412R Studies in Fiction Calendar

Studies in Genre - Postmodern and Neo-Postmodern Fiction 
by
Lee Ann Mortensen,
Professor at Utah Valley University

 

Updated 4/19/17 5:52 PM

Subject to change - print only 1-2 pages at a time if you need hard copies.

 

  M W M W M W M W M W
January 9 11 16 18 23 25 30      
February   1 6 8 13 15 20 22 27  
March   1 6 8 13 15 20 25 27 29
April 3 5 10 12 17 19 F21 24 26 Fri28
May

1

3 Th4

 

 

       

 

????

 

Discussions, Readings, & Exercises

Lee's Lecture Notes

Jan. 9

Studies in Fiction--My Favorite Books, Pomo and Neo-pomo

Readings due before class:

--Purchase texts
--Syllabus & Calendar

Assignments due before class:

 

Lee's Lecture Notes--often a link will appear here, or there are loose notes below...

Day 1 Lecture Notes

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. PostmodernISms... (the start of Lee's perpetual Ism lecture; every ism is a reaction to previous isms; postmodernism--30% more modernism like Berube? says?)
2. a possible Postmodernism time-line

2. Duchamp's dada Urinal--Dada readymade (found) and pastiche (intertextual parody--Simpsons); objects out of context; why do we worship art as sacred?  Why do we respect the spectator?  
3. Stein's Tender Buttons (modernism?)
4. Donald Barthelme's critique of The Law of the Father (transcendental signified; phallologocentrism) a la Woody Allen--the Center decentered in the postmodern era, and "sticking it to the man."
5. A quick tour of pomo strategies (short circuit; pastiche; questioning of closure)
6. Las Vegas: postmodern epicenter (and why a pomo doesn't say the Chrystler building doesn't look like that)--facade vs. "the real" (a world made of façades)

Jan. 11

Antifoundationalism! Sorry, we did have class, but I won't count it!

Readings due before class:

--Read the Syllabus on-line.
--Pomo Anthology: Introduction (there is a copy on Canvas Files in case you are waiting for your book; file name PomoAnthTOCIntroIntro)
--Carter: Start Reading The Bloody Chamber story 1-story 2
--Stein: Three Lives part 1 The Good Anna, The Life of the Good Anna, The Death of the Good Anna
--Handout: Pomo Laundry List #1



Assignments due before class
:

  • Upload your answer to the syllabus assignment to Canvas Discussions Syllabus Assignment--what is postmodernism?

 

Day 2 Lecture Notes

 

Texts of Bliss--now seems like "natural" lenses to me...

We did some close reading of part 1 of Three Lives, "The Good Anna" in Stein (the Good Anna is quite the bitch, ultimately, and you can hear Stein treating her self-assessments with an ironic/sarcastic tone

We compared that to Stein's Tender Buttons

We compared that to Carter's first revisionist fairy tale "The Bloody Chamber" like a revisionist history story ("Lyndon")...

We talked about how Carter is a postmodern writer because she changes the fates of women in her fairy tales, and avoids damsels in distress...

Carter's writing is also poetic and fantastical...

We talked about the Norton anthology introduction and the way pomo works might not really settle on what is real vs what is not real--what is real in "The Bloody Chamber" is that the new husband has had a lot of dead wives who had "accidents" that seem fantastical...

We talked about how Stein uses words like cubists or more abstract artists who make the painting about the paint rather than a scene or a narrative...

 

Jan. 16 MLK Holiday--no class  
Jan. 18

More Antifoundationalism; Modernism, Postmodernism, and Post-structuralism (phew)

Readings due before class:

--Pomo Anthology: Introduction (there is a copy on Canvas Files in case you are waiting for your book; file name PomoAnthTOCIntroIntro)
--Pomo Anthology: Breaking the Frame intro (in Canvas Files at the end of PomoAnthTOCIntroIntro);
--Pomo Anthology: Barthelme "Sentence" p. 33-37
--Carter: keep reading The Bloody Chamber (4th, 5th, 6th and 7th stories)
--Stein: part 2 Melanctha
--Handout on Canvas Files: Psychoanalytic theory (to p. 26; click on Files on the left; file name Tysonch2psych)


Assignments due before class:

  • If you missed class Jan. 11th, be sure you look at my notes or one of your classmates notes who attended (and took notes)
  • Come with at least two questions or ideas or puzzlements about the point of "Sentence" (upload to Canvas Discussions)--or is this request too foundationalist? Upload questions/ideas/puzzlements to Canvas Discussions: Questions about Sentence and Berube.

 

Day 3 Lecture

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. Antifoundationalism, and anti-enlightenment thought; Laurie Anderson's pomo music/performance art--O Superman; Warhol and soup cans as high and low culture coming together (and Warhol's soup cans at Target)
2. Antifoundationalism and binaries--today's conversation
3.
Antifoundationalism and real/not real; non-fiction vs fiction; cyborgs, hybrids

-Discomfort in Texts of Bliss: as you go through your life ever day, what kinds of things disturb you or put in a state of loss or crisis? What paranoias obsess you?

4. How are you postmodern?  pp. xxvi, xxvii
3. Psychoanalytic lecture--he fragmentation of the self/subject into Conscious/Unconscious, Ego/Superego/Id;

2. The Museum of Jurassic Technology (from our intro; pastiching scientific or natural history museums; a questioning of the "advancement of knowledge").  Cones of confabulation (and the love of Englightenment science to make diagrams); No one may ever have the same knowledge againThe Garden of Eden on Wheels 

3. List of Pomo Strategies.

5. Even BYU teaches Postmodernism!
6. Lee's -Isms Lecture--a short history of American Literary/Art writing
7. POMO intro--Problematic binaries; progress/"degress" or regression (xxx); subjective/objective; low art/high art; stability/chaos (transcendental signifier vs. "anything goes")
8. Why pomos are paranoid; DDT is good for me! said the Father.  Science is progress, said the Father.  The bomb makes us Safer, said the Father.  The Patriot Act makes us Safer, said the father.  War = Peace, said the Father.
8. 50's, The Nuclear Family, Leave It To Beaver, McCarthyism, and the reactions to this...
9. Pomo laundry list: Antinomianism--the breasts present themselves (DF p. 10); excess in lists (p. 11); a pastiche of language systems (Old Testament, Science, Pop Culture, Comedy, Neuroses/Freud, Old Fart-ism (Damn Your Eyes!), Q & A Public Service Announcements, Fairy Tale p. 18 fe fi fo fum, Passive voice--the voice of objectivity/science/legalese)
10. "classic" or first generation Pomo as a clear break from modernism (angry, political, paranoid; more excessive; ironic; avant-garde--influenced by dada but also the Beats)
11. Underground postal service and the muted post horn; like Brazil with the rogue plumber Robert Deniro

Jan. 23

"Classic" Postmodernism, Signifiers vs. The World, and the problem of "Originality" (in a nutshell)

Readings due before class:


--Pomo Anthology: Pynchon's Lot 49 pp. 4-15 (the muted post horn, symbol of the underground postal service! In Canvas Files file name PynchonBurroughsBarthelme)
--Pomo Anthology: Gass p. 66-84 (poetic fragmentation; Colin Goodykoontz p. 69; in Canvas Files file name BraughtiganShangeReedGass)
--Stein: Three Lives part 3 (Lena)
--The Bloody Chamber another few stories
--Handout on Canvas Files: Deconstruction Theory (click on Files on the left; file name Tysonchdecon)


Assignments due before class
:

 

Day 4 Lecture Notes

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1."The principle of collage is the central principle of all art in the twentieth century in all media" (Norton, 26). Also, think about anti-novel or anti-stories. Is it not surreal as William Gass suggests? Certainly Oedipa Mas's can't tell the difference between dream and real in Lot 49. Gass also says his work is also based in the actual--does that mean that the pomo is more real?
2. The Hero's journey being parodied or anti-ed in The Dead Father; picaresque novels also being played with; and the search for the golden fleece, something magical that will fix everything (Julies panties?)
3. Is the Dead father just a drug induced fever dream?
4. Emma and Julie's dialogue, and the anti-causal nature of our conversations (vs. realism or realism oriented plays)

1. Intro xviii: McHale on Modernism (epistomological) vs Postmodernism (ontological)
Barthelme: ; an overview of Barthelme
2. Arguments about Barthelme--form over representation?

2. Why is "classic" the wrong word for Postmodern writing?  Lee prefers "hard core"; our text might call them "first generation" or early pomo writers (2nd gen. women, queers, latinos, af. am.--xix).
2. Doing close, pomo readings.
8. Enlightenment vs. "Dark Ages" vs. antifoundationalism (xx); xxix--disrupt the center/margin binary3. Antifoundationalism and Post-structuralism
3. A quick introduction to linguistics--webs of signifiers (intertextuality); excess of meaning (xxi)--Différance (differ and defer; ) vs. Platonic Ideals; vs. language as a transparent window (xx); problematizing categories (xix) and originality; the arbitrary or constuctedness of signifiers (Le Guin's "She Unnames Them" p. 525)--an excess of meaning
7. Modernism and Prufrock (high culture, formal play, not really political); questioning perception vs. identity (xxvii--identity as linguistic; the Cartesian Self vs. the "modernist" Freudian Psyche Dividedvs. the pomo subject made of signifiers); the protest of the Beats (Howl) against Modernism and 50's "culture."
"8. More on Duchamp (his Mona Lisa pastiche); Man Ray (dada and surrealist); Dali (dream and real merge; our Freudian Other xxv); Warhol (appropriating images from ads xxii); 
9. Don't Trust Anyone Over 30 (Jack Weinberg at Berkeley)? and the 60's revolutionary movements...

Jan. 25

Nothing Isn't a Text, We Shape and are Shaped By, and the hard core (first generation) Pomos

Readings due before class:

--Anthology: Brautigan (fishing with port wine; and his "divine idiocy") p. 37-42 ; Berube p. 595-603
--The Bloody Chamber: finish


Assignments due before class
:

  • Reading Reaction 1: 600 words--explore one question or uncertainty or new idea you got from the Pomo Anthology Introduction and apply that to one or two stories from Carter's The Bloody Chamber and one other pomo reading we've done (Barthelme's Dead Father or Story, Pynchon's muted post horn story) using specific textual evidence (quotes) from the readings, and close reading of meaning and pomo strategies from those texts to flesh your interpretations fully. What's postmodern about Carter's style and/or content? What seems more like fairy tale? What seems more like realism? Upload to Canvas Discussions: Reading Reaction 1 (button on the left; click on Reply, then you can attach files, or cut and paste). Due by 11:59pm.
  • Come to class with at least 2 questions about Bérubé (upload to Canvas Discussions: Questions about "'Sentence and Berube'").
  • TBA Collage/Cut Up experiment...??

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 5 Lecture Notes

 

1. Let's start with your questions!

2. Let's go back to Freud's modernist fragmentation and psychosexual stages; another version of psychosexual stages where all our wounds and fragmentations come from; the Dead Father seems to be orally fixated with his desire to suck on everything; Thomas is playing out the Oedipal complex; and what about Oedipa Mas? What's she playing out in Pynchon's mini-picaresque?

2. Critiques and criticism of The Dead Father
2. Berube--"it's hard to determine the relevant facts and features of pomo when so much of pomo has questioned how 'facticity' is constructed"--thus the laundry lists I gave us last week must be problematized (pomo questions origins, definitions, frames, boundaries)

Pomo questioning of facticity and mockumentaries (Orlando; Spinal Tap); pomo questioning 2nd wave feminism; queer theory as a pomo, performative/political space; who performs queer in pop culture?

Pomo texts might rip foundational ideas to shreds, but you can still see the shreds on the floor (the problem of revolutions becoming co-opted by power structures and eventually ads)

Berube p. 596 When the avant-garde enters popular consciousness, it ceases to be in the forefront; pomo seeks to find out how mo gets into the general consciousness, or at least pomo theory seeks this...

2. Avant-Garde: Coined in 1863?  Is it a subset of postmodernism, or does it contain postmodernism, or perhaps is it another word for postmodernism?  Conceptual/concrete memoir performers like Laurie Anderson "creating an entirely new scene" p. 216; listening to her is key--disruption/short circuit of oral syntax (seeing her is key too; language is a virus; O Superman; her Art 21 intro); her "normal" looking narrative vignettes; the signifier "beauty" differing between cultures (p. 217); and jewels (glasses); the lack of "logic" in the photos; other works (1979 United States and technologism concerns)
3. Avant-Garde performers: how DID the Blue Man Group become so popular (think about Berube asking the same question about David Lynch)?!?


