Barbara Buchenau (UDE) and Julia Leyda (Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan): Seminar Modul VI, Y, XVI, AmSt2, Room R12 R04 B21, maximum of 20 participants
Urban Catastrophe in 21st-Century US Screen Culture
April 9 to April 30, 2014, 6 pm to 8 pm, R12 R04 B21
June 10, 2014, 11:30 am to 7:30 pm, Casino, Gästehaus der Universität
July 2 to July 16, 2014, 6 pm to 8 pm, R12 R04 B21

Early twenty-first-century U.S. American life has been distinctively marked by a new awareness of urbanity as well as catastrophes (including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the so-called “Great Recession”) as central conditions of everyday existence. Conjunctions of urban life styles and catastrophic events have figured prominently in a US popular screen culture that has sought to come to grips with the ways in which each has been collectively framing as well as shattering, containing, and yet disrupting many people’s faith in just, meritocratic, predictable, and/or rational systems; each has also had a pronounced impact on how we imagine and experience life in U.S. American cities. This seminar will examine the ways in which U.S. American film and television since 2000 have represented urbanity in the aftermath of catastrophe, attending to affect—dread, anxiety, emptiness, mistrust, anti-authoritarianism, vigilantism—as well as plot, setting, and mise-en-scene.
This course is demanding both in terms of workload and intensity of debate, since it is grounded in the research in progress of the two instructors. Prospective participants are requested to register personally and in advance with Barbara Buchenau. We will discuss critical essays by scholars in film and television studies, as well as film and television texts that may include:
8 Mile (Curtis Hanson 2002)
The Departed (Martin Scorsese 2006)
The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan 2007)
I Am Legend ( Francis Lawrence 2007)
The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky 2008)
Drag Me to Hell (Sam Raimi 2009)
Somewhere (Sofia Coppola 2010)
Margin Call (J.C. Chandor 2011)
Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn 2011)
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell 2012)
Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik 2012)
Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg 2012)
Sharknado! (Anthony Ferrante 2013)

24 (Fox 2001-2010)      
The Wire (HBO 2002-2008)
Lost (ABC 2004-2010)
Hung (HBO 2009-2011)
Castle (ABC 2009-)
Rubicon (AMC 2010)
Treme (HBO 2010-2013)
The Walking Dead (AMC 2010-)
Homeland (Showtime 2011-)
2 Broke Girls (CBS 2011-)      
Girls (HBO 2012-)

Ulrich Beck, World at Risk (2007). Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007.
Susanna Hoffman and Anthony Oliver-Smith, ed., Catastrophe and Culture: The Anthropology of Disaster. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 2002.
Wheeler Winston Dixon, Visions of the Apocalypse: Spectacles of Destruction in American Cinema. Wallflower, 2003; ed. Film and Television after 9/11. Southern Illinois UP, 2004.
Richard Grusin, Premediation: Affect and Mediality after 9/11. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010.
David Harvey, Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution. London: Verso, 2012.

Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Henry Holt, 2007.
Diane Negra, ed. Old and New Media After Katrina. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010.
Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Harvard: Harvard UP, 2011.
Kevin Rozario, The Culture of Calamity: Disaster and the Making of Modern America. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2007.
Stephen Rust, Salma Monani, and Sean Cubitt, ed., Ecocinema Theory and Practice. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2012.
Evan Calder Williams, Combined and Uneven Apocalypse: Luciferian Marxism. Hants: Zero Books, 2010.

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