy of contemporary practice, considering how the themes, forms, processes, questions, and problems of early periods have been rearticulated over the course of modern and contemporary art.
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2018FallBogart, MicheleARH549
Topcis in American Visual Culture
Arts of Commercial CultureThis course will examine the impact of commercial culture in twentieth century America by focusing on the development of illustration, advertising, and graphic design, along with other select design forms. Highlighting both the visual and semiotic aspects of advertising, readings will focus on two related areas of inquiry, the first being representations of gender identity and the second, rhetorics of desire--erotic, consumer, or both. We will examine varied and shifting styles of advertising iconography and form; the organizational frameworks and professional dimensions of advertising and graphic design activity; and the differences between “mass versus class” when it came to design and promotion. Weekly topics will run chronologically, emphasizing case studies and familiar historical flashpoints (open to debate, of course), like the post-World War I “Jazz Age,” the post-World War II 50s, and the 60‘s moment of “counterculture.” By probing how commercial art operated aesthetically, psychologically, and ideologically--and for whom--students will gain insights into the operations and influences of this mass cultural form, into gender formation, into sex and desire in a specific historical period; and ultimately, into relationships and meanings of both visual culture and life in America. Requirements include: Student-led discussions, active participation in dialogue about reading assignments, a 15-minute oral report (2 minutes per page) and a 2900 word paper whose research topic is approved by the instructor.
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2018FallPaul, Ian AlanARS 580Visual Arts SeminarThe UnrepresentableThis interdisciplinary graduate seminar will examine the spaces, practices, events, and bodies that exist beyond, and at times in opposition to, representation. Over the course of the semester in weekly meetings, participants will approach the work of contemporary artists, theorists, filmmakers, and activists in order to investigate what has been excluded from what Jacques Rancière has described as the "partition of the sensible" [le partage du sensible]. A collection of concepts related to the "outside" of politics and aesthetics will be covered, including but not limited to opacity, imperceptibility, excess, affect, refusal, abjection, and escape. Graduate students from all disciplines are invited to enroll, and will be required to lead one seminar discussion as well as submit a seminar paper or creative work in response to course materials at the end of the term. Course readings will include texts from Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, Edouard Glissant, Alfredo Jaar, Fred Moten, Elizabeth Povinelli, Jacques Rancière, and others.
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2018FallSanta Ana, JeffreyEGL 606Period and Tradition
Postcolonial Ecocriticism & World Literature
This graduate seminar explores the literary and cultural representations of what Elizabeth DeLoughrey has called “the postcolonial turn in the dominant fields of American and British ecocriticism” and what the environmental historians Alfred Crosby and Richard Grove have termed “ecological imperialism”— the historical embedment of ecology and the natural world in the Western imperial enterprise. By examining world literature from regions and countries of North America and the global south (Anglophone Caribbean, Africa, Asia, North America, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii), we will explore how contemporary writers and artists from these regions represent environmental experience and depict place (home and origins) as fundamentally linked to the natural world in the contexts of colonialism and imperialism, postcolonialism (the aftermath of colonization), and diaspora (the global movement and refugeeism of people from the global south who are called “environmental migrants”). We will examine how these writers and artists critique current environmental crises, and their models of postcolonial environmentalisms and sustainability. We will investigate these concerns in relation to questions at the intersections of gender, sexuality, and race as they apply to discourses in eco-politics, environmental activism, and the social remembering of violence and human and nonhuman casualties that have occurred under colonialism, capitalist development, and the aftermath of imperial and neocolonial enterprises. Some topics to be explored include epistemologies of nature, land and identity in the wake of forced relocation and displacement, theorizing human/nonhuman relations, the militarized environment, plantation monoculture, and the Anthropocene (our current epoch when human activities started to have a significant global impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems).
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2018FallRubenstein, MichaelEGL585Topics in Cultural StudiesWhat is Culture?What is culture and how do we study it? This course is an introduction to the concepts and currents of the field of Cultural Studies. As such the class will be divided into sections based on a non-exhaustive set of genres of cultural artifact: 1) novel; 2) comics; 3) TV, film, and video); 4) Painting and Photography; 5) Performance; 6) Poetry. Each genre will be further divided into two distinct but highly contested categories: high culture and mass culture.Together we will read/watch two texts from each genre: one each from the high and low categories. Students will choose a genre to write about, and then further their scholarly reading in that particular genre, ultimately producing a final presentation and paper that analyses their chosen texts with a selection of applicable cultural theory. An edited anthology of cultural theory, and the generic exemplars for each section, will be required texts.
