Upper-Division Seminar: Simulation & Simulacra

Course Number: ENGL 197
Prerequisites: Upper-division standing, English majors only
Advisory Enrollment Information: This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 197
Quarter: Winter 2012
Instructor: Raley, Rita
Day(s): MW
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Location: SH 2617
Description:

This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.

Simulation is everywhere around us: whether it be in the form of cultural fantasy (The Matrix, Inception), game spaces (Second Life, the Sims), non-virtual places (Disneyland), or VR training exercises, simulation seems to be the dominant mode, genre, and technique of the 21C. With a particular focus on virtuality and the “real,” this seminar will explore simulation through the writing of Jean Baudrillard and Plato, with a bit of Andy Warhol and Gilles Deleuze. Our examples will be drawn from film, speculative fiction, and games and we will be discussing virtual environments, virtual pets, surrogates, military training, and reality television as well. Work by William Gibson, Tom McCarthy, Philip K Dick, Lauren Beukes, Robert Venditti, and others.