2. Berube--Distinction between Popular culture and "high" culture are put under erasure in his own writing (pop culture as a "new" kind of scholarly focus).
3. Berube--598--pomo and facts-- how does art enter the mainstream? (596)  Corporate Co-opting and post-avant-garde (597): David Lynch's Twin Peaks defended in USA Today(vs. his Eraserhead 1977); Grandmaster Flash recycling "vinyl cultural products" (he is actually now in the Rock and Roll hall of fame--what would Berube say?); when something from the avant-garde becomes a commodity or is used to sell commodities (music videos: David Bowie "Space Oddity" (1969) ""Boys" and "Ashes to Ashes"; Eurythmics and early MTV 1983; and a Rolling Stone cover); graffitti, and graffiti on display in 2006
--Berube on Science, Humanities, and Culture Wars--the enlightenment needed questioning, but...; Berube's TED talk about disability and pop culture

4. The problem of evidence in a web of signifiers that are contextual (Xerox technology, Photoshop-- xxiv)
5. 1984, the problem of History as Fact or a Grand Narrative (xxiv; old historicism--historical facts as transcendent (as monolith, singular)-- vs. new historicism i.e. History as ideological signifiers full of cultural baggage)--who's history (native americans might see Columbus's arrival here differently)?, and who's writing it (white guys)?  And when (1800's? 1950's?)?  And who's revising it and re-reading it later?  Look at AlJazeera news vs. US news
6. But can't I have the radical truth (another pomo artifact)!?!?
6. And then there's Wikiality...("truth by concensus")--a very postmodern space where various narratives can be reresented (and pastiched); Colbert's phrase "truthiness" might apply
10. Berube 601--women, minorities, queers helped to "shatter the pernicious sense of nostalgia to which so many men" for and against pomo subscribed to...
11. DF--all sorts of historically conflictual technologies and settings combined in a surreal way (swords, movie projectors, duels, porno films, mechanical legs); the questioning of everything (But still with given signifiers with all their huge history of cultural baggage)
11. DF p. 21 Who's Emma?  A moment of foregrounding a potential reader reaction...metafiction; parody of dialogue with a dialogue that pastiches
12. DF p. 16 "We don't care what you think" as a 60's youth anthem (Barthelme's cultural baggage)

Jan. 30

From "Classics" to Neo-Postmodern

Readings due before class:

--Handout: WATCH THIS BEFORE BURROUGHS--video about Burroughs' talking about the process of making Cut Ups (which in a way explains the short circuits of his writing)
--Anthology: Burroughs p. 15-25 (read this challenging sci fi hallucination more like a piece of dada?)
--Anthology: Reed p. 55-65
--Anthology: Hassan p. 586-595 (modernism vs. postmodernism)
--The Dead Father: (in Canvas Files file name DF1to59) through p. 58



Assignments due before class
:

  • Replies to either random or automatically assigned RR1's (2 to 4 replies--if you do more than the minimum, it may count for extra credit)--have a thoughtful, intelligent conversation with each member of your group about something of interest in their RR1 in Canvas Discussions.
  • Upload two questions about Hassan to Canvas Discussions: Questions about "Hassan and Baudrillard." Sometimes Hassan's binary list of Modernism vs. Postmodernism can help. You don't have to write about Baudrillard until later when we read him!

 

Day 6 Lecture Notes

 

Signifiers--how Saussure and Derrida move to a world made of signifiers

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
Modernist Poetry: Prufrock (audio); Modernist Fiction: Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway
; modernist visual arts: Picasso's flattened cubism, or a dada piece; pomo music--John Cage; surrealists like Dali (and "The Persistence of Memory"); yet like Hassan says, we recategorize our antecedants like H. Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights" from the 15th century (but it seems like a surrealist painting from 1939).

"A new kind of Western"--the pomo western and Ishmael Reed, and Sergio Leone films (Once Upon A Time In The West--preview). Reed and the black picaresque and hoodoo and 60's questioning of anyone over 30

2. What is dream and what is real (Pynchon, Gass, Barthelme); what is real and what is "made up" (Brautigan's excessive listing of fish books like Till Fish Us Do Part ends up being "real")

1. Naked Lunch? Burroughs studied in Germany during Hitler's start; Burroughs on making Cut Ups; an avant-garde film, The Cut Ups; Kathy Acker interviews Burroughs--writing is 50 years behind painting; cooptation and Nike?
2. Dystopia, The Vegetable People and Oxygen Addicts (p. 17), and the Conspiracy Theory of the Universe (Supernova Conspiracy starts with a Newsweek quote p. 18)...and Barthes' "prattle text"--putting the reader in crisis with language...
3. Hassan's laundry list/binary p. 591-592 (modernism vs. postmodernism); the idea of post-civilization (587)..."or shall we call it the age of indetermanence" 588; Hassan talks about the literature of silence (587) or unmaking
3. Berube--critics of Pomo on all sides (600)--Eagleton, Kramer, Donoghue-- pomo is "content to let a thousand discrepancies bloom", and Jameson "all that is left is to imitate dead styles"

8. Barbie pastiche? Food Chain Barbie (and copyright, and ownership; the author as author-ity?)...and plagiarism..."fair use" laws...
11. Anth. p. 600 (Berube and "the apocalyptic rhetoric about the disappearance of the referent"); G. Stein and her Tender Buttons?
13. Berube and Dada's breakdown--"Dada self-destructed when it was in danger of becoming "acceptable" says Shelley Esaack on Art 101...questioning, and reviling, everything--and the desire to divorce signifiers from all previous attachments (in a quest for Originality?)?
14. Collages and dada:  
Man Ray's "collages" merging organic with machines or objects; is this a Man Ray photo, or photoshop? other Moma images
6. Différance (difference and deferral of signifiers)--and Burroughs ideas about everything being associations not content (p. 23)
7. Poststructuralism and Postmodernism (from Marrianne DeKoven--is postructuralism really the culmination of modernism?)
14: Antinomianism Day!  Talking dirty (175), Sea Pirates (91), Art and Writing as Protest, as Desecration of the Sacred (art on trial--The Flag),  postcolonial "assholes" and Vonnegut
*, and The 700 Club (And Phyllis Schlafly's warnings to college students--take heed!).Vonnegut p. 84-94;

Feb. 1

Classic and Neo-Pomos, Intertextuality, and Facticity (or Faction)

Readings due before class:


--Anthology: Acker p. 409-415 (I Am sCum, and the plagiarism of Great Expectations? She's also like Burroughs' love child); O'Brien p. 174-183 (true war stories?)
--Anthology (I added this Jan. 23.): Revising Tradition p. 393+, and Fact Meets Fiction p. 125+
--DF p. 59-90
--Handout: "Where Now? Let's Go" a 2008 article on Barthelme



Assignments due before class
:

  • I moved the reading reaction to Feb. 8th!! So you can work on it more, or leave it as is...
  • Extra Credit: you can watch the David Lynch film Naked Lunch, an adaptation of William Burroughs' novel of the same name. Then do a 300 word reaction to it, comparing it to Nova Express, and thinking about some aspect of pomo theory we've been reading about and/or discussing. Post to Canvas Extra Credit. BTW I sometimes put extra credit easter eggs in the Web Calendar or Canvas Announcements...


Day 7 Lecture Notes

 

Signifiers--how Saussure and Derrida move to a world made of signifiers

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1.
back to the spagetti western...and war stories...

The early pomos, and many literary writers, as concerned with creating something new, something that can be called art, perhaps; the modernists said, "make it new," but the pomos say the same thing, and the neo-pomos say the same thing

2. Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker (part 1): "steal everything you can"; some feminists thinks it objectifies women, but others talk about how even the ugly needs to be portrayed; the description of the mother

Acker has sections that make sense even though there are short circuits between then. Burroughs not so much. But Pynchon's Oedipa Mas seems to have a rather linear narrative, even if there are random shifts from one scene to the next (but there are reasons for her movement from one place to another--a crowd bolsters her into the Greek Way--and she and the muted post horn are everywhere we look).

Ch. 6 DF (in the audio 1:01?)--a dramatic narrative! What elements from the pomo laundry list do you see in the first pages? Metafiction. Randomness and parody of the narrative (where trivial things like stopping to eat are written which would not be written in a "good" dramatic narrative; where characters suddenly pop out of nowhere like the horse holder).   Technologism meets primitivism (uzzis and horses). Making fun of the cliches of hero journeys, but also making fun of bad writing and bad films...

"Amanda McKittrick Ros, the Worst Novelist in History" by Mark O'Connell excerpted in Slate magazine: ...it’s sometimes difficult to avoid the suspicion that she may have inadvertently invented postmodernism." She is so excessive with her metaphors, and breaks up syntax so much, you almost think she's a pomo. A quote from her novel, Delina Delaney:

“'She tried hard to keep herself a stranger to her poor old father's slight income by the use of the finest production of steel, whose blunt edge eyed the reely covering with marked greed, and offered its sharp dart to faultless fabrics of flaxen fineness.' (That is, Delina did some work as a seamstress so she wouldn’t have to live off her father.)"


3. Great Expectations--Acker as more pomo with her fragments and short circuits, her "samplings" (but also a punk feminist re-visiting pomo with awful violence; pastiching the more "polite" Dickens): Dickens and 1860's Victorianism--a semi-autobiographical novel with 3 "stages" of expectations; Dickens being asked to make his ending happier; the 1998 update; as a match making service; Supposedly The Graduate is based on this (Ann Bancroft simulacra--see Baudrillard below)...Acker said she came out of poetry--poets as "white niggers"; R. U. Sirius interview; R. U. Sirius himself as artifact; and Patti Smith;

2. True war stories?  O'Brien's "neo-pomo" tellng and retelling, a deconstruction of TRUTH (transcendental signified) and of story telling.  Obscene contradictions.  John Wayne war movies (the Green Berets) vs. other 60's war movies (like those with Lee Marvin--The Dirty Dozen) vs. Platoon (a clip; but only possible long after the war in 1986).

DF: 45min. "Leave our stomach alone!"; "Why do you abide with him?" at 51 min. the fleece's "great yellow electricity" at 52 min. Machines 53:40; the story of Balambanjang; and turning himself into a haircut; uncoils his penis over the River Styx 58:48, and the Savings and Loan...1:01:08 then Thomas tells a picaresque ("a dramatic narrative" at the start of ch. 6);

 

3. Berube--pomo critics left and right (600)...pomo as facetious and pointlessly playful (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure--revisionist history vs. Total Recall--revisionist memory conspiracy (from Phillip K. Dick's 1966 story), and commodification of memory)...until "pomo began to come to grips with the various social liberation movements" (601) which is I might say Acker comes into the picture.
8. Eurocentricsexism-- The protests of the Other toward 60's manly white pomo (xxix)--what does the silliness of "Sentence" do for the revolution, anyway?  And he's so sexist!
6. Marxist critiques of Pomo/Poststructuralism; but Lee thinks, along with people like J. Butler, that disrupting the Truth, the referent, the Transcendental Signified, via linguistics, is the ultimate revolution...but also see p. 599 Kuhn's paradigm shifts being shifts, not Truth...
11. Laundry List: Metafiction in "Sentence" (also short circuit, randomness) and in O'Brien (and Vonnegut, of course)

13. Are all texts Pastiche?  Or probably better put, Bricolage?  Using given objects in new ways (like the Punk movement making jewelry out of common objects like safety pins...Acker as Punk)
14. Lee's ism lecture--pomo and neo-pomo
15. A bit more art history: cubism, dada, constructivism, surrealism, abstract impressionism, assemblage art (Joseph Cornell--not unlike some of Man Ray's work), pop art (consumerism and pop culture as fixations), op art (Varasely), the 1960's, and 1970's

Feb. 6

Neo-Pomos and "The Panic Stricken Production of the Real" or not so real...

Readings due before class:


--Anthology: Maso p. 111-115; Phillips p. 115-120
--Handout on Canvas: read the Lacan section of the Tysonch2psych file p. 26+
--Handout: "Not Knowing," a writer's manifesto by Barthelme (under Canvas Files file name: not_knowing; here's a blog about the essay)
--DF keep reading
--Handout on Canvas Files: Borges' "Tlön..." from Labyrinths (making the objects of a world that are so detailed they take over our world; this link might help you read? or try this one)
--Anthology: Baudrillard p. 631-637 (this is due next time, but you could start early to let it sink in)


Assignments due before class
:

  • Watch at least 3 parts of the Holocaust TV Miniseries from 1978 for our Feb. 6th class, and in preparation for Baudrillard. Holocaust part 1+

Day 8 Notes

 

Signifiers--how Saussure and Derrida move to a world made of signifiers

 

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Tom asks about music and representation...I play John Cage (showing how we map language over tones)

2. I went over Freud's psychosexual stages as a precursor to talking about Lacan's stages (Lacan relating more fully to Baudrillard because both talk about our separation from the world of things and/or "direct," non-linguistic connections).

1. "Not Knowing" and avoiding the writer running toward the reader with outstretched arms, or avoiding fiction that communicates
some quotes I might use today, or another day

DF: 1:12 scabard, and the riddle (think Oedipus, of course); 1:14:20 "That is a tall tale," said the dead father, but "no tale every happened in the way we tell it," says Thomas...but never, never murderinging, never murdereded, not the great father; 1:16 belt buckle exchanged (and phallic symbols, the exchange of power); 1:25:30 old farts can't cuss, and then the dead father slays more stuff (4 score chinchillas), and "a small iguana melted in terror"; 1:32:30 The Wends!

DF: A Manual For Sons
2. More on New or Pomo Historicism--McCarthyism
; and Red Channels (Scandalize My Name); The Crucible
2. Baudrillard via cartoon
5. The Pomo epicenter: Las Vegas!  But that's not the way New York really looks!

12. Phillips--First Person POV and perception and empathy (and identity--reader becoming the "I"--p. 116; and You, the little pea of cells--Plath-like imagery)

7. The Persuaders--"A World Made of Marketing" and Times Square looking like Las Vegas which looks like everywhere else (NYC, Paris, Camelot, Rio, Greece...); 
1. Baudrillard: Simulations upon simulations upon simulations (Hotel Excalibur, the 1967 musical, 1975 Holy Grail as pastiche, Boorman's 1981 Excalibur, 2004 Spamalot (a Broadway musical of a pastiche of Arthural films from the 60's), Arthurian tours in England, but is it ultimately myth?  But what isn't ultimately myth?)
9. Advertising vs. Eco's "Semiotic Warfare" (xxi) and the co-optation/rebellion cycle (xxii); Hot Topic; Barbara Kruger (I buy, therefore I am--Berube p. 601)...the "I am" having disappeared behind consumerism
3. Berube--Hans Haacke environmental postmodernist (p. 602--"foreground the means of cultural transmission") transmision"--anti-consumption); Philip Johnson's AT&T Building (pastiche)
5. Watching, and reacting to, your first film in the context of one theory and one written piece...
6. Berube p. 600 "the map engenders the territory" and Baudrillard's hyperreal-ity (and Borges)
6. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring--DDT is good for me!  Typhus vs. Murder and insanity; And making revolutions in this world...(you have to believe in materiality--601...or do you?)...and no wonder pomos are paranoid...

Feb. 8

Postmodern Fathers, and Unfortunate Simulacra

Readings due before class:


--Anthology: Fact meets Fiction intro. p.125+; Capote p. 127-147
--Anthology: Baudrillard p. 631-637 (here is where we actually read Baudrillard)
--Watch one of the movies from the syllabus list, or tell me about another. Be ready to show and tell pomo strategies or themes during class. A number of the films are also in the Course Media section of Canvas.
--Handout in Canvas Files: Borges' flash fiction "On Exactitude in Science" (in class)
--Dead Father finish


Assignments due before class
:

  • Upload 2 questions about Baudrillard to Canvas Discussions: Questions about "Hassan and Baudrillard."

