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ROBOTIC EROTIC ELECTRIC DAY TO DAY SYLLABUS



 




MONDAY
January 17, 2010

NO CLASS. PEACE. RELAX. No robots to run away from. All is well. Happiness reigns.....   But, yes, DOOM is on the horizon as massive amounts of reading and viewing media are just around the proverbial corner!
WEDNESDAY
January 19, 2010

It's the first day of class. Introduction to the premise of the adventure; discussion concerning the nature of fiction (and its relation to robots); lecture concerning the relationship between the erotic and exotic; definitions of the televisual; music videos; shouting; outrage over laptop/cell phone policy; outline of required texts (books, films, artbooks, etc); introduction to roboticEROTIC hermeneutic toolkit terms.







MONDAY
January 24, 2010

You enter the room buzzing like a drunk cyborg! Why? Because you have read the first 100 pages of Kurt Vonnegut's remarkable comic opus, BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS. As you read, look for references that mirror the chief thematic concerns of our seminar: robots, televisuality, seductive hallucinations, and naked psyches.  Be prepared to argue whether Vonnegut is best thought of as a realist or a satirist--what is the difference between REALISM and SATIRE in literature (these are two of your roboticEROTIC hermeneutic toolware™terms for the day.



WEDNESDAY
January 26, 2010

"How can I read all the way to page 173 in Kurt Vonnegut's BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS," said the weary undergraduate to herself (or himself) as s/he read the webpage." What does he think SDSU is, a university or something?" Exactly, and so you will,  wearily or with excitement, or both, read to page 173 in B of C.  As you read, consider the relationship between the pictures and the words--why exactly is Vonnegut weaving rudimentary drawings into the text; might there actually be a method to this madness? RoboticEROTIC hermeneutic toolware™terms include psyche, psychoanalysis, irony, and snark.









MONDAY
January 31, 2010

You walk into the room and you are a tad bit tired, as over the weekend you have made the time to finish BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS; as you read the novel, be sure to make notes in the book or in your journal where you identify what you view to be key motifs--images, ideas, symbols etc that recur and that Vonnegut uses to underscore the goals of his "fiction."  Think about the word "fiction" and how it relates to the word "truth"--how is it that the genre we call FICTION tells more truth sometimes than what we call history, "the news", memoir, etc.  If you finish early, start your reading for Wednesday as it will be challenging--not BORING (i hope!), but still a chore/workout.
WEDNESDAY
February 2, 2010

Read the AUTOPSY OF A RAT/Speedy Gonzales chapter from Tex[t]-Mex--the author, as peculiar a robotic "English" professor as you are apt to run across, contends that the cyborgs that run across the tapestry of America named "MEXICANS" have a definite history, a clear past, a trope with a peculiar and particular LOOK.  As you read, consider the difference between a novel and an essay--while Vonnegut and yours truly are equally interested in race and ethnicity, something different happens along the way!  We will continue to focus on Vonnegut, so bring that book to class, along with your journal as well.

Want to get ahead for next week? Start carefully paging through the MAGRITTE book.





MONDAY
February 7, 2010

Read to page 132 in Jacques Meuris's MAGRITTE. In a way, and I hate to write this, but your reaction to Magritte's "vision", his art, is more important than your ability to regurgitate Meuris' interpretation of Magritte's work.  Magritte is the anti-robot of SEEING--to put it another way, he profits as a storyteller by capitalizing on (and outing) the way your seeing has been conventionalized, programmed, de-limited, and chained.  In this regard, he shares a lot with Vonnegut and as you READ or SCREEN his paintings, you should be thinking of specific ways that Vonnegut and Magritte overlap.

Short Essay Assignment Due in CLASS today! Vonnegut and Magritte use pictures differently. Contrast the use of one image by each artist. Xerox these images and paste them on a page side by side--on another page opposite, finish the following prompt:

"Both Kurt Vonnegut and Rene Magritte are tricky in the way they use pictures. But where Vonnegut seems to be interested in _____________, Magritte spends more time with _____________. Let me explain using the images opposite..."

