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Fall 2013 Course Descriptions

English 3504 - "Fella, you don't know what this story means": Conspiracy, Paranoia, & Trauma in Literature and Film

Section 001       CRN 90795
Martinez
“Fella, you don’t know what this story means”: Conspiracy, Paranoia, & Trauma in Literature and Film
1500-1700 MW

In this course, we will focus on film and literature that respond to key political, social, and philosophical challenges of the late-twentieth century and emerging twenty-first century. Specifically, we will examine how film and literature attempt to capture, represent, and explore themes of paranoia, conspiracy, and trauma in our political and social reality. Some of our films and texts will have their roots in major cultural events (such as the political assassinations and scandals of the 1960s/early 1970s, the Vietnam War, the conditions of the Cold War), while others will focus on more subtle social and technological developments and their impact on humanity. Crucial to this class will be the question of identity and the nature of truth—in other words, how do we process shocking or violent events and attempt to make sense of them? What is evil, and from where does it come? How do perplexing experiences affect our sense of personal and national history? (Group 5)