The Poetics and Politics of Waste

Course Number: ENGL 197
Prerequisites: Check on GOLD
Advisory Enrollment Information: This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 197
Quarter: Winter 2020
Instructor: Boscagli, Maurizia
Day(s): TR
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Location: SH 2617

This seminar studies waste, junk, garbage from both an environmental and a social perspective. Waste is what is produced in excess by consumer culture, and as such needs to be put out of sight, disposed of, or recycled. As such, waste brings to the fore questions of exclusion and marginality. This same logic of exclusion is often referred to people who are considered as disposable by dominant culture. The texts we will read and watch will illustrate this double meaning of waste. We will concentrate on Modernism and dirt, hoarding and decluttering, junk space, environmental contamination, art and waste, abjection and femininity. Texts by Djuna Barnes, Ben Lerner, Elfriede Jelinek, Tommy Orange, Indra Sinha. Films by Agnes Varda, Viktor Muniz, and Ken Loach. Criticism by Italo Calvino and Rem Koolhaas.