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2018FallCrease, BobPHI618Philosophy and the Sciences Science and TechnologyPhilosophy of Science and Technology. Continental philosophy provides an excellent starting point, perhaps the only adequate starting point, for a comprehensive understanding of the natural sciences: their existence, practices, methods, products, and cultural niches. The reason is that, for a continental philosopher, inquiry is first and foremost a question of looking and discovering rather than assuming and deducing. Topics include quantum mechanics, relativity, and evolution; readings include Barad, Heelan, Lewis, Zizek, Ryckman, Sheets-Johnstone and others. We will also read philosophers of technology such as Borgmann, Feenberg, Ihde, Latour and others. We will spend at least one class on the Philosophy of Facebook, involving issues such as algorithmic justice.
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2018Fall Craig, MeganPHI508
Contemporary Issues in the Arts
Souls and MindsWhat is the soul and how is it related to the mind? This course investigates ancient and modern conceptions of soul and mind through the lenses of Aristotle's De Anima, Willam James's Principles of Psychology, and Simone Weil's Gravity and Grace. Additional readings will come from Husserl, Bergson, Oliver Sacks, and contemporary neuroscience. Throughout the semester, we will investigate questions about the nature of the soul, immortality, the relationship between minds and brains, consciousness, neural plasticity, and spirituality. Film and literature will play guiding roles in our examination of multiple conceptions of the soul and the mind during the term. This is a writing intensive seminar.
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2018Fall
Perez Melgosa, Adrian
SPN532Interdisciplinary ApprochesInter-American
This course explores a group of Latin American films which develop a variety of formal and narrative techniques in an effort to explore realistic ways to convey the complexities of their societies, of their connections local and global contexts, and their position in regards to dominant definitions of Latin America. Many of these new varieties of realism have developed as a reaction to the identification of Latin American art and literature with the development of magical realism. We will study the connections of these films to traditional Latin American filmmaking practices, and to the social and political debates that surround these practices. The course provides an introduction to the vocabulary of film production and criticism as well as to the theoretical concepts of film studies.
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2018Fall Kaplan, AnnWST610Topics in Women's StudiesGlobal Women's CinemaIn this course, we will explore the role of women in global cinema as this role has changed over time, and as it takes varied forms in select nations and regions. At the same time, we will track broad changes in international feminist film theories from the 1970s to the Millennium, arguing that knowledge of founding positions is crucial for understanding where we are today. We will interrogate the notion of women’s cinema, extending its reach beyond an exclusive focus on female directors to consider other claims to authorship and agency by producers, screenwriters, performers and even spectator/critics whose readings assert their role in the production and reception of meaning. We will raise a number of questions to do with themes women’s cinema addresses and how these have shifted, including the varied conceptions of female sexuality as shaped by culture and religion; changes in sexual identification and Queer positionalities depending on social context; the political issues (individual and collective) women’s films raise; the choice and uses of film genres, and the increasing transnationalism women’s films both address and participate in.
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2018FallHiemstra, NancyWST680
Interdisciplinary Research Design
This seminar is designed as a workshop to apply knowledge of methods and methodologies in the interdisciplinary area of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies to students' own research. Course topics will include formulating and refining research questions; developing appropriate theoretical frameworks; articulating scholarly value; and thinking critically about the methods used in feminist interdisciplinary research, across the Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences. Students are expected to work collaboratively, presenting their individual works-in-progress to the class for constructive critique. Over the semester, students will develop either a research proposal for funding agencies and/or their dissertation proposal (prospectus).
