Studies in American Literature: Race & Violence: LA

Course Number: ENGL 235
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 235
Quarter: Fall 2014
Instructor: Batiste, Stephanie
Day(s): M
Time: 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: SH 2714

This class investigates intersections of race, violence, and affect in the city. As such we'll explore theoretical models of violence and its effects as well as the nature of human response to such incursions on community, subjectivity, and politics. The course takes Los Angeles as a case study providing a specific location from which to consider race and urban experience in the nation and the world as racial difference and structures of otherness continue to determine human experience in cities. In Los Angeles's history of gang warfare, police brutality, riot, geographical segregation and space-based inequality, we find an opportunity to theorize violence that grates roughly against wealth and privilege. We will look carefully at the relationships between subjection and violence, subjectivity and creativity in millennial cultural production including drama, performance, film, dance, literature, and music. As such we explore theories of identity and performance and practice critical analysis of multiple cultural forms. Select materials listed here provide of sense of the course's interdisciplinary methodology in its cultural studies approach to theory, text, and history: Fred Moten, /In the Break/, Saidiya Hartman, /Scenes of Subjection/, Judith Butler's /The Psychic Life of Power/, Sanyika Shakur's /Monster/, Anna Deveare Smith's /Twilight: Los Angeles/.