CLASS TIMES: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 - 4:50pm in CNTR HALL 119
Office Hours: Thursdays, 12:00 - 12:50pm - VAF 511
If you intend to visit during office-hours, please send an email to confirm.
These office hours are for course/career/research matters only (not petition advising)
About the course:
Science Fiction & Fantasy films explore a wildly diverse range of sub-genre, from space-opera to time travel, from zombie apocalypse to Middle Earth. Cyberpunk is a late-twentieth century genre which arises alongside corporate-governance, news-entertainment, personal computing, and the decentralization of “the commons” in neighborhoods, municipalities, and nation-states. Yet cyberpunk is made from many tropes & traditions we find throughout cinema and literature: crime-noir, gothic-horror; white-saviors and myriad “exotic” cultural “others.”
The politics of data. Coding as sorcery. The spiritual value of the MACHINE vs the economic value of the FLESH. What happens when sex, death, and prayer are understood as software? What is the social and political worth of the body?
We will look through the lens of Feminist and Afrofuturist theories to provide critical, complicating, and deepening understandings of cyberpunk and the stakes, tropes, and values of cyberpunk narrative. Who programs and who is programmed? Who is the coder, and who is the coded upon? Which is the maker and the made? And perhaps most valuable to students and artists, how do stories of the impossible shine light on our access to and comprehension of our actual lived world?
.>.articles, essays, poems, & excerpts:
"Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose," by Mark Dery
"A Cyborg Manifesto" by Donna Haraway
"Murmer: Meditations, Fictions and Forensics for Invisible Americans," By Greg Tate
AfroFuture - Dystopic Unity," by Tracie Morris
"The Revolution Will Be Digitized: Afrocentricity and the Digital Public Sphere," by Anna Everett
"Humanity Not Included: DC’s Cyborg and the Mechanization of the Black Body," by Robert Jones Jr.(@SonOfBaldwin)
Hamlet on the Holodeck by Janet H. Murray (excerpt)
Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi and Fantasy Culture, by Ytasha Womack (excerpts)
additional required reading will be uploaded and announced when required.
recommended further reading:
Neruomancer by William Gibson
Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan
Futureland by Walter Mosley
"Believe the Hype: Hype Williams and Afrofuturist Filmmaking," by Thomas F. Defrantz
“Desiring Machines in Black Popular Music,” by Alexander Weheliye
40% will be based on a take-home Mid-Term exam
40% will be based on a take-home Final exam.
20% will be based on all other quizes, assignments and work averaged together.
Students are expected to attend all of every class meeting.
“Absence” is a word describing “the state of being
away from a place.” If you are away-from-class, you will be considered
absent (notwithstanding absence due to illness). If you are ill, you
may miss class provided you present official documentation indicating
your illness (a note from student health-services will suffice).
One absences = Lower final grade by one letter
Each additional absence = Lower final grade by an additional letter
Arriving to class late twice will be noted as an “absence.”
Thus, arriving to class late four times will lower the final grade by
If you are too sick to attend class, you may miss class provided you present official documentation
indicating your illness (a note from student health-services will suffice).
If you miss more than two classes due to illness, I will apply the above
grading policy and you should prepare to withdraw from the class. Appointments with doctors will not be excused if they are not urgent/immediate care matters (i.e. dentist appointments, etc.). Do not make doctor/work/legal appointments on Tues/Thurs from 6:30 - 9:20 pm.
Students will attend ALL lectures.
Students will be active and engaged in coursework, homework, and
Students will watch films, including finishing films from which only excerpts were screened in class.
Students will demonstrate creative and critically reasoned responses to Exam questions.
Students will be deliberative, critical consumers of the films and readings presented.
Students will actively resist cynicism and foster open-mindedness.
students can expect:
Presentation of challenging examples, readings, and films chosen to deepen your education in Media Art and Media History.
Respect and honest critical feedback
A passionate and engaged articulation of course material, free of cynicism
Fair and honest grading of your classwork.
updated 8.6.2017 16:23:00