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HTCA 520-‐03, Fall 2012, Wednesdays 9:00-‐11:45am Third Street Campus Lecture Hall Instructor: Thea Quiray Tagle (firstname.lastname@example.org) Office Hours: W 12-‐1:30pm, or by appointment
This graduate seminar will explore the ethics and aesthetics of representing war, genocide, and other forms of violence, in order to consider the possibilities and limitations of cultural work serving as catharsis for individual and collective trauma. To do so, we will survey spectacular and banal moments of violence enacted by political regimes, cultural producers, and subaltern subjects from the late 19th through the 21st century which have been captured in photography, film, performance, and other cultural productions. The course will be interdisciplinary in nature and transnational and comparative in scope, as we examine works from the United States, Europe, and the global South. Debates in the fields of ethnic studies, trauma studies, feminist and queer theory, and performance studies will frame our interrogation into if and how we can move away from the position of voyeur, and towards a practice of ethical “witnessing” of the pain of others. Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes 1. Students will become conversant in key debates in and intersections between the fields of Visual Studies and Trauma Studies. 2. Students will gain both specific and broad knowledge about the relationship between state-‐ sponsored enactments of individual and collective violence with processes of racial formation, in a comparative and transnational context. 3. Students will learn how “trauma” as an analytic framework has developed alongside discourses of modernity and practices of modernization. 4. Students will broaden their understanding of “violence” to include both spectacular and banal moments in the 20th and 21st centuries. 5. Students will consider a variety of historical and ideological perspectives on the question of how to represent violence in visual cultural productions, and will develop a final seminar paper in relation to this. 6. Students will learn how to conduct primary and secondary research, using a variety of sources. 7. Students will apply a variety of critical methods to the interpretation of a series of artworks and art historical issues in in-‐class presentations and course writing assignments. Course Materials All required readings and many of the recommended readings will be made available on the course website at http://moodle.sfai.edu. It is highly recommended that you print out all course readings, as we will be referring to them frequently in seminar. In addition, digital copies of the syllabus, additional handouts, and other miscellaneous information will be posted on this site, so check it often!
Course Assignments & Requirements Attendance and Participation (25%) Students are expected to do all required reading in advance of the seminars; in addition, participation in discussions and consistent and punctual attendance are crucial to one’s success in this course. If you must miss class for an extenuating circumstance, it will be excused with proper notice and documentation; however more than two unexcused absences will negatively affect your final evaluation. Discussion Facilitation (15%) In this course, students are required to lead the discussion in ONE seminar meeting, along with one or more co-‐facilitators. During week 1, you will sign up for, or be assigned to, one week for which you will be responsible. Your group is to lead a discussion that places all of the week’s required texts, as well as one or more of the recommended texts, into conversation with a visual cultural production(s) of your choosing. Each group should develop a typed outline with discussion questions, which is to be submitted to the instructor via email prior to the class meeting. It is highly recommended that you meet with your group members and the instructor the week prior to address any questions or concerns you may have. Critical Responses (20%) Over the course of the semester, you are expected to submit four 1.5-‐2 page critical responses to the week’s assigned readings, films, and/or cultural productions (single-‐spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1” margins, with MLA or Chicago-‐style citations and works cited). Students may choose to write any four weeks in which to respond, except for the week during which they are leading the class discussion. These assignments should be uploaded to the course website before the weekly seminar meeting which the student is responding to. Rather than summarize the readings or offer opinions on the works, students should engage with the readings by identifying the main problematics, debates, or interventions made by the pieces, independently and as a whole; i.e. into which historical moment and intellectual/political/cultural genealogy is this piece intervening; how is this argument presented; and towards what ends? Final Paper (40%) Students are required to complete a 12-‐15 page research paper (double-‐spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1” margins, MLA or Chicago-‐style citations and works cited), due by email in .doc form by 12PM on Tuesday, December 4. Students will briefly summarize and discuss their final papers at the last seminar meeting on December 5. Prior to submitting the final paper, students must submit a 1.5-‐page (single-‐spaced) paper proposal by email in .doc form during Week 10 (by October 31). The proposal will include a research prompt or question that the student is interested in addressing, and a short list of scholarly sources that the student plans on consulting. It is required that students meet with the instructor about the final paper in advance of these deadlines. 2
Additional Information • I wish to make my class as accessible as possible to all students. If you require accommodations (for mobility, hearing, or vision challenges; ESL; etc.), please let me know immediately so that arrangements can be made. • MLA and Chicago-‐style citation and formatting guides can be found online at the following sources: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/ • Please familiarize yourself with SFAI’s policy on academic integrity. If any academic dishonesty is discovered during the course of the seminar, an “F” grade with 0 points will automatically be assigned. If you have concerns or questions about properly attributing sources, please make an appointment to discuss with me! • All course assignments must be completed satisfactorily in order to pass this seminar. “Incompletes” for the course are strongly discouraged and will only be given under extenuating, unavoidable circumstances.