 


 

Day 7 Lecture Notes

 

Berube introduces Baudrillard's skepticism--what about material reality?!

Hassan: questioning of facticity

1. Baudrillard and the disappearance of the real or the referent: the Scholes linguistics history chart showing this disappearance (and how we got to only thinking about signifiers and webs of signifiers pointing at each other for their meanings); Maso's cinematic overlay--her story becomes a Truffaut movie; students in class were asking about Baudrillard's failure or falseness (that the referent disappearing is not true)...I started talking about how that is Platonic thinking (but who said there's anything wrong with that) but that the poststructuralists and the pomos are often questioning and upsetting Platonic notions. Daniel mentioned existentialism and Martin Buber's I/Thou as being similar? I'm thinking of the Barbie song analysis...

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Christy says something about Baudrillard being wrong or false...? That does play into binaries of true and false which can be problematic...or maybe she was critiquing the idea that if everything seems pomo, then nothing is pomo? Does The Help retroactively fit postmodernism? Or is it just a realism-oriented text of pleasure? DECONSTRUCTION OF BINARIES is pomo.

Lee also found Noam Chompsky's critique of pomo theory's critique of the sexism etc. of science (and how absurdity doesn't fly in the third world). But isn't Barthelme's DF doing important work within it's silliness? The weight of the world of our parent's signifiers dumped on our shoulders, already always informing us no matter how much we want to break with it/them

Signifiers and webs of signifiers and the muted post horn's many meanings for many people (a kind of free floating signifier? yet always associated with some web of meaning; Pynchon's humor, critiques of corporate culture, the joke of the WASTE system (or is it Twilight Zone?)


3. Baudrillard: "substituting the signs of the real for the real" (632) until origins disappear (an extension of Derrida?  Derrida acknowledges materiality, but we don't have access to it without signifiers swimming in ideology).
4. Baudrillard: "the magic of the concept, and the charm of the real" has  Realism (the codes of mimesis) is a game of pretending that we all go along with by suspending our disbelief (Coleridge's "poetic faith") as we read--but we always know it's fiction. Simulation doesn't pretend, it feigns being real by containing bits of the real (like a psychosomatic illness contains bits of the real e.i. hysterical paralysis), but isn't real.  The "recurrence of models" and "the simulated generation of differences" are all we have left.
3. Lacan, the post-structural Freud; the terrible/wonderful separation from the mother/origin by the Law of the Father or Logos.
4. More on the codes of fiction/realism and non-fiction...
5. Hassan's extended laundry list (and the ridiculous label "postmodern" when now is always modern); 
2. Film: 1975's Network...is TV/simulation more real than The Real? No, The Real is lost--Simulation is all: That which no longer pretends (633) but is also not "the real," but which contains many elements of the real (like other real anchormen on real news channels).

Feb. 11?

Touchstones is due by ????  
Feb. 12? Warp n Weave due! Warpandweave.net  
Feb. 13

Pomos and Neo-Pomos; the "Avant-Garde" and the Neo-Avant-Garde, and Oedipal Conflicts

Readings due before class:


--Vonegut Breakfast of Champions (BOFC) through p. 50
--Anthology: Barth pp. 415-449 (Dunyazadiad! A long story, but easier to read than the high stylists like Barthelme or Borges);
--Handout on Canvas Files: Baudrillard's tiny, pissy essays about movies and TV "History: A Retro Scenario" and "Holocaust" pp. 43-51
--Handout in Canvas Pages: "Film Analysis in a Nutshell" (vocabulary and links--click Pages on the left, then at the top click Open All Pages)...

 

Assignments due before class:

  • Reading Reaction 2: 600 words due by 11:59pm--write intelligently on two artifact/texts/signifiers/strategies from the Dead Father thus far thinking in terms of a positive/good/exciting moment and one negative/bad/boring moment (remember, though, that Barthes says a text of bliss can be boring)--try to use an idea or two from the theory essays we've been reading like Berube or Hassan. If you do this from the author's POV, positive could also be a strategy the author/narrator uses to collude with culture or give in to culture, and negative could be a strategy the author/narrator uses to critique or dismantle culture. If you do this from your POV, you might define positive as a strategy you think works well, and negative as a strategy you think doesn't work. If you don't like antifoundational moves, you might define positive as Barthelme supporting or using a conventional idea or narrative technique (the idea of love, the idea of pain, the idea of father-child relations ), and negative as Barthelme critiquing a conventional idea or narrative technique. Use textual evidence and close reading to support your ideas and claims. Use comparison and contrast with other texts we've been reading to support your claims.
  • At least 1 question or comments about the "Dunyazadiade", and 1 question about the Borges "Tlon Uqbar..." story; you can also post the photo of a souvenir you got after visiting fabulous Uqbar (post to Canvas Discussions Questions on Duny and Tlon).
  • For class participation (film journal?): Write a quick journal (20 minutes) about the postmodern strategies and/or theoretical ideas you see in the postmodern film you watched for last time in Canvas Discussions: Film Journal 1. Then reply to one or two others (have a short but meaty conversation). FYI there are some films from the syllabus' Pomo Style list on ereserve in the library (see Canvas Announcements for login details; also see Canvas Pages Film Analysis in a Nutshell for a variety of useful film terms).
  • heads up--start thinking about Essay 1 or Story 1:--due Feb. 27--in order to make sure we keep ourselves writerly, and also as a way to understand more deeply about pomo, you can write an academic essay with a contestable pomo/theory thesis at the top (preferably a contestable thesis) and good close reading of short quotes from a text and something from pop culture (or chose one or the other). You can, for instance, closely read specific parts of a pomo movie, pomo TV show, and a pomo story or book we've been reading to help you support your thesis. OR you can write a hybrid piece like Gloria Anzaldua does in our book (a piece that is academic, personal, poetic, and seemingly random but that hangs together overall). OR you can write a pomo fiction/faction that plays with techniques we've been seeing and discussing in the readings. Length should be 1500-1800 words either way (but of course when you start a story you never know how long it's really going to need to be--the signifiers pile up and thus pile up more and more webs of signifiers which pile up even more and more webs etc). If you do a story, like the 1st generation pomos, you can critique formal elements by writing against realism (like linear plots), and/or you can include antifoundational themes, and/or, identities. Most writers should have a journal full of possible story ideas, or voices, or characters, or settings, or concepts, or even descriptions. You can do an outline of your narrative (or anti-narrative) where you lay out a traditional structure, then think about turning it into an indeterminant anti-structure. You can start with a quote or even a longer swath from a famous text that has always called to you (like Moby Dick, or Charles Dickens--see Kathy Acker), and let yourself free associate from that,or make a pastiche--a collage that is often a parody, or retell the story (historical or fictional) from an unexpected POV. You could do a graphic flash fiction with your own graphic stick figures or literal collages (see Breton's "novel"). You can write more poetically and associatively starting with a line or word from your journal, and then adding a word or a line one at a time (what does word 1 or signifier 1 lead to or desire; what does signifier 2 lead to or desire etc). I often start stories with a voice saying something confessional and whimsically self-depricating about something absurd about the foundationalisms of Utah. Your story will likely be a drafty draft since I'm only giving you a week to get it started, but don't be afraid to do some revising as time allows.

 

 

Day 8 Lecture Notes

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
The terrible Lack of the Symbolic (and Lacan)--the forever loss of the object petit a mother (and certainly far from Plato's ideal world--see the allegory of Plato's Cave--this one is particularly perverse since they are holding up simulated cats and chairs)

French feminism and the dream of escriture feminine, a language that escapes the Father's Symbolic Order (Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons? Is Non-linear narrative feminine and feminist?)

Capote's obscene POV and anti-journalistic style, and the "nonfiction novel" (who's style proliferates today on 48 Hours and other murderous TV shows).

O'Brien and signifiers and truth and obscenity--it's about O'Brien's true life since he was in Vietnam, right? Isn't war just a little bit fun? Another of his stories/factions, The Things They Carried; vs. Green Berets (is it uplifting?)

1. Lacan's stages and linguistics and webs of signifiers and truth (true war stories and O'Brien? true crime and Capote?)
1. Everything depends upon...Plato's allegory of The Cave: Lee's Version; the Schults' version; for kids; but what's wrong with shadows?

1. Baudrillard: Borges' "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" published in 1940 (intellectual creation of a world, first seen in the pages of an encyclopedia, begins to take over the Earth); Borges's piece "On Exactitude in Science" the map of the city is so "accurate" it covers the city...but this implies a Platonic "origin" still visible if one lifts the map or if the map decays? Baudrillard says this origin IS no longer (631), and thus the Borges' metaphor breaks down...?
2. Uqbar Tourism Guide
; Visit Fabulous Uqbar; an Uqbar page with it's own pomo/magical realism list with strategies like "mind screw"?

1. Simulacrum from Wikepedia...
3. Lee's Baurdrillard notes
3. A Dictionary of Postmodern Terms...exhaustion?
4. Life of Brian and the constructedness of religious symbols/icons (Follow the shoe!  No! Follow the gour); the panic stricken need for a Messiah (or many messiahs)
5. Hassan's extended laundry list; Prufrock and modernism's anti-romanticism (just 30% less postmodernism?); Lee likes how our anthology doesn't try, as Hassan says, to create a narrow cannon of accepted pomo texts...

4. Leaving the "nihilism" (or narcisism?) of DaDa behind: Surrealist Poets like Andre Breton (many of whom began to get more political in 1he 1930's); and back to Duchamp's pastiches (doing things again, but leaping toward the infinite), even of cubism (Lee calls Duchamp the John Barth and Donald Barthemle of the art world); every text is a found piece, or bricolage (no "originality");  Jim Morison lyrics; Dali; Frida Kahlo; also Early Renaissance artists like Bosch (is there really anything new under the sun?); Andre Breton's 1924 surrealist manifesto "Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation"; Sylvia Plath's 1963 poetic leaps "a melon striding on two tendrils"...
4. Barth and making things new in a world of imitation...(pastiche or parody??)

1. Borges' "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" a Latin American hard core pomos that put us in crisis with "reality"/language; kind of like Oedipa Maas's search for the meanings of the muted post horn; a story that also demonstrates simulation with all it's "real" elements and fictional elements colliding (encyclopedias, footnotes); Lee would disagree with Baudrillard's dismissal--when Tlonian artifacts start showing up, the Tlon world begins to take over our world--one set of memories (or language) replaces/erases another...
2. Freud, the Oedipal complex, and The DF: a metaphor about the psychological dangers of killing our fathers (symbolically) and marrying our mothers (symbolically, to return to the safety of the womb/origin).  The Wends, however, don't have to kill their fathers because they are their fathers, and they are forever married to their mothers!  What WOULD Freud say??
4. Lacan's stages (rethinking Freud with linguistics): the Imaginary or the dream of one-ness with mother/origin and Baudrillard...
3. Baudrillard and the "panicked production," or eradication, of religious Icons: --the buddy Christ from the campaign "Catholicism WOW" being used to revitalize (or popularize) the Catholic church in the movie Dogma (where the icons are simulations more of TV icons than any "original" Jesus); Lee's experience in Mexico with Iconoclasts (the fear that icons mask The Real);  the varieties of depictions of Jesus--as black, as white, as passive, as active, as weak, as strong; of Joseph Smith as Harlequin Romance God in some recent films??
3. Disneyland and the "murderous" signifier/icon

4. Borges and the land of nouns (only in the northern hemisphere of Tlon, of course)--and how perfect systems take over the world (like the detailed encyclopedia, or like the world of marketing which sometimes even ends up tattooed on people--think about Jameson here too).

Feb. 15

Neo-Pomos, the "Neo"-Avant-Garde, and Pomo Skeptics

Readings due before class:


--Vonegut BOFC through p. 150
--Anthology: Revising Tradition intro p. 393+; Delany p. 470-484; "Pop and High Colide" intro pp. 193-196; L. Anderson 216-226 (performance art as non-fiction? but it's performative...);
--Handout in Canvas Files: Tysonch8deconstruction (an introduction to Derrida and post-structuralist theories, and signifiers, and what it means to be "in play," and how meaning comes from differance, and how binaries are deconstructed etc.)--read through pp. 266
--If you haven't already done this, watch on Youtube the first few episodes of the 1978 TV miniseries Holocaust before you read the short essay by Baudrillard below (though it may or may not help): part 1--the Jewish wedding; part 2 when the gentle man needs a job, he goes to the Nazi Job Corps; part 3 the dashing uniform and the use of power (and, of course, the everpresent and increasing dehumanization of Jewish folks)
--Revising History intro p. 291+; D. F. Wallace p. 362-370--the first part (neo-pomo "Lyndon")


Assignments due before class
:

  • Upload to Canvas Discussions: RR2.2 replies to 2 RR2's (should generate automatically after you post RR2; if not, choose randomly). If you do more than 2, you will get some extra credit.
  • Questions about your essay 1 (post them if you have them)?
  • Bring an essay theory quote from a theory reading done thus far with some unpacking and maybe even a thesis in Canvas Discussions: Essay 1 Theory/Topic/Thesis. See the Essay 1 assignment under Mar. 7 below (that's when the essay is due).

 


 

Day 9 Lecture Notes

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
Your film journals--show us pomo artifacts!

