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MLA Proseminar: Cinema and Globalization

ENGL 492.641
instructor(s):
Mondays 5:30-8:10 pm

In this course, we will study a number of films (mainly feature films, but
also a few documentaries) that deal with the complicated nexus of issues
that have come to be discussed under the rubric of "globalization." Among
these are the increasingly extensive networks of money and power; the
transnational flow of commodities and cultural forms; and the accelerated
global movement of people--whether as tourists or migrants.  At stake,
throughout, will be the new ways in which the geographical, economic,
social and political order can be understood and represented. What new
narrative forms have arisen to make sense of contemporary conditions?
Films may include: The Year of Living Dangerously, Hyenas, Tsotsi, Mystic
Train, Lost in Translation, What Time is it There?, Dirty Pretty Things,
Monsoon Wedding, Babel, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Crash, Darwin's Nightmare, Black
Gold, Life and Debt, The Constant Gardener, Syriana, and 9/11.  In addition
to studying the assigned films carefully, students will also be expected to
read a selection of theoretical works on globalization (including Zygmunt
Baumann's Globalization: The Human Consequences) and, where appropriate,
the novels on which the assigned films are based. Advance viewing of the
films is required as is a twelve to fifteen page-long final paper.  Please
feel free to ask for a final syllabus closer to the beginning of the summer
session.