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2018SpringLee, SohlARH550
Inquiries into Art Criticism and Theory
Global Art History
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2018SpringSanta Ana, JeffreyENG585
Topics in Literature and Cultural Studies
Climate Change in Lit and Film
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2018SpringTan, EKCST 609Topics in Cultural StudiesPostcolonial
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2018SpringPatterson, ZabetARH546Topics in 20th century ArtArt and Technology
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2018SpringDavidson, CynthiaWRT614Digital Rhetorics
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2017FallPatterson, ZabetARH552Topics in Contemporary ArtArt and Technology
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2017FallSiegel, KatyARH546Topics in 20th Century Art Art and Science
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2017FallVernon, KathleenSPN643
20th Century Spanish Literature (in this case film)
Buñuel, Ripstein, Almodóvar(Course conducted in Spanish.) This course will focus on the films and careers of three of the most provocative and influential Hispanic directors of the last 90 years, Luis Buñuel, Arturo Ripstein and Pedro Almodóvar. In analyzing each of their distinctive film universes, we will also consider a series of shared concerns: their participation in a model of hybrid, transnational cinema; their pursuit of socially and sexually transgressive themes; and their creative if conflictive relation to various traditions of both Hispanic and wider global cultures.
The course will be conducted in Spanish but all films will have English subtitles and the readings will be available in English.
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2017FallTausig, BenMUS 546EthnomusicologyBodies and Sex in Electronic Music
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2017SpringBelisle, BrookeARH554Topics in Visual CultureComparative MediaPhotographic/Cinematic/Digital Aesthetics - historical and theoretical texts and close analysis of examples
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2017Spring Mather, David ARH546Topics in 20th Century Art AutomatismWhile automatism is closely associated with the French surrealists and their method for composing texts and images via psychic automatism, the term likewise refers to a centuries-old concept connoting a spectrum of self-directed, mechanical, or uncontrollable processes across varied historical, social, and cultural contexts. This interdisciplinary seminar focuses on iterations of the deeply rooted concept of automatism, including mechanical automation, psychological and physical disorders, and spontaneous social and political disruptions, while also examining specific practices such as Parisian café concerts of the fin-de-siècle; the inventions of photography, chronophotography, and film; the Uncanny; Modernist and contemporary architecture and dance; and media theories rooted in spectacle, simulacra, and the apparatus. We will analyze the results/works by Étienne-Jules Marey, Loïe Fuller, the Italian futurists, Marcel Duchamp, Dziga Vertov, André Breton and the surrealists, Oskar Schlemmer, Karel Čapek, Fritz Lang, Charlie Chaplin, Kurt Schwitters, Le Corbusier, Leni Riefenstahl, Guy Debord, and Andy Warhol, among others. Through in-depth textual and visual analysis as well as cultural and intellectual histories, the resulting typology of automatism provides a useful intellectual framework for describing, explaining, and assessing creative and critical engagements with automatic processes, while fostering a greater appreciation for the myriad fears and desires such engagements inspire.
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2017SpringTausig, BenMUS541
Topics in the Cross-Cultural Study of Music
Mutiny by Ear: Theories of Aural RefusalHow do political actors both express dissent and generate socialities through acts of non-listening? How does the closing of the ear become an affiliative act?
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2017SpringUroskie, AndrewARH 546Topics in 20th Century Art The Movement ImageThe Kinetic Imaginary: Animation of Postwar Art
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2016FallTan, E.K.
CLT/CST
609
Advanced Topics in Comparative Literature/Cultural Studies
Traveling People, Traveling Cultures
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2016FallKaplan, E. A.WST610Global Women's Cinema
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2016FallLutterbie, JohnARH551Theories of Performance
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2016FallBogart, MicheleARH549
Topics in American Visual Culture
Public Art
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2016FallPatterson, ZabetARH552Topics Contemporary ArtMedia Aesthesis
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2016FallSmith, StephenMUS555Topics in 20th-Century MusicCritical Theory for Music Studies
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2016SpringSmith, StephenMUS555Topics in 20th-Century MusicCritical Theory for Music Studies
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2016SpringDavidson, CynthiaWRT614Digital Rhetorics
Reading/Writing/Culture Across Networks
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2016SpringMather, DavidARH546Topics in 20th Century ArtEmbodiment
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2016SpringPatterson, ZabetARH552Topics in Contemporary Art Art and Technology
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2016Spring Lee, SohlARH 550Topics in Criticism and TheorySocialist Aesthetics
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2016SpringGraham, ElyseEGL555Studies in Irish LiteratureDigital Ulysses
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2015FallLutterbie, JohnARH551Topics in PerformanceTheories of Performance
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2015FallTausig, BenMUS 536EthnomusicologyMusic, Tension, and Conflict
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2015FallBogart, MicheleARH549
Topics in American Visual Culture
Arts of Commercial CultureThis course will examine the impact of commercial culture in twentieth century America by focusing on the development of advertising and graphic design, along with other select design forms. Highlighting both the visual and semiotic aspects of advertising, readings will focus on two related areas of inquiry, the first being representations of gender identity and the second, rhetorics of desire--erotic, consumer, or both. We will examine varied and shifting styles of advertising iconography and form; the organizational frameworks and professional dimensions of advertising and graphic design activity; and the differences between “mass versus class” when it came to design and promotion. Weekly topics will run chronologically, emphasizing case studies and familiar historical flashpoints (open to debate, of course), like the post-World War I “Jazz Age,” the post-World War II 50s, and the 60‘s moment of “counterculture.” By probing how commercial art operated aesthetically, psychologically, and ideologically--and for whom--students will gain insights into the operations and influences of this mass cultural form, into gender formation, into sex and desire in a specific historical period; and ultimately, into relationships and meanings of both visual culture and life in America.