2. John Barth and "Doony's" version(sssss) of 1001 nights--Chimera's frame-tales (stories within stories within stories as a way to save the world, or at least womankind; metafiction on drugs! pastiche up the wazoo; antinomian and cultural intrusions from the 60's); Scheherazade as college co-ed, dropping out to make a difference (p. 417); non-murderous signifiers--the "magic" in the words; the "narcisism" of Barth as a genie in his own story giving "Sherry" her own stories, the "stories everyone tells"; sex and narrative being the same; the key is that the treasure is the treasure; frame tales, compound tales 422
1. The problem of making it new--the artist Alex Bigney told Lee that 20th century surrealism wasn't all that new--see Bosch and Botticelli and other early Renaissance painters vs. Dali (dream and real merge)...2. Literature of Exhaustion (silence, unmaking)--the difficulty of originality (indeed, the impossibility of one thinks of  (exhausted possibilities within naive realism ; p. 70--Kierkegaard "every moment falling back into the finite"; the medium is the message p. 71 (though to Lee that seems more like modernism's goal); you can't do Beethoven's 6th again (p. 66)--he also says you can't do old sonnet-sequences any more either, but look at the neoformalist poets (like Marilyne Hacker); Borges' Baroque p. 72-73; "exhaust reality's frightening guises" to get to the truth exhausting the "finite" codes of mimesis, perhaps? 75; Anth. p. 441--Shah Zaman says "They're too important to be lies!" which as a line creates and erases its meaning into infinity, and like O'Brien says--a True war story might not have happened;

8. Examples of Lee's 1988 reactions to the Dead Father--using intelligent quotes to find a way into the text; perversely using new critical close reading and affective stylistics to explode the text; using MLA; would be more hybrid with film references too (and also more bricolage/pastiche moves); and Lee's thin, bloody grasp on poststructuralism...
5. Essay #1: Hybridity examples from Lee...(alternative hybrid writing assignments), combos; violations; pastiche, bricolage reasemblages??

Lee's Lecture Notes:
John Barth and a discussion of what's "technically out of date" (66); one can't write Bethoven's 6th anymore unless one does it in the "Borgesian spirit" (where the recreation covers over the original perhaps by reproducing it with minor revisions, or with interspersed moments from the Now, or with interruptions of modern music--think Kathy Acker; or think about how Tlon replaces the real in Borges' "story"); though there are authors who are writing "turn of the century type novels" now (and Lee points out that many novels on the best seller lists are this kind of novel)...

Breakfast of Champions: NYTimes review "gentle satire" vs. Barthelme's viscious satire? Students say it sounds like a kids picture book somtimes; I say it sounds like it's writing for an alien audience);



Feb. 20

Presidents Holiday--no class

 

Lee also went out of town for a funeral and got pneumonia...

 
Mar. 1

Hassan's Neo-Avant-Garde, Pop Culture, and Revising History

Readings due before class:


--Vonegut BOFC through p. 200
--Anthology:  the middle of D. F. Wallace p. 371-380 (the middle of Lyndon);
--Handout in Canvas Files: Barth's "Literature of Exhaustion" (like Hassan's literature of silence or unmaking?)
--Be sure you've chosen (and started critically reading) your film and/or book for essay 1. See the syllabus for choices.



Assignments due before class
:

  • Extra Credit Optional since I was gone--Reading Reaction #3 Fri. March 3: 600 words--comment on a few key ideas from any of the theoretical readings in the back of our anthology (or from a handout) that we've read thus far (you already wrote about Berube or Hassan in your previous RR2, so here you can write about Baudrillard, or ideas from Tyson's psychoanalytic or deconstructive chapter, or both--the panic stricken reproduction of the real). Use examples/quotes from the stories we've been reading and any pop culture movies, ads, cartoons etc. you've watched to back up what you explore or claim. Do close reading of each example to fully explain what you mean.
  • At least 2 questions or comments about the "Literature of Exhaustion."
  • Questions about your essay 1/story 1 (can be posted to Canvas Discussions so that everyone can see the answers).

 

Day 10 Lecture Notes: includes Lee's freewrites starts for next time

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Your film journals--show us pomo artifacts!

7. Thinking about Essay 1; Lee's 1988 reaction to the DF (as an example of writing, and messy theorizing)
2. D.F. Wallace as neo-pomo (he has plot and other mimetic devices), but he also plays with short-circuiting quotes, and revisionist history (bits of "real" and details so real they seem real; think of it as a simulacrum in its own right); I went all the way with LBJ (and the Jim Crow exhibit as racist pastiche?); 
8. Jameson: postmodernism rebelling against modernism--"expresses the inner truth of...late capitalism" via pastiche (fragmented, humorless parody--there is no norm to compare it to--p. 657) and schizophrenia (656); identity as corporate which sells the myth of the individual; "imitation of dead styles" (658); Robert Venturi pomo architect; "they no longer quote such [pop culture] texts" p. 655 "they incorporate them"...the divide between high and low art blurs...(Lee's thinking of Blade Runner right now and other dystopic cyberpunk sci fi's with their product placements--but also a Jamesonian "pastiche" of the old Film Noir movies, nostalgia as Jameson calls it); 

1. Jameson p. 662--noticing a shift after WWII to a media culture (Lee might say with the advent of TV and visual advertising); postmodernism and it's fragmentations facilitate "late" capitalistic culture, but are also made by/of it; The Persuaders as demonstration of this?  Rushkoff--"A World Made of Marketing," a "second skin" of advertising clutter covering our cities; and our "selves"?  Lee thinks about a Self made of marketing--fear of the fragmented subject, the erasing of "solid" identity or a coherent self, being used by marketers--"express your unique style," they tell us, "with these 10 new IPod Skins!"  Lee talked about Identity being wrapped up with purchases, and how this is like Baudrillard's Icons--we buy, eat, wear things that represent certain emotions we have lost track of (and that perhaps never existed at all [outside of language, Lee would say])--a panicked production of identity via capitalism (and is it late because it can't be sustained?  That's what Marx says); also think of Borges Tlon eventually replacing reality (memory is language, and the more detailed the language/system, the more likely it is to replaces it's weaker predecessor (like Nazi-ism).
9. Advertising vs. Eco's "Semiotic Warfare" (xxi) and the co-optation/rebellion cycle where New is taken over by The Mall (xxii); Hot Topic and the cooptation of Punk; Barbara Kruger (I buy, therefore I am--Berube p. 601); Your Body is a Battle Field (the cooptation of the female form to sell products and patriarchy--also see Kilburn's Still Killing us Softly videos); my "I am" having disappeared behind/under the Borgesian map of consumerism...
4. Avant-Garde performance artists (conceptual/concrete): , John Cage's 4'33", a "happening where nothing happens" says John Barth p. 68; see a review of "Empty Words," a performance where a riot ensued
5. Avant-Garde performance artists: Anderson's Nerve Bible "script"; Gertrude Stein's "Portraits" (modernism? cubism? DaDa?); Alex Caldiero and his scripts (he also reads with Theta Naught)...
5. Derrida's idea that we are always already shaped and shaping the world/the web of signifiers; Lee would use this to question Jameson and others about the idea that writers are working with dead language;

Mar. 6

Popular/Techno Culture, and Revising History

Readings due before class:

--Vonegut: to 260
--Anthology:  Gibson p. 512-519; Barry p. 211-216 Leyner p. 241-255 (corndogs and scud missiles); Kyun Cha 161-174 (biography? the real? fiction?); Robinson p. 488-497 (this is pomo?)
--Anthology: finish "Lyndon" from David. F. Wallace p. 381-393 ("real" history);
--Anthology: F. Jameson 654-664 (pomo skeptic)

Assignments due before class:

  • Optional Extra Credit--Reply to two RR 3's (yet someone else you haven't replied to) in Canvas Discussions.
  • At least 2 questions or comments about David Foster Wallace
  • Change! Due Wed. Mar. 15--Essay 1 or Story 1 Due by 11:59pm: in order to make sure we keep ourselves writerly, and also as a way to understand more deeply about pomo, write pomo flash fiction/faction that plays with techniques we've been seeing and discussing in the readings (due by 11:59pm in Canvas Assignments). A flash fiction or a sudden fiction is usually from 500 words to 1500 words (but of course when you start a story you never know how long it's really going to need to be--the signifiers pile up and thus pile up more and more webs of signifiers which pile up even more and more webs etc). Most writers should have a journal full of possible story ideas, or voices, or characters, or settings, or concepts, or even descriptions. You can do an outline of your narrative (or anti-narrative) where you lay out a traditional structure, and an anti-structure. You can start with a whole swath from a famous text that has always called to you (like Moby Dick), and let yourself associate from that, or retell the story from an unexpected POV. You can write more poetically and associatively starting with a line or word from your journal, and then adding a word or a line one at a time (what does word 1 or signifier 1 lead to or desire; what does signifier 2 lead to or desire etc). I often start stories with a voice saying something confessional and whimsically self-depricating about something absurd about Utah. How do you start stories? Your story will likely be a drafty draft since I'm only giving you a week to get it started, but don't be afraid to do some revising as time allows. Draft due on Canvas Discussions: by 11:59pm.

 

 

Day 11 Lecture Notes

 

 

for a book we aren't currently doing...2. An introduction to One Hundred Years of Solitude (and Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and the postmodern; how do you read the time shifts of that first line?!?  And then the "uncanny" or magical "discovery" of ice...

3. Magical Realism...a white, sterile introduction?  Wikipedia's Magical Realism--the marvelous real--unexplained fantastical elements; (the) fantastic (T. Todorov): the uncanny vs the marvelous; the uncanny is when supernatural things happen in a story that can then be explained by "natural" law (R. Bass); the marvelous is when supernatural things happen in a story without explanations, yet they give off the feel of being "normal" (G. Garcia Marquez); Alberto Rios explores magical realism; MR and GGM; and another MR site about Marquez
2. Magical Realisms vs Fantasy and other speculative writing

3. Film samples (Kill Bill 1--pastiche/love letter to past Bruce Lee flicks; Network--identity as television ratings, and the future of Reality TV; The Quick and the Dead and meta-cinema)
4. Lee is thinking about banned art and books and obscenity laws (the Miller Test) because she is going to lead a discussion on The First Amendment and Art; speaking of Baudrillard's icons, let's look at Serrano's pastiche/bricolage?  Rather beautiful, kind of like Robinson's grandfathers dawn views of heaven?  Or is it beer (the Homer Simpson pastiche?)?  And what does knowing it's in piss do to us? Other sacrileges like those Mohammed cartoons, or Bagley or Bensen--are these offensive?  Depends on the reader--and thus we go back to Barthes' reader response treatise (the reader creating meaning with the text)...
2. Cha's Dictee; hybrid forms (like Laurie Anderson)--she says she wants to blur boundaries (161); about women suffering and transcending suffering; what is an Enemy (167) when the occupiers/enemies are always changing?  The martyr (we white sterile types have never heard of) not ever knowing time/age, then Cha herself murdered by a stranger 7 days after Dictee's publication
3. Dictee: Japanese law all encompassing, taking over with it's perfect system that writes new laws on top of everything Korean (like the Encyclopedae of Tlon, or Naziism's systematically slow and thorough ethnic cleansing)
 

 

Mar. 8

The Borgesian Spirit, Art, and Naive Realism

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Vonegut: finish!
--Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude to p. 64+
--Anthology: bring it
--"Literature of Exhaustion"--bring it
--Handout in Canvas Pages: "Film Analysis in a Nutshell" (vocabulary and links)

Assignments due before class:

 

Day 12 Lecture Notes

 

Cont. from last time and the time before that etc.

Glen Beck's Utopian Town where freedom is true and unchanging forever, Independence (vs. Family Guy's utopic town)

Gibson's futuristic design, "raygun gothic," and Metropolis, and simulacra of the future from the past (which came first)

Borges' The Exactitude of Science (the map that covers everything)

Is the Aztec sun dial a simulacra?

8. Metropolis (1927) chrome and art-deco machines (style over function), and flying wings (and the "dreams" of Gibson's narrator; but is the 1948 wing based an a dream of the future from 1927?)

4. Marilyn Robinson's revision of Lot's Wife; loneliness and Western mythologies; her other writing focused on critiques of technologism and science (her response to The God Delusion--science as the end all be all of logic and meaning?  Or science as something out of control?  "those exotic war technologies always waiting, always ready"; Nuclear energy biproducts; pesticides like DDT; 
6. Robinson and memory and Borges and memory and everyone and memory...
7. Robinson on NPR

Your film journals...

Discuss ideas for Essay 1: start by choosing a theory quote or specific idea from one of the theory essays or handouts on Canvas (you could meld two, but it might be easier to unpack one, and then demonstrate it's intricacies), then support your opinions (your unpackings and reactions) about that quote with examples from your film, from two literary texts from class, and perhaps something from pop culture...

Lee might use Baudrillard's early language about simulacra: "Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory--precession of simulacra--that engenders the territory. " (631).

Mar. 13

The Borgesian Spirit, Sci Fi, and Close Reading and Your Essays

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Vonegut: bring it
--Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude to p. 200
--Handout in Canvas Files: William Gass's "And..." (a study in hyper-close reading)--read the first 5 pages.
--Anthology: bring it
--Bring your theory readings

Assignments due before class:

 

 

Day 13 Lecture Notes

Essays and Close Reading of textual evidence!

Your film journals...!

Mar.15

The Postmodern Magically Real, Pomo Holocaust, and Hybrids

Headings Due Before Class:

--Vonegut: bring it
--Marquez: to p. 280
--Anthology: Haraway p. 603-622 (cyborgs and Hybridity)
--Handout on Canvas files: TysonNewHistCult on New Historicism (pp. 281-295; helps you critically read any "fake" biographies or other Factions like In Cold Blood or Woolf's Orlando, or "real" biographies like Zami or Dictee or captivity narratives)
--Anthology: Coover p. 226-241 (the mad projectionist in the attic)
--Handout: Barthes reads "The Face of Garbo" (and semiotics)
--Handout (web link): "What Will Truth Mean in the Future?" (from Salon)

 

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Change from above--Essay 1 or Story 1 Due by 11:59pm: in order to make sure we keep ourselves writerly, and also as a way to understand more deeply about pomo, write pomo flash fiction/faction that plays with techniques we've been seeing and discussing in the readings (due by 11:59pm in Canvas Assignments).

 

 

 

 

Day 14 Lecture Notes

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
Discuss Jameson's more pessimistic views of postmodernism--that it's all coopted by consumerism, and that it can't shock any more.

He says, humorous or ironic parody no longer works...why? The Modernists did it all before...but Lee disagrees with him--pomos are much funier and satirical than most modernists.