View a sample of this assignment (substituting Van Gogh for Vonnegut and Chris Ware for Rene Magritte here and here.
WEDNESDAY
February 9, 2010

Finish reading the MAGRITTE volume; in class, we will screen Chris Marker's singular cinematic opus LA JETÉE; additionally, today you receive your assignment for IMAGINATION CHALLENGE NUMERO UNO!  Don't faint! Your essays are due in class Wednesday, February 23, 2011 @ 11am--no late papers accepted!  {ESSAY PROMPTS LINK}






MONDAY
February 14, 2010

From the uncanny irony of Magritte and Chris Marker we move back to literary terra firma, and the remarkable short novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JECKYLL AND MR. HYDE--a vintage classic from 1886. Beware! This is no moldy masterwork, Stevenson's focus on illicit substances, substance abuse, split personality, desire, violence, and narcissism are VERY 21st Century!  Read from p. 29 to p. 70--there will be very little left to read for Wednesday, so if you want to read all the way to p.93, you are invited to do just that..... Must you read the introduction? NO! However, it you read it after you finish the novel, you'll be better informed as Martin Danahay's a top-shelf scholar/writer.
WEDNESDAY
February 16, 2010

Finish your reading of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde--also read the chapter on Rita Hayworth in Tex[t]-Mex; while we may not have the time to go over it in class, Stevenson's study of split, naked psyches and that to be found in the case of Hollywood Bombshell, Rita Hayworth, aka Margarita Carmen Cansino, are not without parallel. Whether you are reading Stevenson or yours truly, keep in mind the idea of personality, or of psychology, as a construction, as a programmable commodity. What we commonly call schizophrenia, often confused with split personality disorder, may well become an epidemic pathology in the high age of Facebook.



MONDAY
February 21, 2010

ART. ART. ART.   Get your back ready for today we begin our discussion of the heaviest-book-in-the-world
/
GARY PANTER week!  Panter is known for an uncanny sort of puerile, primitive world of color, whimsy, shock and more; as you "READ" consider how PANTER's visual universe JIVES and CONFLICTS with that of MAGRITTE--of Marker and Vonnegut as well.   Read the chapter on Gilbert Hernandez and Frida Kahlo from my TEXTMEX as well.  NOTE: This crazy expensive book on PANTER is available to students as a DEAL through the campus bookstore....  On the net, you are on your own. BEWARE.   How to READ the book? Be sure to read all of the section introductions--beyond that, make sure to mark the images that SPEAK to you the most; in class I will be looking for volunteers to come up and dissect key Panter illustrations!

WEDNESDAY
February 23, 2010

In class we will continue our discussion of Panter's bizarre universe; what are the key elements of his "art."

Your essays are due in class TODAY, WEDNESDAY, February 23, 2011 @ 11am--no late papers accepted!




MONDAY
February 28, 2010


The ESSAY is NOT the sexiest, nor the most erotic form of literature; however, in the redoubtable hands of essayist and research Mary Roach, the essay comes alive as this marvelous and imaginative prose stylist treats us to her sexual odyssey of lurid/lucid findings!  You will enter the room having read up to p. 153 in Mary Roach's Bonk.  As you read, be sure to attend to different elements that make up the genre of THE ESSAY--thus far this semester you have already been immersed in a mess of genres and media. And while you are familiar with "the essay" having read much of Tex[t]-Mex, it never hurts to have more reading under your belt, more styles to pick from as YOU evolve as a writer or robot!
WEDNESDAY
March 2, 2010

Try as hard as you can, pardon the pun, to finish BONK! In class be sure to be ready to discuss central, key passages that YOU view to be pivotal or central to Mary Roach's project.   Bonus treat NOT REQUIRED but highly suggested: watch this interview with Mary Roach.





 
 


MONDAY
March 7, 2010




Poetry Day as we tackle WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JOHN KEATS, PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, EMILY DICKINSON, LANGSTON HUGHES, CHARLES BUKOWSKI, TINO VILLANUEVA, and ROSARIO 
CASTELLANOS.  Readings to be provided VIA FREE pdf file.
WEDNESDAY
March 9, 2010


In-class screening of Orson Welles's Plato's REPUBLIC Allegory of the Cave; Additionally, you will begin your screening of Welles's TOUCH OF EVIL; begin to read--the first 10 or so pages of the TOUCH OF EVIL essay in TEXTMEX.  Also, stick around for the big surprise at the end of class!


 


MONDAY
March 14, 2010

TOUCH OF EVIL

In class we will continue screening Welles's masterwork meditation on bordered, bordering-on-mad subjectivities. The "Mexican" as a peculiar "robot"? Of course it is a stretch, but it nonetheless adds to our understanding of film, literature, and hermeneutics in our seminar. In class we will consider how TOUCH OF EVIL invokes the border--borders of all kinds: between Mexico and the United States, Mexicans and Americans, "Half-breeds" (Quinlan's racist epithet for the murderer who strangled his wife), men and women, and, oddly, biology and technology.
WEDNESDAY
March 16, 2010

TOUCH OF EVIL

Make sure you have finished reading the TEXTMEX chapter on TOUCH OF EVIL for today's class; as you read, consider the tricky rhetorical dance I had to invent--pleasing readers who were into film theory, into Hollywood gossip, into Ethnic Studies, Women's Studies, and Border Studies all at the same time!  Like driving a car while threading a needle and answering the cell phone at the same time! In-the-big-room-quiz possible; come to class PREPARED...


