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Futurity: Why the Past Matters

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Course Abstract

Winter 2014 –¬†COMPLIT 271
Co-Instructor: Amir Eshel

Drawing on literature, the arts, political discourse, museums, and new media, this course asks why and how we take interest in the watershed events of the modern era; how does contemporary culture engages with modern, man-made disasters such as the World Wars or 9/11? Readings and viewings include the literature of Don DeLillo, Jonathan Safran Foer, Ian McEwan, Cormac McCarthy; the cinema of Kathryn Bigelow and Steven Spielberg; political rhetoric and speeches by Barak Obama; new media and digital games; and the theoretical writing of Walter Benjamin, Hayden White, Fredric Jameson, among others. Taught in English. All of the course readings and assignments will be hosted on a new digital humanities platform, Lacuna Stories. Students will also be required to attend a course section discussing digital humanities and to learn how to fully engage with digitized and annotated texts on Lacuna Stories.

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