But his ideas of nostalgia as a pastiche are interesting...films like Star Wars that pay homage to sci fi cinema of the past, that are respectful of these films/texts, that desire a connection to those lost times from our childhood...George Lucas is the consumate nostalgia artist in all his work, says Lee.

Thinking about the perverseness of telling a Holocaust story with cartoons; metaphor of Jews as rats also appears in pop culture--Ashton suggested we watch An American Tail where the Russian mice are coming to America because there are no cats there and the roads are paved with cheese (Daniel talked about this being a critique of the American Dream, but with cute creatures and musical numbers).

Gass and close reading and making comparitive and contrasting substitutions (what if Barthelme's sentences had looked like X? How would that change my reaction to the text, or it's meanings, or it's pomoaucity?); the need to closely read all your examples

8. Jameson: postmodernism rebelling against modernism--"expresses the inner truth of...late capitalism" via pastiche (fragmented, humorless parody--there is no norm to compare it to--p. 657) and schizophrenia (656); identity as corporate which sells the myth of the individual; "imitation of dead styles" (658); Robert Venturi pomo architect; "they no longer quote such [pop culture] texts" p. 655 "they incorporate them"...the divide between high and low art blurs...(Lee's thinking of Blade Runner right now and other dystopic cyberpunk sci fi's with their product placements--but also a Jamesonian "pastiche" of the old Film Noir movies, nostalgia as Jameson calls it); 
1. Jameson p. 662--noticing a shift after WWII to a media culture (Lee might say with the advent of TV and visual advertising); postmodernism and it's fragmentations facilitate "late" capitalistic culture, but are also made by/of it; The Persuaders as demonstration of this?  Rushkoff--"A World Made of Marketing," a "second skin" of advertising clutter covering our cities; and our "selves"?  Lee thinks about a Self made of marketing--fear of the fragmented subject, the erasing of "solid" identity or a coherent self, being used by marketers--"express your unique style," they tell us, "with these 10 new IPod Skins!"  Lee talked about Identity being wrapped up with purchases, and how this is like Baudrillard's Icons--we buy, eat, wear things that represent certain emotions we have lost track of (and that perhaps never existed at all [outside of language, Lee would say])--a panicked production of identity via capitalism (and is it late because it can't be sustained?  That's what Marx says); also think of Borges Tlon eventually replacing reality (memory is language, and the more detailed the language/system, the more likely it is to replaces it's weaker predecessor (like Nazi-ism).


2. Anger (and it's non-management)--Anderson (224)--"Why would you want to talk that way?" Network: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" And then The Gong Show happened (is it really a spoof?), and USA Today article about our fascination with talent shows; Diana's desire to create another reality show called "The Mao-Tse Tung Hour." The muted post horn becomes a scud missile for Lee--she has seen it many times these last two days: Anderson and Leynor (248) and Ensler and Robinson and...; as Ensler says, "Vagina" is a bad word, but "Scud" isn't (The HooHah Monologues coming to a town near you!)...and the classic Madonna/Whore problem...
For those who want to write this essay in a pomo fashion, you can do a creative hybrid response like Cha or Coover or White or Anzaldua or Anderson, where you critically bring together various media and genres to comment and/or creatively speak to your film or book.

Lee's Lecture Notes:
Steven brought up the Museum of Jurassic Technology last time...

Harroway and Cyborgs--blasphemy/community against the moral majority (Mohamed cartoons; Bagley), or using irony against over-seriousness, "where incompatible things exist together" which is a great way to describe some of the texts we've been reading; machine/design/construct vs. human/natural (the Dead Father's leg; Lee's knees; Cheney's difibrulator; Kilgore Trout's book about the dying planet with a car species) p. 604; we create worlds now, or at least have an effect on the way things like global warming go (Truth in the Future); and biospheres in Tucson, and space stations--worlds we have created that are not totally different than our world (there is community with our world), but that can start to influence how new things emerge in their worlds, or how our world changes because of the creation (Tang, anti-gravity pens)...

-- Trinh Minh-Ha(artist, film maker, hybrid) and origins, and her identity politics; "infinite layers" and I am not i (649); subject/I vs. object/Other; "you and I are close; we intertwine" and the lover's discourse; not one, not two, but multiple..."categories always leak"; her ideas of authenticity/origin, genuine self
-- The Subject vs. the Cartesian Self and all the authority/colonizations of identity; The Subject is usually defined or known and orderly, civilized--the object or Other is usually the opposite or absence of whatever the subject is; mythologizing binaries

3. Anzaldua -- Laws and Borders (like obscenity laws; property fences; jails)--drawing lines to help contain those things that exceed containment; those things that disturb, disrupt, put us in crisis with YAWEH/LOGOS, put us in crisis with our own identities; "We have to draw the line somewhere!" which of course means that the speaker of such a sentence believes chaos reigns;
2. Marquez and the Insomnia Plague (crosses their border)--more marvelous than uncanny; 
2. The BBC on Marquez
3. Postcolonial criticism
4. Complexity of defining Magical Realism from

5. Marquez and humor...

1. Hybridity Clashes--Never Marry a Mexican, her mother tells her (curses her)--and so she doesn't see the list of men of color who flip tortillas or pack bags at the grocery store(69; why does she list so many? Pomo Excess? Anger?  A sense of self-critique here)--and so she only "borrows" white married guys; "I do it to kill these women without their knowing it" (77); "No Mexican woman would react like that" (77); vagina dentata p. 82; Lee's own Mexican father preferred to date white girls because Mexican girls were too "passive".
2. Hong Kingston (J. Wang asks can an Asian American be an all American hero? p. 102); Can there be a gay superhero like Rage in Queer as Folk?  Can there be a Mormon superhero like Orgasmo (ha...but he IS making safe sex again)?
3. Kingston:  "No ching-chong chinaman for me" (says Nanci, but is she kidding?  461); Nanci doesn't look chinese = she's too pretty to be Chinese (464); "You sound black," Nanci says of his beat poetry (468), and the king of monkeys goes bananas; p. 469 when do you out your characters as Chinese?  Also, her trickster uber narrator playing with Wittman, playing with us, always ironic, always butting in...
6. Alexies' "Captivity" vs. Captivity Narratives (the passive white woman in the grips of evil; Mary Rowlandson's narrative); "I am not the fancydancer" (fancy dancing "for visitors" started in 1920's? (343)--things that change a story (meta)...
7. More postcolonial concerns: the banana Gringos in GGM bring all their Gringo things with them and set up their own town (keeping the Other out with their blue grass and walls-- 245); Lee was thinking of William Least Heat Moon's Blue Highways...; of course, Remedios escapes the "banana plague" (and all men) p. 255 (though the town thinks her being blown away (or sucked up by a light--from a space ship?!?) is just a story to hide her being pregnant)...
7. Silko's captivity themes from WWII (the captive Laguna GI, the captive Japanese Americans; colonial captivity narratives); stories are saving (like Alexie's stories being weapons)...
6. Does poetic language get in the way of plot?!?! Back to Lee's Lee's -ism lecture...
4. My mini-lecture on Genette--Order and time in GGM
6. Ethnicity issues in Disney movies

1. LUV and anger; love and identity and discourse; signifiers on my chest; The horror of not being the Other/beloved (Barthes), and the deconstruction of "oneness"; I am mad to be in love (but not really mad, not mad like Howard Beale in Network); Network: Faye Dunaway as the new power feminist but also as someone who can't love (she talks about work during sex); Love has to be the transcendental signified or it must mean nothing!...holy binaries! and I don't understand women!
2. More Anger: 60's rebels like The Weather Underground; Ameriprise ad with Dennis Hopper "Dreams don't die" created by Saatchi and Saatchi (see The Persuaders); but dreams of revolution certain did die...see Bernadine Dohrn

2. Lee's thinking of Foucault--the Panopticon (and the text in his words) and a "carceral continuum"where we are all connected by some sort of supervision (control vs. surveillance)

3. Texts of Pleasure vs. Bliss, and neo-postmodern-isms (and the recuperation into safety or realism of love, madness, punk, murder).

--GGM pp. 65-131
Mar. 20-25

Spring Break--no class, but...

 

Consultations with Lee in CB410D Monday the 20th. Come with questions...

 

 

Mar. 27

Borders, Postcolonial Hybrids, Cybernetic Mice, and Postmodern Folks

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Marquez: finish
--Maus I: through 1st chapter "The Sheik" and up to p. 71
--Handout online: K. Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" (that's what I call equality!)
--Anthology: Trinh T. Minh-Ha p. 648+; Shange p. 42+; Hong-Kingston p. 458-470; Cruz p. 263-271 (black vernacular/"rap-lit")
--Anthology:  bell hooks p. 624+

 

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • 2 Questions about hybridity and cyborgs from Haraway.
  • Moved from March 8--2 Questions about one of the stories from last time and from Jameson.
  • I moved RR4 to next time...
 

Day 15 Lecture Notes

Hybrids, cyborgs--Maus as hybrid; Harraway as cyborg

Lee's Lecture Notes:
Everyone Participates (for points)

Fiction and Nonfiction hybrids: Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) that starts out with a meta moment about truth and lies, and then she makes up Laura Ingall's mother in a piece of fictional monologue...

Harroway talking about "women's experience" being a construct which means we can subvert it, we can have the possibility of taking control of our cyborg selves (compare to bell hook's discussing "black experience" as politically powerful, but also problematic p.

Cyborgs and Hybrids in Breakfast of Champs and Maus: the machines of slavery and syphalytic cork screws; the narrators are both intrusive, but more so in Breakfast (when it happens); Some of you discuss the realism/authenticity/trustworthiness of Maus because Artie gets meta with what stories to tell or not (meta=real? hilarious!)--but Maus seems more up front about Artie's life, whereas Breakfast's "I" doesn't tell us anything about himself (and is therefore less trustworthy)...

Breakfast and machines p. 3, p. 11, p. 73, 140, 225, 230, 236, 242, 259, 261 (machines!), 263 (programming), 264, 266, 270, 287, 293, 295

Maus hybrids and masks p. 66 (passes as polish, and also as Gestapo); p. 201 Meta Mauswitz with a man head behind the rat mask;

Maus--Vladek often sees the people in his stories complexly (except for communists and blacks)--that they were all trying to survive like Miloch p. 119

Maus Liberation p. 272 (but they are still Jews...p. 273)

Maus--another story of troubled father/son relations like Barthelme's Dead Father, but Maus is more straightforward

Cyborg/Hybrids in The Borg from Star Trek (but the two are never reconciled...there is some of the borg left in Picard, and some of Picard in the borg)...

Hybrid texts as the "new" thing in fiction--a combination of creative nonfiction and fiction (Maus is about Vladek's story, but it is also dipicted with cartoon mice; Anzaldua uses academic essay and poetry; )

Trinh Minh-Ha and subjectivity as a hybrid...

Christy's Pomo artifact: Meta-horror and Lady in the Water

Anzaldua as mestiza theorist, and chicano/pocho (s)language "terrorist"; Chicana violations/terrorisms vs. Master narratives vs. Hybridity in class, race, identity, age; Cisneros and Tejana; why aren't we learning the languages spoken in the U.S.?   Anzaldua's belief in revolution ("when the white laws and commerce and customs will rot in the deserts they've created" 86).
2. Lee asked what's good and bad about having Chicano or Black Vernacular classes? 

7. Margaret Cho (on My Space--"you're not testing Asian"); Chris Rock (Black People are the biggest racists...)--and bell hooks call to use pop culture as a meeting place between the theory head and folk (631)
3. The leaking of categories, borders, skins, maps, jail cells (Foucault)
5. Anzaldua: You are what you think, what you write


7. Trinh Minh-Ha(artist, film maker, hybrid) and her identity politics; "infinite layers" and I am not i (649); subject/I vs. object/Other; "you and I are close; we intertwine" and the lover's discourse; not one, not two, but multiple..."categories always leak"; her ideas of authenticity/origin, genuine self
8. The Subject vs. the Cartesian Self and all the authority/colonizations of identity; The Subject is usually defined or known and orderly, civilized--the object or Other is usually the opposite or absence of whatever the subject is; mythologizing binaries
6. Marquez and the deconstruction of fixed gender roles (Ursula takes charge of the house and the town); also Sex in the City and Samantha as gender role deconstructor (she has relationships/sex "like a man").

2. Foucault and structuralism's post..."A New Generation of Thinkers"
2. Barthes' Lovers--subject/I vs. object/Other; and how the Arias of luv are outside structuralism, are poststructural; Barthes' poetry, hybridity

--GGM pp. through 200

Mar.29

Holocaust fiction/nonfiction Hybrids, Latina Hybridity, and White Sterility

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Maus through p. 290
--Marquez: bring it
--Anthology: Anzaldua p. 183+ (meztisa culture, and crossing identity borders)

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Reading Reaction 4: Write 600 analytical words with close reading of Breakfast of Champions and Harroway's Cyborgs/Hybrids and blasphemers against absolutes; and "Truth in the Future". Are you going to discuss the blessed blasphemy we get from hybrids, from queer and strange combinations of folks? Due By 11:59pm


 

Day 16 Lecture Notes

Hybrids, cyborgs--Maus as hybrid; Harraway as cyborg

Lee's Lecture Notes:

 

Discuss Final: oral presentation of a new pomo artifact(s); include some quote or theory idea that helps you say more about the artifact...