Unit 1: Intellectual and Political Genealogies Week 1 / August 29 / Introductions • Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History” (8 pages) • Michel Foucault, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” (23 pages) • Eng & Kazanjian, “Mourning Remains,” Introduction to Loss (23 pages) Assignment: Sign up for group discussion facilitation Week 2 / September 5 / Setting the Stakes • Avery Gordon, “her shape and his hand” from Ghostly Matters (13 pages) • Dori Laub, “Bearing Witness or the Vicissitudes of Listening, ”Ch. 2 of Testimony (17 pages) • Allen Feldman, selections from Formations of Violence o Ch. 1 “Artifacts and Instruments of Agency” (15 pages) o Ch. 3 “Hardmen, Gunmen, Butchers, Doctors, Stiffs, Ghosts, and Black Men” (38 pages, skim) Recommended texts: • Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, “The Concept of Enlightenment” [highly recommended] • Cathy Caruth, “Literature and the Enactment of Memory (Duras, Resnais, Hiroshima mon amour”)” • Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida • Walter Benjamin, “A Critique of Violence” • Nicholas Mirzoeff, “Ghostwriting: Working out Visual Culture”
Week 3 / September 12 / Grievable Lives • Sigmund Freud, “Mourning and Melancholia” (10 pages) • Judith Butler, “Violence, Mourning, Politics” (18 pages) • Anne Cheng, “The Melancholy of Race” (13 pages) • Athena Athanasiou, “Reflections on the Politics of Mourning: Feminist Ethics and Politics in the Age of Empire” (17 pages) Recommended Texts: • Freud, “Fixation to Traumas—the Unconscious” [Highly recommended] • Selections from Laplanche and Pontalis, The Language of Psycho-‐Analysis [Highly recommended] • Avery Gordon, “Feminism, Writing, and Ghosts” • Sara Clarke Kaplan, “Souls at the Cross Roads, Africans on the Water: The Politics of Diasporic Melancholia” • Douglas Crimp, “Mourning and Militancy” • Peggy Phelan, “Broken Symmetries: Memory, Sight, Love” Unit 2: Spectacles of Violence: War and Memorialization Week 4 / September 19 / Memorials as contested sites of witness • Pierre Nora, “Le lieux le memoire” (24 pages) • Lisa Yoneyama, “For Transformative Knowledge and Postnationalist Public Spheres: The Smithsonian Enola Gay Controversy” (24 pages) • James E. Young, “Germany’s Holocaust Memorial Problem, and Mine” (17 pages) Suggested Texts: • Alois Reigl, “The Modern Cult of Monuments: Its Essence and Its Development” • Giorgio Agamben, Remnants of Auschwitz • Jenny Edkins, “Authenticity and Memory at Dachau” Week 5 / September 26 / Trauma Tourism • Carolyn Strange and Michael Kempa, “Shades of Dark Tourism: Alcatraz and Robben Island” (20 pages) • Saidiya Hartman, “So Many Dungeons” from Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (25 pages) • Paul Williams, “Witnessing Genocide: Vigilance and Remembrance at Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek” (22 pages) Suggested Texts: • Michel Foucault, selections from Discipline and Punish [Highly recommended] • Svetlana Boym, “Nostalgia and Its Discontents” • Dick Braithwaite and Yun Lok Lee, “Dark Tourism, Hate and Reconciliation: The Sandakan Experience,” IIPT Occasional Paper No. 8 4
Week 6 / October 3 / To (Not) Memorialize • Nguyen-‐Vo Thu-‐Huong, “Forking Paths: How Shall We Mourn the Dead?” (19 pages) • Svetlana Boym, “The Archaeology of Banality: The Soviet Home” (30 pages) • Jessica Dubow and Ruth Rosengarten, “History as the main complaint: William Kentridge and the making of post-‐apartheid South Africa” (20 pages) • FILM: History and Memory, dir. Rea Tajiri (1991) Suggested Texts: • Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee • Chungmoo Choi, “The Politics of War Memories Toward Healing” • Marita Sturken, “Absent Images of Memory: remembering and reenacting the Japanese Internment” • Naono Akiko,”Conjuring up Traces of Historical Violence: Grandpa, Who is Not in the Photo,” Ch. 6 in Beyond the Frame: Women of Color and Visual Representation • Annie E. Coombes, “The Art of Memory” and “Atom Egoyan’s Steembeckett—An Installation” Week 7 / October 10 / Ethical Curation • Shoshana Felman, Ch. 1 “Education and Crisis, Or the Vicissitudes of Teaching,” in Testimony • Judy Yung, “’A Bowlful of Tears’: Chinese Women Immigrants on Angel Island” * No group presentation this week; Guest presentation by Imin Yeh Unit 3: Representations of Everyday Racial Violence Week 8 / October 17 / Imperialist Imaginaries • Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics” (30 pages) • Laura Wexler, Ch. 2 “Seeing Sentiment: Photography, Race, and the Innocent Eye” in Tender Violence (20 pages) • W.J.T. Mitchell, “Holy Landscape: Israel, Palestine, and the American Wilderness” (31 pages) Recommended Texts: • Allan Sekula, “The Body and the Archive” • Laura Wexler, “Filling the Sight by Force: A Meditation on the Violence of the Vernacular” • Ena Jansen, “From Thandi the Maid to Thandi the Madam: Domestic Workers in the Archives of Afrikaans Literature and a Family Photo Album” • Adria Imada, “The Army learns to Luau: Imperial Hospitality and Military Photography in Hawai’i” • Panivong Norindr, “On Photography, History, and Affect: Re-‐Narrating the Political Life of a Laotian Subject” • Luis Francia (ed.), Vestiges of War: The Philippine-‐American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream 5