 


MONDAY
March 21, 2010

Enter the room having finished GHOST WORLD. Dan Clowes's nightmare comic is visionary--we are ready for its contours thanks to Arcade Fire and Spike Jonze, but it is uncanny and disturbing all the same.  If you are new to comic books and comic book analysis, don't be shy about cracking open Tex[t]-Mex and reading the Frida Kahlo/Gilbert Hernandez chapter; in it, I spend a lot of time doing close readings of comic book panels, a skill you will need to probe the inner madness of Dan Clowes's imagination. 


WEDNESDAY
March 23, 2010

We will continue our reading of Clowes's GHOST WORLD--be ready to do a close reading of what you view to be THE KEY panel of the entire work in class!  Read this comic here AFTER you finish Clowes's opus.

click to enlarge


 


MONDAY
March 28, 2010


SPRING BREAK

Have a blast! Make new friends!
Be careful! Don't date cyborgs...
WEDNESDAY
March 30, 2010


SPRING BREAK

Take Kafka with you to the beach; you have readings (two books) due next week!


 


MONDAY
April 4, 2010


Over the break you have thought ahead and brought both Kafka's METAMORPHOSIS and MAIROWITZ & Crumb's Kafka biography with you.  You enter the room today having read METAMORPHOSIS and at least half of the illustrated overview of K's life--as envisioned by the attentive mind of Mairowitz and the mad mind of Robert Crumb. (read it first, if you can take it oKAFKA's METAMORPHOSIS with MAIROWITZ and CRUMB's KAFKA biography.
Also, in class today, the dreaded and utterly anticipated IMAGINATION CHALLENGE 2 Prompts will be released. The essays will be due Friday, April 15, 2011 by noon in one of the 9 bags/boxes stationed outside my office in Arts and Letters 273.

WEDNESDAY
April 6, 2010

More Kafka--finish the Crumb/Mairowitz opus as we continue our fascinating inquest on the singular mind of Franz Kafka.





 


MONDAY
April 11, 2010

Screen Krystov Kieslowski's remarkable meditation on fiction, puppets (robots?), music, and doppelgángers in THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE.







WEDNESDAY
April 13, 2010

Finish screening THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE.






 
 


MONDAY
April 18, 2010

SATANIC PUPPETEER ORCHESTRA is the brainchild of the utterly non-robotic, absolutely HUMAN mind of Michael Buchmiller, who, in addition to masterminding rock operas as if imagined by C-3PO, is a noted rock poster designer, and information media imagineer. Enter the class today, having listened to and "read" the entire collection.  Consider the boxed CD set as some future sort of "literature"! How does it jive with other art forms we've encountered this term? How is it different? Be sure to read all the liner notes etc.... an in-class writing prompt/quiz is probable!
WEDNESDAY
April 20, 2010

SATANIC PUPPETEER ORCHESTRA
in class CONCERT!

Here's what we are in for!  Ack! ...a selection from ROBOTS CANT CRY from a gig at the Casbah, here in San Diego from 2008.


IMAGINATION CHALLENGE NUMERO DOS! due today in CLASS!!!!





 


MONDAY
April 25, 2010

DAHLIA SEASON by Myriam Gurba!  Most important for class Monday is that you walk into the room having read from page 65 to the end of the collection--that is the novella "Dahlia Season" within the collection also entitled Dahlia Season: Stories and a Novella; for Wednesday's class visit you will be expected to have read "Cruising" and "White Girl," so if you want to get ahead, go for it!



WEDNESDAY
April 27, 2010

DAHLIA SEASON

Myriam Gurba! Live, "in concert" in our class--
read "Cruising" and "White Girl,"



 
 


MONDAY
May 2, 2010

SURPRISE

WEDNESDAY
May 4, 2010

REVIEW for the FINAL!!!



 


MONDAY
May 9, 2010

Final Exam
WEDNESDAY
May 18, 2011

I will be in the classroom, Peterson Gym 153 screening THE STEPFORD WIVES from 10:30am to 12:30pm--come by to pick up your final exams and say goodbye!  Final grades will be posted to your webportal this afternoon.