Everyone Participates (for points)

Holocaust, the 1978 miniseries with Meryl Streep (youtube part 1 of Many--the Jewish wedding; part 2 when the gentle man needs a job, he goes to the Nazi Job Corps; part 3 the dashing uniform and the use of power)

Maus p. 149 Vladek tells Anja that the rats are mice (he's creating her reality so she can survive--compare to Viktor Frankel creating a fictional mind space so he could survive--and hybrids)

Maus p. 25 and what to tell and what not to tell (Vladek wants Artie to focus on the Holocaust story...Vladek wants control)...some of you said this makes the book more real, or the narrator more reliable (fiction and non-fiction coming together)

1. Ansaldua--Creation coming out of unrest (189); borderlands being an especially strong image/place of unrest (with Mexico--the current debates on immigration and wall building; the 38th parallel in Korea which is still rigorously patrolled, and further separated by land mines; Macondo and it's borders; the border created by eurocentric Western museums that house native masks like the The Royal BC Museum housing totem poles, and even a simulated display of their "natural" displays; the movie Crossing the Linewhere Private James Dresnok crosses over to North Korea in 1962--Traitor?  Hero? Enemy?  Disaffected?); p. 191--let the walls fall; relates to Robinson, of course, in the figure of the decaying homestead houses and also Sylvie, blurring the border between inside vs. outside, proper vs. pagan; Hassan's ideas of differences collapsing (592); Macondo like a town surrounded by border, floating in the sky in all it's fantastic isolation (and how when it's borders are crossed, sometimes magic happens, and sometimes killing)

3. White Sterility and control and death--Anzaldua p. 186
2. "I write the myths I want to become" (188)--language and identity formation and performance (190--creating self); playing the game Jumanji that then begins to become real...
2. Anzaldua: (184)--the ability of story to transform the storyteller as "shamanistic" art and sacred merge; p. 185--"hybridization of metaphor," all phenomena are "interrelated and imbued with spirit"; totem poles always in performance
1. Marquez's magical realism: "expands the categorizes of the real so as to encompass myth, magic and other extraordinary phenomena in Nature or experience which European realism excluded" (Gabriel García Márquez, eds. Bernard McGuirk and Richard Cardwell, 45).

4. Roland Barthes' famous "Death of the Author" (1967); a reader-response treatise; along with the ideas of Derrida/Foucault (author-ity only began when the author "became subject to punishment"); questions the authority of the author as origin, as locus of meaning and control which New Critics also questioned, but Barthes questions the sentence as a releaser of singular meaning which was/is the New Critical project; another way of thinking about texts as bricolage--"a tissue of quotations" or signs p. 146 ; "writing can no longer designate an operation of recording...representation" p. 145; but Lee also wants to say writing is also not out of our control, "control" being the wrong word (we are shaped by and shaping the web of signifiers)
2. Todorov's uncanny (sci fi?) vs. marvelous (mag. realism?).
3. Macondo--based on Marquez's childhood village--a place out of time, an Other to LAW/Science/Enlightenment
4. GGM: the novel as a sort of satire of excessive and ridiculous bureaucratic legislation...as in being told to paint the houses all one color
5. Marquez "romantic" rather than pomo deconstructive?  Lee says yes--the romantic poets, for instance, were rebelling against the sterile enlightenment focus on dissection and rationality (that science is the center of the universe); the romantic poets writing about human and natural beauty and feeling as the center...
2. Marquez vs. Barthelme--Marquez focuses on beauty, Barthelme on the grotesque
7. Someone asked about Marquez and The Epic (large spans of time, many settings, one or multiple characters)--but One Hundred Years is mostly set in Macondo; Lee talked about some postmodernists doing picaresques, epics where the anti-hero travels all over and gets in a lot of trouble (she was thinking of picaresques like John Barth's The Sot Weed Factor, and the movie Tom Jones--a postmodern film from 1963 based on Fielding's 1749 "low" novel).
4. H. L. Gates: is theory just a white man's construct?  Seen as elitist because it is not accessible nor does it seem to acknowledge materiality enough to do anyone any good...The need for groundedness when you have little ground (race and class issues, and the pomo elite); Is D. Barthelme just an elitist pig phallologocentric white sterile writer even though he busts through/around/under borders?
6. Vonnegut--uncanny or marvelous satire? Or neither? And is it postmodern or neopostmodern according to my -ism lecture?  Lee thinks the shooting of the "heros" makes this story more pomo...but it has a plot...but it also has something potentially marvelous (that gets disrupted)

 

Monstrous Hybrids--Harroway says women's movements have to figure out what a woman is in order to know what she wants, but what if you don't fit the narrow definitions?

 

Monstrous Hybrids--How are you a gendernaut? Are you cisgender or non-binary? How does Winterson disrupt the reader by having a narrator that shifts gender binaries? Also see Sandy Stone discussing how gender is performance--do you try to appear smaller when you speak, or larger. See this "intersex" person, and think about the term "gender queer"(it wasn't the thing then to have an "aggressive sexuality," and female presentation as drag). Also see this other gendernaut who never felt male or female.  You can certainly also think about Trihn Min Ha's essay about Identity, the I/i. You can certainly think about something interesting from P. 611 in Harroway--technology recrafting our bodies vs. magical realism sex changes (or is it the uncanny in Written on the Body?). You can certainly think about the gender and love cliches being remade or irony-fied via new metaphors including the saggy armchair of love. Post to Canvas Assignments.

.--GGM pp. through 262

Ap. 3

Postmodernism, Romanticism, and Magical Realism vs Satire, and more Cyborgs

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Maus: finish book 1
--Marquez: bring it
--Anthology: Morrison 301+ (Beloved: a ghost story meets real slavery);
--Web Reading: "Holocaust Researchers Catalogue 42,500 Nazi Ghettos..." from The Huffington Post (Puffington Post)

Assignments Due Before Class:


 

Day 17 Lecture Notes


Everyone talks about the readings (for points)

Artifact: Portlandia episode 1 "Mind Fi" at 6:27 (cyborgs with external technology addictions, but then there is software for the mind that makes Fred self-destruct); Portlandia's Women and Women First Bookstore (with Steve Buschemi needing to use the toilet; making fun of lesbian feminists who are too serious, or take offense at the slightest patriarchal statements, which are everywhere)

 

Subjectivity (identity) as a fluid construct especially for those who have had their identities erased or put under erasure like most African Americans (Harroway talks about how literacy was a deadly persuit);

bell hooks talks about how post-structuralist feminist academics talk about the Other, but then their "gaze" looks past black women's writing and art...

Baudrillard and the too perfect recreations of the past in cinema, cold, retro simulacra like The Last Picture Show with it's David Lynch surreal lighting (way not 50's; or American Graffitti? a film about the 50's that is too perfect and devoid of 50's sentimentality?)

bell hooks p. 629--multiple black identities (as opposed to a monolithic black experience--see Harroway in terms of woman's experience being a construct, and black woman's experience as being a rich space of rebellion)

"Company of Wolves": a place where cliched, fairy tale identities are deconstructed as Sheela suggested (or as Tom suggested, the binary is flipped which is not really a deconstruction)

History as real--or hyperreal? History as written...

Hybrid Documentary, and history repeating itself: The Last Survivor, and the problem of perpetual holocausts...

 

 

2. bell hooks and her name (performing/creating personas); her "right as a subject in resistance to define reality"; 60's black power movement modernist (626)--"little critique of patriarchy as the master narrative" by these groups but also by theorists in spite of all the talk about difference/otherness--nor do they have actual contact with the Other; "engage decolonization" (627) ............................................................................................................................
6. hooks and Identity politics--pomo's critique of essentialism and the construction of identity (627); it's easy to give up identity when you got one (628); what is the "authentic" black/asian/navajo/columbian/woman/man experience/identity (629)?  Back to the borderlands idea...1. Your essays...
2. Postcolonial concerns--Marquez's Columbia (ruled by Spain until 1819) and post-colonial writing: upset, unrest, civil wars, identity conflicts
3. Solitude everywhere...like the muted post horn, like scud missiles...it protects us in our sad mythologies (one border among many).
5. Uncanny: alchemy--but the gold becomes burned caramel; they find the galleon, but really it's only a few miles from the sea
6. Marvelous/mythical/magically real: excess in the lack of a way out of Macondo (yet the gypsies seem to navigate just fine--and no one questions this); 
7. Macondo: not unlike Shangri-La for a while--no one over 30 (or Garrison Keillor's "Lake Wobegon" where all the children are above average); 
8. Ursula: the groundedness of things; disrupts flights of fancy, disrupts Utopic "insanities"...
9. Melquiades as epic hero (the excess of the diseases and far away lands he manages to survive); but also as Merlin?  Trickster/signifying' monkey?
10. The crazy genealogy (as if put there to help us with all it's repetitions of names and crazy incest).
11. Master narratives vs.  Others--the "unpublishable" as decolonizing (h
1. hooks and engaging decolonization--one way is to publish works that are "unpublishable" (something M. Robinson mentioned about her own books); the master narrative controllers are the publishers--they focus on what sells (realism).ooks)
--

 

Ap. 5

Postmodern Biography and Native Disruptions

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Bring Maus I and II: keep reading in II
--Marquez--bring it
--Winterson Sexing the Cherry pp. through 80
--Anthology: Paley p. 94-99 (gender roles in the 50's); Audre Lorde's Zami p. 146+ (biomythography); Silko p. 321+ (a Laguna in the Pacific); Alexie p. 341+;

--Handout in Canvas Files: H. L. Gates "Introduction" from Figures in Black (a call for critical bricolage but also traditional close reading)
--Anthology: Cixous pp. 583+

 

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Be ready to talk about some of the last few weeks of texts (everyone speaks about something every day).

 

Day 18 Lecture Notes

 

Cont. with Carter--does she get eaten? Carter's 3rd wave feminist fables and hybrid wolf girls p. 154 (hair in her skin); Wolf Children (Japanese anime); a mocumentary about a wolf child (?); feral children; feral Russian girl/woman;

Cont. with the coldness of film and TV...

cont. with bell hooks and identity (and some African American theory)--the Black Experience, the Native American Experience (and Postcolonial theory), and Maus--survivor's survivors identities; identity and Morrison, and Lorde; identity and Harrison B. and the problems of equality?

New Historicism and Orlando, and Zami (hybrids), and Alexie (captivity narratives deconstructed)

Orlando as feminist text; as satire lampooning gender (there could be no doubt about his sex), and biographies (ch. 1--all the annoying little noises and details that distract the biographer; ch. 2 the extreme wordiness in order to impress and fill space), the upper classes (ch. 2--the possibility of getting lost and dying in one's own Castle), and writers who are asses (ch. 2--with their drunken pronouncements about the Greeks, and skewering of upper class twits like Orlando himself--also see Monty Python); the strange poetry of it--Orlando's eyes like "blue violets"

 

2. Postcolonial Criticism vs. African American Criticism--often initial texts from marginalized groups will focus on their humanity and "normality"...
3. Marquez's postcolonialisms?  When Jose Arcadio (himself often plagued by magic and fancy) curses the Guarain houseworker's warnings about the Plague of Insomnia--"it was just...one of the many illnesses invented by the Indians' superstitions" (48); Jose Arcadio tells Moscote "In this town we do not give orders with pieces of paper" (61).
2. Sherman Alexie on Borders with PBS

4. Deconstruction vs. mere flipping of hierarchies--Gate's denaturalizing race or hook's engaging decolonization; it's linked to denaturalizing anything like gender roles (that are ideologically "natural" rather than materially or scientifically natural).
5. Passing/Assimilation concerns--giving in to "the man" (and Star Trek's Borgs)


6. What is the "black experience" in Beloved?  Sethe and Paul D. are going to have sex, are choosing to have sex, after all the horror of their slave lives--but everything surrounding them is complex; Lee said it's all about black/slave experience, yet it's all about people with diverse amounts of damage trying to move on...;

Identity: Lee also said that Beloved, a nobel prize winner, if published in the 1950's or 60's would have made those in the black movement(s) upset--"We aren't animals!  And here's Toni Morison playing with that fine human line!  Outrage!"  The same goes for any outsider culture--queer, Mormon etc.

6. What's the Native American experience?  Does S. Alexie tap in to too much cliché when he writes about drunken indians and warrior men (Victor--"get stoic") and cars that can only drive backward (in Smoke Signals; but he is in love with pop culture as he said in Salon)?  But then he also has nerdy, very unexpected characters in his work (like Thomas who wears a "Frybread Power" t-shirt); Alexie talks about his sitcom approach to literature.

1. Your essays...
2. Marquez's postcolonialisms?  Jose Arcadio tells Moscote "In this town we do not give orders with pieces of paper" (61).
3. Article about Colombian Indians in 2001--trying to stop a civil war that is killing them: "Displacement is fracturing families and diluting tribal languages, and forced recruitment into guerrilla ranks and selective assassinations by paramilitary forces are scattering tribes like the Embera Katio that have lived along Colombia's swift rivers and thick jungles for centuries"; like the Sayles movie Men With Guns (ties into the Peace and Justice lectures talking about children being abducted to be soldiers and sex slaves)
1. Postcolonial Columbia--a short colonial history; extinct languages like Chibcha; sparse population could lead to more magic and drug wars (from coca, cultivated for centuries); 
5. Hybridity in class, race, identity, age...More postcolonial and racial concerns--Mestizos and mixed bloods
4. Hughes called for pride, not assimilation
7. Melquiades--"scribbling his enignmatic literature" p. 78 (in Sanskrit we later learn; he's predicting the future of the Buendias, we later learn, via Nostradamus)--he is ultimately the controller of the story (which we only know later; Trickster/signifying' monkey--Gates and the Esu ouroboros (Yoruba) trickster-- "master of that elusive, mystical barrier that separates the divine world from the profane."  The pen, the phallus, logos...and the snake that eats itself (yet is still there, giving birth)...
8. Tricksters as postcolonial figures "continued to function both as meaningful units of New World belief systems and as traces of their origins"...

Lee's Lecture Notes:

1. Solitude and it's uruboros ending (a kind of literature of exhaustion? an O'Henry snap?)

2. H. L. Gates--Signifyin(g): homonyms (same signifier, different meanings--"stalk," "bad"; Gates calls this "antanaclasis"); changing a letter in a word (Gates calls this "agnominatio": Derrida's differánce = differ + defer, or herstory instead of history; Signifyin(g) is changed to point toward how folk likely said the word); the Signifying Monkey (52) an "oxymoron" that itself signifies newly against the racists motif--Esu that creates chaos at the juncture of black and white discourses with figurative/rhetorical play; trope reversing tropes ("tropes-a-dope"); a vehicle for narration (the trickster uber narrator); a postmodern figure (chaos, meta)??
8. Violating White Man's Rules/Logos/Theories (Alexie 345; Gates' Figures ) vs. Pocho, tex mex, Cruz's (s)language, bell hooks and naming (and Shange's Indigo/Digo = "says" in Spanish p. 47) ...violations of white, sterile, "standard" American English (standard as not normal, as master, colonizing, evil text); The F-wordS as necessary; the C-word as necessary (the "V" word as necessary)...
3. My mini-lecture on Genette and Time... A sample Genette-style Order map of Marquez...

