Friday, May 5, 2017

ENGL 3053: The Dog Stars

Peter Heller, The Dog Stars

As with The Road, we have a (mainly) homosocial text in The Dog Stars.

Further, as with The Road, we have a text in which, for a large portion of the narrative, the response to the event is that everyone who is not within the group (and once more our group is a dyad of two males) is a dangerous enemy who must be killed. And notice that, mainly, we are meant to see this as the correct response. That is, the text (mostly) does not criticize Bruce Bangley or his violent ways.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

ENGL 3053: Final Exam Study Sheet

ENGL 3053: Popular Culture: Zombies, Vampires, and the Apocalypse
Final Exam Study Sheet Fall 2017

Our Final will be held on May 9, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.  It will consist of two sections.  You may bring one (1) 3X5 inch index card with handwritten notes on it into this exam.

ENGL 3053: Assignments for April 27 through May 4

Thursday April 27: Finish reading The Dog Stars

Tuesday May 2: Class won't meet. Work on Final exam.

Thursday May 4: Read these short stories

Margaret Killjoy, Everything That Isn't Winter

Naomi Kritzer, So Much Cooking

Naomi Kritzer, Waiting for the End of the World

ENGL 3053: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Here, the cause of the apocalypse is far in the past (it seems to have been a combination of the death of oil, global climate change leading to massive drought, and nuclear war). We are years, possibly decades, past the actual apocalypse now, however, and into the attempt to rebuild. This movie is, in fact, about whose worldview – whose civilization – should rebuild the fallen world.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Three Works of Apocalyptical Fiction

Y: The Last Man, Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra (2002-2008)
The Road (2009)
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

The Road, though darker than most apocalyptic narratives, nevertheless is typical of the genre. This is to say it has all the aspects we expect:

Apocalyptical Fiction

Apocalyptical Fiction

While literature dealing with apocalyptic events has always been with us (see flood narratives, for instance, or plague narratives), apocalyptic fiction became much more popular in the 1950s, during the Cold War. What was the cause of this sudden profusion of gloomy literature?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

ENGL 3053: Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum

Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum (1998)

Terry Pratchett, now sadly dead before his time, is famous for his Discworld novels, of which this is one.

Discworld is an alternate world, where the laws of physics are very much other. For one thing, Discworld is flat – a disc, like it says on the tin. 

It is a giant disc being carried through space on the back of four mighty elephants, who stand on the back of an immense turtle swimming through space. Also, magic is real on Discworld.