histories, ideas, concepts

histories, ideas, concepts,

Project description
For this assignment you will write a thesis-driven, research-length, comparative film analysis that attempts to incorporate several of the histories, ideas, concepts, and theories discussed over the course of the term. In doing so, you will be expected to answer the following question:

What two films, paired together, should have been featured in the course this term, and why?

By providing you the opportunity to argue for the inclusion of two films into the restricted canon of our political study, the goal of this assignment is for you to formulate and defend an argument that convinces your reader on the merits, merits and failings, or failings of the two films you believe should have been screened and discussed this term.

The field is open, materially and topically; I hold no biases towards any films you choose to write about or how you frame and justify their political salience. If this openness seems too daunting, start by thinking through the films in terms of how the course has been structuredweve spent a great deal of time considering representations of utopia, utopianism, dystopia, and potential responses to these conditions. Weve also spent a great deal of time talking through many different political identities (class, race, gender, and sexuality most directly) and themes (technology, war, imperialism, escape, bodies, the future, and so on). Given this, you might consider how your chosen film/texts comment on, or work to build or challenge, those identities and themes.

Alternatively, you might research the creation, production, marketing, and reception of two films in order to make an argument about their political economy or the politics of their cultural reception.

In short, this assignment is broadly inclusive and welcome to any argument, be it from the perspective of Halberstams silly archive, the perspective of high-art important films, or anything in between (or outside) those extremes, so long as it clearly identifies and argues for what you see as the utopian/dystopian politics at stake in the film/texts you choose to support.

As stated above, the strongest research papers will incorporate material from the class in the crafting and executing of their arguments. Making creative and compelling use of the readings is a challenging undertaking and the very best papers will attempt to play with these ideas beyond simple footnoting. Be bold! Even the greatest belly-flops are remarkable.

this is all the films and books that we used in this class
Pleas take a look at them and choose any of them to writ the essay.

Week 1:
How to Look at Movies and Other Political Things

:

Introduction and

course overview

Blog sign

up

In

class screening:
o
Miller and Lord

, The Lego Movie (2014)

Watch for next week:
o
Link available on Course Blog and Blackboard

Week 2: Art, Technology, and the Production of Vision

In class

screening (short):
o
Mlis
, A Trip to the Moon

(1902)

In

class
screening (
feature
):
o
Vertov, Man with the Movie Camera

(1929)

Read for next week:
o
More,
Utopia
, excerpts from Book II (on Bb)
o
Levitas, excerpt from introduction to
The Concept of Utopia
(on Bb)
o

Rutsky, Between Modernity and Magic (on Bb)

Watch for next week:
o
Lang, Metropolis (1927)
Week 3
:
Definitions of

Utopia: Place, Time, Style

In

c
lass s
creening:
o
Capra, The Lost Horizon

(1937)

Read for next week:
o
Ashcroft, Critical Utopias (on Bb)
o
Sargent, Three Faces of Utopianism Revisted
(on Bb)
o
Jackson, The Lottery (on Bb)
o

Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas (on Bb)

Watch for next week:
o
Kubrick, Barry Lyndon (1975)
Week 4
:
Engendering
Utopia

n Desire

In

class s
creening
(clips)
:
o
V
arious possible options include:

Star
Trek: The Next Generation, Futurama,

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Sin City, etc.

In

class screening (primary):
o
Hardy, The Wicker Man
(1973

)

Read for next week:
o
Gilman,
Herland

(entire)

Watch for next week:
o
Scott, Thelma and Louise (1991)
Week 5
:

Fear and Liberalism in Dystopia

In

class screening
(clips)
:
o
Various
possible options includde
The Day the Earth Stood Still, Invasion of the
Body Snatchers,

Night of the Living Dead

In

class screening (primary):
*
PS 350
SYLLABUS*
o
Carpenter, They Live!

(1988)

Read for next week:
o
Hofstadter, The Paranoid Sty
le of American Politics (on Bb)
o
Begin reading: Heinlein,
Starship Troopers

(Chps. 1

8)

Watch for next week:
o
Anderson, Logans Run (1976)
Week 6
:

Empire, Dystopia, and the Other

In

class screening:
o
Verhoeven, Starship Troopers

(1997)

Read for next week:
o
Finish reading: Heinlein,
Starship Troopers

(Chps. 9

14)
o

TBD (on Bb)

Watch for next week
:
o
Lucas,
Star Wars
(1977)
Week 7

: Revolting against Dystopia

In

class screening:
o
Lor

d and Park, Chicken Run (2000)

Read for next week:
o
Halberstam, Introduction and Animating
Revolt and Revolting Animation in
The
Queer Art of Failure

(pp. 1

52)
o

de Certeau, Walking in the City (on Bb)

Watch for next week:
o
Clark, Kids (1995
)
Week 8:

Embodying Utopia

In

class screening
:
o

Livingston, Paris is Burning (1990)

Read for next week:
o
hooks, Is Paris Burning? (on Bb)
o
Butler, Gender is Burning
(on Bb)
o

Delany, Aversion/Perversion/Diversion (on Bb)

Watch for next week:
o
Pierce, Boy
s Dont Cry (1999)
Week 9:
Forgetting
and Failing
Our Way

into the Blue

In

class screening
:
o

Unkrich and Stanton, Finding Nemo (2003)

Read for next week:
o
Halberstam, Dude, Wheres My Phallus? and The Queer Art of Failure
in
The
Queer Art of Failure

(pp. 53

121)
o
Halberstam, Animating Failure
in
The Queer Art of Failure

(pp. 173

187)

Watch for next week:
o
Leiner, Dude, Wheres My Car? (2000)
Week 10:
The
Final

, Stupid Frontier

In

class screening:
o

Judge, Idiocracy (2006)

Discussion
and Course Survey

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