ENGL 200 E: Reading Literary Forms

Surveillance in Contemporary American Politics and Literature

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 1:30pm - 2:20pm
AND 008
Photo of Ben Wirth
James Benson Wirth

Additional Details:

The goal of this course will be to, from a variety of angles, examine texts that investigate the role of surveillance and observation in modern culture. This theme has become even timelier in the wake of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks—a confirmation of our lingering fears of a massive network of domestic and international surveillance. Apart from the obvious intrusions of personal privacy and the, at best, iffy information this level of surveillance provides, what are the stakes of living in a culture of surveillance and control? How does this reorient how an individual knows their world, other people, and themselves? How does this control manifest itself in the knowledge of our bodies, or the policing of them? We will be looking at texts in this course that engage in some way with those anxieties, whether from a personal, academic, or literary perspective. As well, this course is multimodal, incorporating film, graphic novels, and various types of literature and writing into our exploration of this theme.

Little Brother, Doctorow
Neuromancer, Gibson
The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood
White Noise, DeLillo

The Conversation

Graphic Novels:
Pyongyang, Guy DeLisle
City of Glass, Karasik & Auster

Privacy Policy: The Anthology of Surveillance Poetics
Automaton Biographies, Larissa Lai

Critical Work:
Discipline and Punish, Michel Foucault
The Politics of Life Itself, Nikolas Rose

Catalog Description: 
Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
March 16, 2016 - 11:00am