6. Thinking of Voice (author, narrator, character, reader)...close reading for violations (Genette; S. Fish; Gates calls for close reading and a "critical bricolage" Figures xxx)
7. Bonn directed us toward Engrish.com as an example of odd translations (we likely suffered similar problems during the 80's Japanese fascination)...

1. More postcolonial and racial concerns--the history of Mexican cinema is a good indicator of artistic movement for outsider groups (think of Mormon literature or cinema--the need for outsider groups to present a united front, but that doesn't last for long)
2. Langston Hughes and his dream deferred poem "Harlem" (printed version of "Harlem")--political art vs. real art??  It's too simple, too angry...what's the problem with that?  What is canonized and why? Semiotics--the reading of "low" or popular texts (like Barthes looking at Garbo vs. Hepburn, or wrestling as Greek theater--if everything is a text, then all texts are available for interpretation); or how about the language of detergents (Omo or Surf)--even here there are binaries!  Chemical vs. Powder, war vs. order, washerwoman beating vs. housewife pressing...
3. The negritude postcolonial movement in France--why would this be needed (or black power, or "fry bread" power)?  Why do we still need black power or affirmative action (Chris Rock says that if he and a white guy were equally qualified, fuck the white guy, hire Chris!  The white guy has had 400 years to get ahead! The Diaspora of peoples (African; Apache trail of tears), the erasure of histories and genealogies (only genetics found Oprah's actual roots in Liberia, not South Africa), the embedded systems of good ole boy networking; 
4. GGM--The Ouruboros story (that creates and then eats itself) vs. the Tlonian story that spins it's own creation ad infinitum until Aureliano and all Buendia history is sucked up in a Godly (?) wind (sucked up as he reads the end of the Buendias from the trickster Melquiades); like Spike Jonzes' Adaptation -- Charlie Kaufman (a real screenwriter of Being John Malcovich played by Nicolas Cage) is using voiceover to show us his huge insecurity--in the credits his brother Daniel is listed (but isn't a real person); the scene where Kaufman tells the new producer (Tilda Swinston) about what he doesn't want to have happen (drug running, car chases, plots) ends up happening (in this movie about movie making?...but Lee still isn't sure how the story ends a la Ouruboros...)

1. Thinking about Semiotics and low art--Wrestling as spectacle, as role playing, as extreme drama, not really plot--compare to soap operas with varieties of love (romantic, sexual, mean); varieties of characters (the innocents like Remedios or Cleofilas; the villain duo who sometimes come together for sex or bitchy conversation).

3. Hybridity Clashes--Cleofilas from "El Otro Lado" who doesn't speak English and believes in Telenovelas (and the myths of telenovelas will eat her yet be her), her Mexican American husband (who beats her), her "lesbian" rescuers (one defies state laws to help her escape her husband; one won't own a "pussy" car)...
5. Barbershop and Beauty Shop--"low" art race movies?
4. Barbie-Q and pop cultural "topical references"; also, and always, gender and class deconstructions (the culture of White, middle class consumption is different than that of poor Latino kids in Tejas
Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. M. Cho and her TV show All American Girl--"real" life (meth, southern racism, The Face, insulting family, Asian American misconceptions) vs. Sitcom Life ("Saved by the Gong," apologizes to family, Asian = Asian/Exotic requirements); Lindsay sends this Tyra Banks article about celebrity and race--how "being white for a weekend would be so relaxing"; also Irene Bedard (Pocahontas) who says "we are invisible people"; are there any Native American icons right now?  Any Asian American female stars now?  Lucy Liu as deconstructive?  Askmen.com...says she says she doesn't want to be an Asian American ambassador; Jackie Chan as deconstructive (he buffoons/monkeys! his enemies out of the way instead of killing them; he seems always about to gaff)?  Or a Charlie Chan repeat?
2. Finding the theoretical postcolonial trope (Kingston says do no judge it by British colonialist codes; Wang 103), the Latino trope (Anzaldua's borderlands), the Asian trope (tripmaster monkey?), the black trope (Gates--Signifyin(g) Monkey Figures xxxi), the queer trope (performing sexuality and gender--drag), the Mormon trope ?
3. Eyes of Zapata and Magical Realism in Cisneros (uncanny?  marvelous? magical?); the narrator as shaman/bruja (say the townspeople p. 104); the narrator as spurned/patient woman?; the narrator questioning news reports p. 100 about sisterhood for the cause...
4. Other stories with infusions of MR or magic: Shange's Indigo (people have 6th sense gifts that no one really seems to question--marvelous-- vs. Indigo's dolls talking to her); Alexie's character's seemingly tall tales (the white boy who appears in town)--Lester FallsApart says he drank the boy and "spat him out whole into the dust"--a mini creation myth narrative (344)...
9. Signification vs. signification--critiquing the nature of "white" meaning--black people colonizing a white sign with puns, insults, ironies, repeating and revising and reversing (Gates SM 47), not unlike gay "reading" (Perez Hilton?); Gates--the dreaded homonym where there is one signifier that has multiple, unrelated, meanings; "some black genius" emptied/re-filled the given signifiers--SM p. 45-46); 
10. A good essay on Latin American films...

--GGM finishWinterson (Written on the Body) pp. 9-69

--Orlando through p. 118

Ap. 10

Postmodern Feminisms--the Violence of Hierarchies and Cyborgs in Sci Fi Love

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Winterson Sexing the Cherry pp. 80-120
--M
aus finish book 2
--Anthology:  Joanna Russ p. 537+ (identity in the face of terrorists) ; Le Guin "She Unnames Them" p. 525+;


Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Reading Reaction 5: Write 600 analytical words with close reading of One Hundred Years of Solitude thinking of any of the following concepts/theorists: Magical Realism; bell hooks (can we tell our stories with postmodern or magically real techniques?); Cyborgs and Hybrids; New Historicism (power circulates freely and never dies; master narratives about history can also/always be questioned by yet more narratives). If you play with Todorov's The Fantastic, please look his ideas up, and use quotes from that.  Be sure you use textual evidence from all texts!
 

 

Day 19 Lecture Notes


Rethink A. Carter: "The Tiger's Bride"

Realism is often the style of much Sci fi--look at Blade Runner which is naturalistic/dystopic with dirt and garbage and decay (Blade Runner set documentary vs promo); but it's pomo and interruptive in it's slow attention to futuristic LA camera shots (like Alien)

Conceptual Pomo like sci fi writer Le Guin (vs stylistic Pomo like with Barthelme)--where the stability of identity and gender etc. is questioned; a lot of neo-pomo works question stability in topics and themes rather than in structure or syntax

Le Guin and the anti-naming anti-narrative (though it does have a kind of climax--she leaves him)--Daniel points out that it's very Lacanian in it's deconstruction; Lee points out that it certainly stereotypes Adam as the alloof 50's husband; Eve's/Her desire for the new as Tom points out

Trin Min Ha--how I vs. i vs. me vs. we vs you are thought to be absolute categories, but they bleed...Not unlike Orlando! Even the first line leaves us in uncertainty about her/his gender: "He, for there could be no doubt about his sex...";

Orlando's surreal description of the ice melting on the Thames p. 47+--it's almost excessive, but not as much as Barthelme; still, Orlando seems to play in the Chaos

Orlando as an anti-hero (and the book as an anti-adventure--every time it tells us about something exciting like sword fights and prostitutes, it skims, but when gender--3:54--and life, love, and poetry need to be ruminated about, it languishes...

 

1. Metropolis (1927) and cyborgs (and Frankenstein 1931); Haroway's inconsistencies needing to both/and exist; organic vs. machine (mixing in order to live: Borgs;
3. Philip Roth's non-politically correct Anne Frank revisionist history...(but if she lives, what about her book??); about Ghost Writer
9. More rantings about Political Correctness...
1. Queer Theories, performativity, and waves of feminism; 2nd wave essentializing feminists vs. 3rd wave deconstructive feminists and Gender roles norms/cliches--women care more about their hair, don't they?  And they're more nurturing, aren't they?
3. Dave Eggers' Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius sexuality scale (where do you fit?).1. Winterson and the deconstruction or meta-awarenss of love codes/cliches.
2. Orlando Queerings: wanting a ring (but not really anything else attached to marriage); p. 252 you're a man! you're a woman!
5. Joanna Russ--a future without men (and 70's separatist fiction), and world coliding.
4. Reclaiming "slurs" on t-shirts (and playing the trickster--signifyin(g) queerly); Why you are a queen (Washinton Post; essentializing gays?)?  Gays in Bangkok (macho cultures vs. transexualisms);

1. Queer Theories, and post-gendered Cyborgs?  
2. Haroway...blasphemies...creationism and child abuse (606)? 
Cyborgs and Hybrids; Other Cyborgs--passing for human.
3. Orlando as cyborg/hybrid--a deconstructive character/signifier
2. Maus--the holocaust via cartoon animals (high/low boundaries, but also human/animal boundaries)
3. Winterson: "it's the clichés (or myths) that cause the trouble" (71)...saggy armchair of love (Jacqueline) vs. "I will never let you go" (Louise); gender bending--cyborg--How is Winterson disrupting the usual romance novel codes and/or gender codes (and do these disruptions go hand in hand?)?  P. 76 "I'm addicted to the first six months"
3. Why is the measure of love loss?  Because we are our lack as Lacan says...we only love what we can't have.  We love to perform the "suffering lover" or the "heartbroken lover."
2. Roedy Green's Gay and Black Glossary/lexiconic history (R-Rated to be sure; but also rather amusing historical interpretations): queen; nelly; queer; lesbian; dyke; faggot (why is dyke not derogatory now but faggot is?)...
4. http://www.zumanity.com (gender/ethnic bending circus meets Las Vegas--muy pomo)
4. Camille Paglia and her misreadings of post-structuralism

1. New Historicism--what does it mean to write/read a biography?  What does it mean to write/read a History? How do our reading make us question history and our relation to it?
4. Capote--a true crime, but told by mixing novel style (3rd limited POV and poetic description) and journalism style (what seem like transcripts copied almost verbatim); much lik Jon Krakauer's style (his books about Everest and the Lafferty Brothers use some journalism technique and some novel/narrative technique); this is also seen in Orlando when we have an odd 3rd limited POV moment (p. 13)
3. Orlando's (mock)biographer--over the top in all ways (Lee says Woolf is in a sense signifyin(g), or restating with great irony/sarcasm, the tenants of Old Historicism; pastiche; also starts to sound as pompous as Normal Mailer's Army's uber narrator--and metafictional): "must plot...in the indelible footprints of truth" p. 65
4. Orlando's biographer often interrupts him/herself (metafiction) because the text might bore--stops quoting because the reader can read it everywhere else (p. 202; also, the semi-interruptive footnote); 
5. Orlando's biographer must make sure the subject is worthy of a biography, thus aggrandizes the smallest things Orlando does ("Orlando's fathers had ridden in fields of asphodel..." p. 13; true wit! true profundity! p. 202)
6. And what to make of the opening line??  "He--for there could be no doubt about his sex..." (13)...the lady protesteth too much?

7. New Historicism vs. Phyllis Schlafly's warnings to students - be careful, oh ye sheep of things like multiculturalism and political correctness...

Finish the Winterson, work on your essay 2 ideas...

--Orlando through p. 170

Ap. 12

Sex Changes, Cyborg Violators, and Identity Changing Place

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Winterson "Sexing the Cherry" 121-190
--Anthology: Susan Daitch p. 338+ (will the translator make up her history?)
;
--Anthology: Umberto Eco p. 622+

 

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Be ready to talk about some of the last few weeks of texts (everyone speaks about something every day).

 

Day 20 Lecture Notes

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
Joanna Russ

Susan Daitch

Gendernauts and the performance of gender--going where no man/woman hybrid has gone before; Sandy Stone; Organization Intersex International interview with Hida Viloria (not about sexual identity, but about different chromosomes, testes, and genetalia); Taboo (TV show) on Transgender culture;

Sandy Stone on gender fluidity and Harroway at 6:10; she also mentions the "truth" of the Museum of Jurassic Technology; part 2 at 2:20--the insanity of identity and personal choice...after her surgery, "why the hell you care about the concept of identity and how you wear it"; "transies--what you see is what you get," but now that we've deconstructed this; discusses the before transition period where his performance of her is questioned--not Woman enough; part 2 at 8:13 no transie is male or female, but performing, just as we are all performing, but without the lifetime of practice;

Lady Gaga as gender performer as Joe Calderon.

Orlando and the questioning of gender--becomes a woman p. 102, but subsequently she thinks about all the differences between men and women, and how arbitrary they are..."to deny a woman teaching lest she may not laugh at you" 3:55, p. 117

After being bored by wits (148) and writers (Swift and Pope), Orlando decides to dress as a man (again) and go out in the London streets p. 157--she/he ends up having sex (reported, not realized in the narrative) with either gender

Cixous and escriture feminine and the female body as a postmodern fiction "blueprint" (it's not linear, not logical, not centric, not phallologocentric)

4. French Feminism and Cixous as poststructuralist (an Algerian, thus also postcolonial?); bounces off/puns/tricksters from established texts or binaries--if woman is a nothing, then she is outside the binary and can kill it (584); escriture feminine as pomo; mocking Freud and other patronizing definitions of women (like Orlando)

Daitch's identity/history/signifier story...what is it to be an American?  A red neck?  An unread post-Elizabethan?



