Spring 2010

Joseph Bauerkemper

“Specialized Studies in Literature: Indigenous Literary Transnationalisms”
Department of English
Because it places indigenous writing at its center, this course necessarily enters into a transnational terrain of peoples, histories, and ideas. In conversation with postcolonial theory, the “transnational turn” in cultural studies, and scholarly discussions of indigenous nationhood, this course centrally considers the sophisticated ways in which indigenous intellectuals imagine transnational spaces and theorize the complex cultural, political, economic, social, and discursive practices and processes unfolding in such spaces. Students in this course will think comparatively across indigenous writings of North America and the Pacific, exploring how indigenous traditions and knowledges regarding nationalisms, transnationalisms, and postnationalisms inform and arise out of contemporary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Through their engagements with indigenous writing, students will become conversant with theoretical discourses located at the intersections of transnational and indigenous studies, and they will develop a critical awareness of the pasts, presents, and futures of transnational patterns of colonization and resistance. Readings will include: Taiaiake Alfred and Jeff Corntassel’s “Being Indigenous,” Gloria Anzaldúa’s “The Homeland, Aztlán,” Joanne Barker’s “For Whom Sovereignty Matters,” Joy Harjo’s In Mad Love and War, LeAnne Howe’s “Choctalking on Other Realities,” Keri Hulme’s The Bone People, Matthew Kaopio’s Written in the Sky, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead, and Gerald Vizenor’s The Heirs of Columbus.

Greg Cohen

“Exit-Utopias: Modernist Cinema, Visionary Architecture, and Radical Urbanism”
Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media
What theoretical propositions and conceptual genealogies do cinema and architecture share? How has cinema functioned as a critique of modernist architecture and urbanism, at the same time that radical urbanists and visionary architects have critiqued Modernism through highly “cinematic” formulations? Where, if anywhere, might we locate the aesthetic, political, and epistemological convergence of cinematic, urbanistic, and architectural utopianisms (and dystopianisms), especially those of the 1960s? This graduate seminar will begin by examining some of the foundational, recipriocal explorations in cinema and architecture in the avant-gardes of the 1920s and 1930s (Eisenstein, Le Corbusier).That history will form the basis of our considerations as we turn to the 1960s and the broad critique of both modernity and Modernist architecture and urban planning at the time, in the domains of architecture and cinema alike. Readings in film theory, architectural theory, and post-structuralist “spatial theory” will accompany weekly analyses of distinctly “architectural” films (these might include Antonion’s L’Eclisse, Tati’s Playtime, Seijun Suzuki’s Branded to Kill or Joaquim Pedro-de Andrade’s Brasília, Contradictions of a New City) together with plans, films, and manifestoes by avant-garde architectural studios and art collectives such as Archigram, Superstudio, and Ant Farm.