Week 9 / October 24 / Visual Sovereignty: Speaking Back • Frantz Fanon, “The Fact of Blackness” from Black Skins, White Masks (31 pages) • Trinh. T. Minh-‐ha, “Mechanical Eye, Electronic Ear, and the Lure of Authenticity,” (9 pages); • Michelle Raheja, “Reading Nanook’s Smile: Visual Sovereignty, Indigenous Revisions of Ethnography and Atarnajuat (The Fast Runner)” (27 pages) • Film: Black Girl, dir. Ousmane Sembene (1966) Recommended Texts: • Vernadette Gonzalez, “Headhunter Itineraries: The Philippines as America’s Dream Jungle” • Trinh T. Minh-‐ha “Documentary Is/Not a Name” • Zahid Chaudhary, “Phantasmagoric Aesthetics: Colonial Violence and the Management of Perception” • Fatimah Tobing Rony, “The Quick and the Dead: Surrealism and the Found Footage Films of Bontoc Eulogy and Mother Dao: The Turtleneck” • Film: Bontoc Eulogy, dir. Marlon Fuentes (1995) Week 10 / October 31 / Rememories of Blackness and Slavery • Toni Morrison, selection from Beloved (15 pages) • Saidiya Hartman, Introduction to Scenes of Subjection (9 pages) • Leigh Raiford, “Photography and the Practices of Critical Black Memory” (18 pages) • Artwork by: Lorna Simpson and Kara Walker Assignment: Research Proposal due by 9AM, October 31 Potential Assigned Reading: • Hortense Spillers, “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book” (18 pages) Suggested Readings: • W.E.B. DuBois, “Strivings of the Negro People” • Toni Morrison, Beloved • Sara Clarke Kaplan, “Love and Violence/Maternity and Death” • Saidiya Hartman, “Excisions of the Flesh” • Dora Apel, “On Looking: Lynching Photographs and Legacies of Lynching after 9/11” • Shawn Michelle Smith, “Looking at Oneself Through the Eyes of Others” Suggested Visual Works: • Ken Gonzalez-‐Day, Erased Lynchings, California Hang Trees, and Wonder Gaze • James Allen, “Without Sanctuary” http://www.withoutsanctuary.org
Unit 4: The Body in Pain Week 11 / November 7 / In the Aftermath of Abu Ghraib • Elaine Scarry, “The Structure of Torture: The Conversion of Real Pain into the Fiction of Power,” in The Body in Pain (32 pages) • Susan Sontag , “Regarding the Torture of Others” (6 pages) • Judith Butler, “Torture and the ethics of photography” (17 pages) • Hazel Carby, “A Strange and Bitter Crop: the Spectacle of Torture” (4 pages) • VIDEO: Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, “Prison ‘Thriller’ Video” http://youtu.be/hMnk7lh9M3o Recommended Texts: • Allen Feldman, “On the Actuarial Gaze” • Guy DeBord, The Society of the Spectacle • Shawn Michelle Smith, “Afterimages: White Womanhood, Lynching, and the War in Iraq” • Jasbir Puar, “On Torture” • Katalin Orban, “Trauma and Visuality: Art Spiegelman’s Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers” • Mark Robson, “The Baby Bomber” Week 12 / November 14 / Performing Trauma: Artists and Self-‐Injury • Sara Ahmed, “The Contingency of Pain,” Ch. 1 in The Cultural Politics of Emotions (21 pages) • Patrick Anderson, “How to Stage Self-‐Consumption,” Ch. 3 in So Much Wasted (24 pages) • Katherine McKittrick, “The Authenticity of This Story Has Not Been Documented: Auction Blocks,” Ch. 3 from Demonic Grounds (25 pages) Highly Recommended Texts: • Diana Taylor, “Staging Traumatic Memory: Yuyachkani” in The Archive and the Repertoire • Dwight Conquergood, “Performance Studies, Interventions and Radical Research” Week 13 / November 21 / No class-‐ Thanksgiving break Week 14 / November 28 / Militant Mourning: Activist Performatives • Diana Taylor, “You Are Here: The DNA of Performance” (21 pages) • Ann Cvetkovich, “Legacies of Trauma, Legacies of Activism: ACT UP’s Lesbians” in Loss (30 pages) • Ragan Fox, “Skinny Bones #126-‐774-‐835-‐29: Thin Gay Bodies Signifying a Modern Plague” (17 pages) Highly Recommended Text: • Patrick Anderson, “To Lie Down to Death for Days” Week 15 / December 5 / Wrapping Up • Assignment: Final Paper due by 12PM, Tuesday, December 4 • No readings
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