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2015SpringBelisle, Brooke
ARH/CST
552/609
Topics in Contemporary Art/ Advanced Topics in Comp Lit and Cultural Studies
NetworksThis seminar will traverse intersections of media theory, philosophy, aesthetics, and politics to engage the idea of connection and the figure of the network. Held in Manhattan, it will require in-person encounters with contemporary media art at museums, galleries, and screenings. Graduate students will draw on interdisciplinary readings to develop an article- or chapter-length piece addressing the question of connection and the figure of the network through the lens of their own research interests. Readings may include: T Terranova Network Culture, A Munster An Aesthesia of Networks, N Bourriaud Relational Aesthetics, J. Derrida Différence, JL Nancy Being Singular Plural. Some questions we will consider in this course: How do we think about the forms of interconnectedness that integrate us as individual subjects and bind us into communities? How do new technologies shift both material and ideological possibilities of connection? How do popular media and aesthetic experiments explore changing ideas of connectivity? How do we imagine the singularity of a moment within the continuity of history, or the specificity of a node within the abstraction of a network? How do we relate the concrete infrastructures, virtual flows, and material forms of traffic that coordinate global communication, economic, and political systems?
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2015SpringGaboury, JacobCST 609
Topics in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
Media TheoryThis seminar will introduce students to the study of media theory as it has grown and transformed over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries. Drawing heavily on contemporary debates over the materiality of technical media, the course will track a range of methods and contemporary debates in the discipline. What are the limits of media theory? How does media theory engage contemporary research on new materialism and speculative realism? What can media studies add to the study of film and literature? What does media theory tell us about the body and identity? Readings will include: Marshall McLuhan, Harold Innis, Friedrich Kittler, Villem Flusser, Bernhard Siegert, Martin Heidegger, Gilbert Simondon, Lisa Gitelman, Jonathan Crary, Katherine Hayles, Claude Shannon, Lynn Hershman, Miriam Hansen, Bruno Latour, and Jane Bennett, among others. The course will offer a foundational framework for students interested in working with and studying media theory, as well as specific approaches to a wide range of media practices, including visual media, performance, sound, text, and computation.
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2015SpringAugust, TimCST 609
Topics in Comparative Literature and CUltural Studies
Refugee Literature and Film This seminar will take refugee literature and film as its object. The study of refugees has, up until now, been overwhelmingly dominated by those in the social sciences, due to the commonplace assumption that the refugee is a political category rather than a subjectivity. In this class we will employ a humanistic methodology to study how the term refugee can be used to project a distinct sense of self and/or community. Specifically we will query the strategy of naming oneself a refugee, while evaluating the ethics of claiming this position in artistic works. This will involve considering how refugee expression varies through different geographical spaces and political conflicts, such as the civil wars in Africa, the boat exodus in Southeast Asia, and the contemporary refugees of Syria and Palestine. More broadly we will engage the intellectual history of the refugee position, tracking its currency alongside other worldly ideas like cosmopolitanism, diaspora, globalization, and transnationalism. Key thinkers to be examined will include: Giorgio Agamben, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Hannah Arendt, Yen Le Espiritu, Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall, and Edward Said, as well as writers Reinaldo Arenas, Bao Phi, Kao Kalia Yang and Benjamin Zephania.
