ENGLIT 0365: Literature and the Contemporary

March 26, 2012

I will be teaching Literature and the Contemporary this summer during the second six week session at the University of Pittsburgh. This course examines contemporary cultural expression across a range of forms and media. It investigates the contemporary as both a complex reworking of past narratives and traditions, and as the production of the experimental and the new. In particular, this section of Literature and the Contemporary, subtitled “Human/Machine: Exploring the Posthuman Imagination,” will examine how intersections between human and machine, between the biological and the technological have been represented in a wide range of texts. Beginning with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we will then read significant 20th and 21st century novels that approach questions of posthumanity in complex and often quite shocking ways:

Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl (San Francisco: Night Shade Books, 2010 [2009]).

J.G. Ballard, Crash (New York: Picador, 2001 [1973]).

Jennifer Egan, Look at Me (New York: Anchor Books, 2002 [2001]).

Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (New York: Perennial, 2006 [1965]).

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Norton Critical Edition), 2nd ed., ed. J. Paul Hunter (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2012 [1818]).

Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983).


More Apocalypse Photos

March 14, 2012

io9 has another article on apocalypse art, this time its Vladimir Manyuhin’s apocalyptic photography, where he takes photos of real things and then manipulates them to be post-apocalyptic. Hyperarchival eschatology indeed. Some samples:


NeMLA 2012: Nuclear Criticism and the “Exploding Word”

March 14, 2012

I am very excited for this roundtable discussion on nuclear criticism that I will be taking part in at this year’s Northeast Modern Languages Association Conference in Rochester, New York. I posted my abstract for this previously:

March 15th, 2:15-4:15 2.11 Aqueduct Room AB

Nuclear Criticism and the ‘Exploding Word’ (Seminar)

Chair: Michael Blouin, Michigan State University

“Hippie Mysticism, Zen Visions, and the Poetical Diffusion of the Nuclear Crisis,” Morgan Shipley, Michigan State University

“‘Literature has always belonged to the nuclear epoch’? Nuclear Criticism’s Fabulous Textuality,” Bradley Fest, University of Pittsburgh

“Time Bombs: Theories of History in the Nuclear Age,” Rebecca Evans, Duke University

“Repress, Reuse, Recycle: Fallout in the Age of Terror,” Aaron DeRosa, Purdue University


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