Constantin M. Behler
Explores innovative approaches to the study of literature and film in the age of consumer culture. Focuses on literary and cinematic communication as an important arena for the constitution of modern subjectivity and personal identity.
The course explores innovative approaches to the study of literature and film in the age of consumer culture. We will utilize models based on the analysis of advertisement in order to highlight reader and viewer responses to popular examples of literature and film. Our focus is to understand literary and cinematic communication as an important arena for the constitution of modern subjects and of personal identity.
Student learning goals
This course is designed to enhance a number of intellectual skills and practices. First and foremost is wishes to further your ability to think critically, understood here above all in terms of one's capacity to engage in what is called second-order observation, both of other peoples' ideas, writing, and creative work, as well as one's own.The course practices your ability to think and imagine sociologically and psychologically, as well as to appreciate artistic and literary communication. Indeed, it is centrally designed to further your ability to understand and value communication in its various forms, as well as to further your own ability to communicate successfully. Students will learn to employ a broad range of contemporary approaches to cultural analysis, will become familiar with the foundational methods of literary and film criticism, and are encouraged to explore the relevance of these critical tools to their own lives.
General method of instruction
Lectures, as well as open and small-group discussions.
Courses in history, literature, cultural analysis, and art history.
Class assignments and grading
There will be a take-home midterm and a take-home final exam (30% each), which are designed to reward class preparation and participation. Students are also asked to write a 3-page argumentative essay (40%), dealing with an assigned topic on one of the novels.