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2015Spring Tausig, BenMUS 541
Topics in the Cross-Cultural Study of Music
The Music of Protest"Music at its most potent," writes critic Alex Ross, "creates the feeling that the world is about to undergo a vague but tremendous change, which is how political energies become attached to it." In the past decade, what kinds of vague but tremendous changes have been envisioned by major protest movements around the world, and how has music functioned in relation to these political projects? This seminar engages an ideologically and geographically diverse array of recent case studies in protest music, about which much has been written since the late 2000s, with a spate of new publications appearing in the past few years. Undoubtedly, music has been linked to key concepts of protest, including solidarity and sacrifice, for a great long time. However, recent events raise fresh questions about the role of protest music in a milieu of digital communications, about the transformation of music into new forms of weaponry, and about modes of composition and performance in the face of technologically sophisticated censorship. In addition to musical case studies from Istanbul, Tunisia, Brazil, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Cairo, Missouri, numerous sites during the Arab Spring, and both the American right and left after the financial crisis, we will take on a healthy portion of theory: LaClau and Mouffe on populism, Habermas on social movements, Hardt and Negri on the multitude, and Arendt on revolution, among others. Students will produce weekly responses and a significant final project.
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2015SpringSmith, StevenMUS 555Topics in 20th CenturyCritical Theory for Music Studies
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2015Spring Patterson, ZabetARH552Topics in Contemporary Art Utopia and its Discontents
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2015SpringMather, DavidARH 546Topics in 20th Century ArtAutomatismWhile automatism is closely associated with the French surrealists and their method for composing texts and images via psychic automatism, the term likewise refers to a centuries-old concept connoting a spectrum of self-directed, mechanical, or uncontrollable processes across varied historical, social, and cultural contexts. This interdisciplinary seminar focuses on iterations of the deeply rooted concept of automatism, including mechanical automation, psychological and physical disorders, and spontaneous social and political disruptions, while also examining specific practices such as Parisian café concerts of the fin-de-siècle; the inventions of photography, chronophotography, and film; the Uncanny; Modernist and contemporary architecture and dance; and media theories rooted in spectacle, simulacra, and the apparatus. We will analyze the results/works by Étienne-Jules Marey, Loïe Fuller, the Italian futurists, Marcel Duchamp, Dziga Vertov, André Breton and the surrealists, Oskar Schlemmer, Karel Čapek, Fritz Lang, Charlie Chaplin, Kurt Schwitters, Le Corbusier, Leni Riefenstahl, Guy Debord, and Andy Warhol, among others. Through in-depth textual and visual analysis as well as cultural and intellectual histories, the resulting typology of automatism provides a useful intellectual framework for describing, explaining, and assessing creative and critical engagements with automatic processes, while fostering a greater appreciation for the myriad fears and desires such engagements inspire.
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2015SpringUroskie, AndrewARH546Topcis in 20th Century Art Expanded CinemaWhile histories of modern and contemporary art have always appreciated cinema as general point of reference, it is only recently that art history and criticism has begun to understand the centrality of moving image practices to many of the artistic movements that defined the century. This will not be a course on “video art” or “experimental film” as those domains have been reductively understood, but embarks upon a more wide-ranging reconceptualization of the history and theorization of moving-image technologies and their relation to the evolution of postwar visual and performing arts.
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2015SpringGraham, ElyseEGL608
Reationship of Literature and Other Disciplines
Storytelling with DataThis course introduces students to a selection of digital methods and tools for working with large data sets in literature, history, and the arts. In recent years, a series of revolutions in our ability to mine and explore data has raised new challenges across many fields of cultural studies. Methods of “distant reading” are raising questions about what it means to interpret literary history. Data-driven news sites represent an increasingly influential brand of journalism, focused on making meaning of quantitative analysis. Museums are reconceiving aspects of curation and research in the context of crowdsourcing platforms. This course teaches students how to use data to tell meaningful stories and how to ask questions of data sets that point in useful directions. In a series of classes and workshops, we will explore data acquisition and storytelling, visualizing data, and designing digital humanities spaces through rapid prototyping, as well as some foundational readings in the digital humanities. The course is intended for a mixed class of students from across the humanities. It will integrate theoretical concepts with hands-on project development in the digital humanities.
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