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Cinema and Politics

ENGL 392.401
crosslisted as: ARTH 389, CIMS 392, COML 391
instructor(s):
MW 5-6:30pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

This seminar has a bold aim: it seeks to understand better what has happened in our world since the era of decolonization, by considering the term “politics” in its very broadest and most dramatic connotation--as the dream of social change (and its failures). Another way of describing its subject matter is to say that the course is about revolution and counterrevolution since the Bandung Conference. Together we will investigate the way in which major historical events, including the struggle for Algerian independence, the military coup in Indonesia, the Cuban Revolution, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in Congo, the Vietnam War, Latin American dictatorships, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the fall of the Soviet Union, the end of apartheid in South Africa, 9/11, and the Iraq War and its aftermath, have been represented in some of the most innovative and moving films of our time. Attention will therefore be paid to a variety of genres ,including cinema verité, documentary, the thriller, the biopic, animation, the global conspiracy film, hyperlink cinema, science fiction and dystopia. Films will include: The Battle of AlgiersThe Year of Living DangerouslyMemories of UnderdevelopmentLumumba and Lumumba: La Mort du ProphèteThe Fog of WarThe Lives of OthersY Tu Mama TambienEven the RainThe Constant GardenerSyrianaWaltz with BashirCachéChildren of Men, and The Possibility of Hope. An archive of secondary readings will be provided on Canvas. Writing requirements:  a mid-term and a final paper of around 8-10 pages.