Studies in American Literature : Race & Violence: LA

Course Number: ENGL 235
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 235
Quarter: Winter 2013
Instructor: Batiste, Stephanie
Day(s): M
Time: 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: SH 2714
Description:

Content of the course will vary from quarter to quarter and these courses may be repeated for credit with consent of the chair of the departmental graduate committee.

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 around the globe. 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. The course operates via a feminist pedagogy whereby students collaborate in determining the direction of study in addition to the nature of their own research projects. Together the Professor and students will select from a bibliography of historical, literary, and performance materials within the theoretical framework of violence, affect, and the urban. Students will develop independent bibliographies such that the course serves as both an enrichment and extension of their own research agendas. Select materials listed here provide of sense of the course's interdisciplinarity in its cultural studies approach to theory, text, and history: Sianne Ngai's /Ugly Feelings/, Judith Butler's /Precarious Life/, Hector Tobar's /The Tattooed Soldier/, Nina Revoyr's /Southland/, Sanyika Shakur's /Monster/, Anna Deveare Smith's /Twilight: Los Angeles/, Elijah Anderson's /Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City/, and Mike Davis' /City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles/.