2. Biographical parody--the codes/mythologies of "capturing" a person's life "accurately" (everything is text; there is no absolute master narrative for New Historicists)
7. Thinking of Anzaldua again--artifacts in a museum are out of context...lee thinks of the Royal British Museum
8. Revisionist History: if history is a text, it has fluidity and can therefore be played with by anyone; a NH doing thick description would try to look for multiple texts supporting a certain notion of history, but then also thickly describe or close read their cultural baggage; Andrew mentioned that he's seen ideas that Lincoln might have been gay, for instance...
1. Winterson: The text within the text--hybrid of prose and poetry, of physical (anatomical) vs. non-physical (Haraway); The fabulous poetry of sinew; the desire to control/know the lover anatomically--science/Elgin will cure the lover, will control her out of control body (her disease as cyborg?), and the narrator must trust this father of science, the narrator as violation must stay away...
2. Winterson's narrator as cyborg/hybrid--deconstructive figure--but are all queer characters deconstructive? Is Winterson making a political statement in terms of gender (gender doesn't matter--post gender?)?  Or in terms of love?
3.
Yet because this isn't hard core pomo, by p. 79 narrator decides he/she wants the holiday and the homecoming
4. Haraway: p. 609 "what is it that can't be coded as natural?"
5. Haraway: the cyborg violates all comfortable zones, contains all contradictions, violates all things thought to be separate or foundationalist, yet is still part of that *grid of control* (608) which is very Matrix-y--"the translation of the world into a problem of coding (611); 
6. Haraway: p. 618 that *writing is pre-eminenetly the technology of cyborgs...cyborg politics is the struggle for language and the struggle against perfect communication, against the one code that translates all meaning perfectly...* AND isn't that was good creative writing is often about? Otherwise death lies in the phallologocentric (perhaps what Cixous was referring to, there is death already inherent in the binary because it posits itself against nothing))...

4. Leguin: Animals and humans...colonizing animals with our language (and colonizing anyone with our language--Zami is Audrey Lorde's other, chosen name; Amiri Baraka is Leroy Jones' other name; Malcolm X's name shows an erasure of his own history); Who has the power to name, and what does naming do to the world, to the animal?  What about unnaming?
6. Russ and Gene Rodenberry's 1974 Planet Earthwhere women are the matriarchs (really, they are the patriarchs, but they are put back in their place in the end; see more pictures)...
7. Delany and Transhumance (p. 470 and writing politics carefully via inference)
9. More rantings about Political Correctness...
6. Continue with New Historicisim--finding ideology in the history we read/make
1. Orlando the movie (simulacra)...Orlando played by Tilda Swinton, a gender bending woman; Queen Elizabeth played by Quentin Crisp (a famous, out queen from WWII and 50's Britain); the gay singer Andy Bell from Erasure (who sings in falsetto) ...multiple queerings
2. Orlando the book is often queering things by questioning gender and attraction--p. 38
6. Some background on Orlando (the book; based on her friend Vita Sackville-West--see pictures p. 159, 247, 318); the Great Frost
7. Orlando: the pictures add a "factuality" to the mockbiography (but p. 54 looks like a photo); Gender Bending in the pictures...p. 15 "eyes like drenched violets" (Vita's eyes)
8. Orlando and the disease of writing (75)--and the meta pauses on p. 77
1. The TRUTH about Orlando!
2.  Orlando and  sex; p. 134 parody of Spencer's Faerie Queen, or Milton calling the muses to make a big change; "we quit such odious subjects as soon as we can" (139); p. 188--clothes make the man/woman...
5. Macondo and revisionist history (or is one revolution just like another after time)?
2. Talking about your questions: is the sex change magic, literal, or symbolic?  Uncanny or marvelous?  At least it's a parody of Milton calling forth the muses...
6. Continue with New Historicisim

--Orlando through p. 226

Ap. 17

Postmodern Feminism, Blackness, Queerness, and Queer Cinema--My Life in Pink

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Winterson "Sexing the Cherry" finish
--Anthology: Octavia Butler p. 554-561

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Be ready to talk about some of the last few weeks of texts (everyone speaks about something every day).
  • Be sure to set up a time to meet with me about your final paper and other course questions...(or email me at mortenle@uvu.edu--don't use Canvas to message me)
  • Sign up for essay etc. consultations!!
 

 

Day 21 Lecture Notes

Transpolitics

Gender Queer politics

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
Rethink Carter's "Puss-in-Boots"?

Fight Club and male gender roles deconstructed

Ma Vie en Rose-- Ma Vie en Rose--a child "cyborg," the "monstrous" transgendered subject, the beautiful 7 year old "girl born in a boy's body"--and what does his/her neighborhood do with his "monstrosity"?  Reviews...

Start with Cixous and escriture feminine as postmodern writing (yet another way to make it new with things line non-linear narratives--see the Pomo Laundry List).

Freytag's triangle as traditional, phallologocentric narrative structure can be compared to the supposed arc of sex (French Feminists often use sex and genitals as metaphors for deconstructing traditional vs constructing "experimental" writing); traditional triangle very linear, pointed, rising, with a "climax" and then a falling off (rest?); a somewhat crazier "triangle" (clawing your way up the mountain--scroll down) with many climaxes, slow parts, fast parts, and the occasional regression that seems a little closer to some of what we're reading; just for fun, here are Freytag's Triangles for the Twilight series (but Pomo says there is no high vs low art)...

Stephen's essay idea: deconstruction theory and looking "beyond race," beyond signifiers (stereotypes) when dealing with race, though Lee doesn't think there's much beyond signifiers, negative or positive or Other; certainly bell hooks and Anzaldua are thinking about this very thing, the ethnic subject who crosses many boundaries (or Lee mentioned postcolonial subjects who are conflicted with colonizer and native identities--see A Passage to India); the performativity of ethnicity like Frida Kalho (a light-skinned woman) wearing native Mexican clothing, and men's clothing, always performing...

Deconstruction and race...(scroll down--does the binary of white vs. black have within it it's own destruction)? And Postcolonial/African American theory...

Fight Club 3:54--Ikea Identity and the Metrosexual vs. a macho man who isn't afraid, and who fights (but as Cixous says, within any binary is it's death).

2. Haraway's Cyborg Laundry List

1. Love, gender, and sexuality as fluid signifiers in a performative web (we're not talking free for all, though)...
2. Who reads Written on the Body's narrator as male?  As female?  As transgendered/multiple?  The third reading would, of course, be more pomo and cyborgian...
2. Haraway's Cyborg Laundry List (yet more pomo vocabulary!); the great chain of being (as the previous subjugation machine) vs. neocolonial World Bank economic imperialism (as the current subjugation machine); Future Shock--the world is changing too fast...but Lee says current people have "evolved" into speed junkies...

4. Cancerous persons as cyborgs, the body divided/dividing/replicating against/within itself; treating cancer as an inscription on the body (sometimes literally with tattoos that mark the place where radiation is supposed to enter)
5. And the Beautiful Language of sinew (that is postmodernly replacing actual physical contact with Louise--a pomo flaw, like living in My Space, or prefering to talk via Text Messaging; though Tiziana Terranova talks about how it is "fundamental to move beyond the notion that cyberspace is about escaping reality" par. 6 which means Lee is still old school about the binary/divide between cyberspace and "real" space...I will now spank myself).
6. Politically correct gender language.

Ap. 19

Postmodern Otherness

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Winterson bring it
--Anthology: Maxine Hong Kingston pp. 458-470

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • (moved) Reading Reaction 6: write 300 pomo words about Maus thinking about it's postmodern aspects; you can think about the Baudrillard "Holocaust" reading, the 1978 miniseries Holocaust with Meryl Streep, or other versions of this part of history (but think deconstructively--the simulacra replace the real like Icons replace God or Disneyland replaces America).
  • Sign up for a consultation

 

 

Day 22 Lecture Notes

 

Queer Theory and Sandy Stone: The fluidity of signifiers and identity...part 3 at 1:29--we as machines must always make patterns of everything--gestalt psych, she says--and the desire to gain closure, one of "our deepest survival instincts" like eros and thanatos...2:47 as you approach closure, "you change the pattern, so that closure is no longer available...dance at the edge of intelligeability...inducing a space of transition...the liminal edge" where you can start to make your own reality (and isn't that what transexuals do?); 4:50 and terror: "what the fuck are you, man?!?" and the need people have for closure when they face a trans body like hers...part 4 performance art...

 

old RR6: How are you a gendernaut? Are you cisgender or non-binary? How does Winterson disrupt the reader by having a narrator that shifts gender binaries? Also see Sandy Stone discussing how gender is performance--do you try to appear smaller when you speak, or larger. See this "intersex" person, and think about the term "gender queer"(it wasn't the thing then to have an "aggressive sexuality," and female presentation as drag). Also see this other gendernaut who never felt male or female.  You can certainly also think about Trihn Min Ha's essay about Identity, the I/i. You can certainly think about something interesting from P. 611 in Harroway--technology recrafting our bodies vs. magical realism sex changes (or is it the uncanny in Written on the Body?).

Ap. 21 Fri All late work due!  
Ap. 24

Neo-Pomo, and the Postmodern Queer

Readings Due Before Class
:

--Winterson bring it
--Anthology:  Douglas Coupland pp. 568-573 (Gen X, but that's not you); Michael Joyce pp. 576-580 (a hypertext in our book); Lynda Barry comic p. 211+

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Be ready to talk about some of the last few weeks of texts (everyone speaks about something every day).
  • Sign up for a consultation

 

 

Day 23 Lecture Notes

Identity as origin, as Other, Trihn Min Ha's I/i

Gendernauts!

Questions about Essay 2, Story 2, and Oral Presentations?

Ap. 26

Monstrous Closure--Consultations--No Class

--see sign up sheet for times


Assignments Due:

  • Be sure to set up a time to meet with me about your final paper and final exam...(or email me at mortenle@uvu.edu)
  • Complete on-line student evaluation in UV Link!

 

 

 

Day 24 Lecture Notes

Discuss Essay 2 and Oral Presentations

  • Oral Final--if anyone had to miss presentation times, they can come today to make it up.
    • Bring an interesting pomo artifact (I will have my computer in case it is Web or digitally based).  You will have 5 minutes to tell us about it's pomoaucity (using vocabulary from any of the theory pieces we've read). If you don't know what a pomo artifact is, you can probably pick one up cheap at Target, or find one at the Gilgal Gardens in Salt Lake (where you will find The Joseph Smith Sphinx)...

and...

a surprise...?

 

Orlando ending--and the many selves (up to 2000 possible), and fragmentation of identity and time

 

1. Love, gender, and sexuality as fluid signifiers in a performative web (we're not talking free for all, though)...

Final Essay

Final "Exam"

  • Oral Final--if anyone had to miss presentation times, they can come today to make it up.
    • Bring an interesting pomo artifact (I will have my computer in case it is Web or digitally based).  You will have 5 minutes to tell us about it's pomoaucity (using vocabulary from any of the theory pieces we've read). If you don't know what a pomo artifact is, you can probably pick one up cheap at Target, or find one at the Gilgal Gardens in Salt Lake (where you will find The Joseph Smith Sphinx)...

and...

a surprise...?

Some of your presentations

--Orlando: bring it
6. Sign up for essay etc. consultations!!

Ap. 27 Event

Outside Reading: Tonight MY WORD A Night of Touchstones Readers, food, and prizes 7:00PM but where?? And will any of it be pomo?

 

 

Ap. 28

Friday

Reading Day--no class--Consultation/Work Day--I will be available in my office, CB410d--see the consultation sign up sheet.
  • Reading Reaction 7: 300 words about Winterson's Sexing the Cherry and any of the theory essays or stories we've read like Laura Doan, Joanna Russ, Cixous, and Ursula LeGuin that you might want to use for comparison or contrast of pomo and Todorov's The Fantastic comparisons (the uncanny and the marvelous).
  • Turn in extra credit like Reading Reaction 8: 600 words dealing with pomo or neopomo aspects, what would you tell someone named Marta on the street about postmodernism? Always use examples. Upload the first to Canvas Story 2 Extra Credit and RR8 to Extra Credit.

 

Oral Presentation Material (web, jped, and blurb)
May 1 Mon.

Consultation/Work Day--I will be available in my office, CB410d--see the consultation sign up sheet.

 

 
  • See Ap. 16 and 21--Oral Final--if anyone had to miss presentation times, they can come today to make it up.
    • Bring an interesting pomo artifact (I will have my computer in case it is Web or digitally based).  You will have 5 minutes to tell us about it's pomoaucity (using vocabulary from any of the theory pieces we've read). If you don't know what a pomo artifact is, you can probably pick one up cheap at Target, or find one at the Gilgal Gardens in Salt Lake (where you will find The Joseph Smith Sphinx)...

and...

a surprise...?

May 3 Wed.

  • Extra Credit Essay on Theory/Film/Book #2: if you did a story for the midterm, you need to do an essay for the final: 4-6 pages (1200-1800 words), double-spaced, uploaded to Canvas Assignments; an academic analysis of postmodern style or content (character, theme) of a chosen film (from our postmodernism film list in the syllabus) that "talks to" or extends or displays something from one of the stories/fragments/theories we've been reading (the post-colonial, African American, magical realism, or gender readings/films) where pomo (or neo-pomo) strategies or styles are taking place. Be sure to use a thesis that is contestable and says something about the significance of what you are looking at. Use something like a good quote from one of the theory essays we've read (and/or from section introductions, or author bios) to help you analyze, interpret, critique, extend something very focused in a film or story or TV show.

...or...

  • You can do an Extra Credit Story instead of an Essay 2 if you have a B+ or 87% or higher on Essay 1 (and if you did an Essay for the midterm assignment). You should do a pomo or neo-pomo story with pomo or magically real strategies, styles, indentities, or themes. As we mentioned in class, your story should be the same length as the essay would have been, 4-6 pages, double-spaced (or 1200-1800 words, and you don't have to double space if it messes up your formatting). And of course you can just give me the start of a novel or longer story if you like.

...or...

  • For those who want to write this assignment/essay in a pomo fashion, you can do an Extra Credit creative hybrid response like Cha or Coover or White or Anzaldua or Anderson, where you critically bring together various media and genres to comment and/or creatively speak to your film or book. Using pomo vocabulary and close reading of specific textual evidence is key (even in a creative hybrid). Use MLA format and citations.
 
 
May 4

Last day to upload ANYTHING to Canvas. Be sure you check Canvas after a week to see your other assignment scores and any comments I might have left (I don't usually leave comments on final assignments).