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University at Buffalo

UB Graduate Academic Schedule: Spring 2021

This information is updated nightly. Additional information about this course, including real-time course data, prerequisite and corequisite information, is available to current students via the HUB Student Center, which is accessible via MyUB.


COL 703SEM - Special Topics-Writing Disaster
Special Topics-Writing Disaster A Enrollment Information (not real time - data refreshed nightly)
Class #:   23824   Enrollment Capacity:   20
Section:   A   Enrollment Total:   9
Credits:   3.00 credits   Seats Available:   11
Dates:   02/01/2021 - 05/07/2021   Status:   OPEN
Days, Time:   R , 12:45 PM - 3:25 PM
Room:   Remote view map
Location:   Remote      
The new millennium has ushered in an epoch of massive environmental decline, destabilized weather patterns, waning resources, global economic calamity, atrocious human rights violations, global conspiracy theories and now, most notably, a devastating pandemic. Expanding `ecologies of fear? (in Mike Davis?s phrase) and toxic bio-polities seem increasingly to be the natural habitat of the postmodern subject. Most recently, scientists have proposed a new name for this epoch that arguably begins with our massive combustion of the Mesozoic: the Anthropocene. In this course, we will explore the thematic, rhetorical and representational strategies for writing disaster ? in Blanchot?s phrase `writing the disaster,? investigating the different ways in which literature evokes the rupture and trauma occasioned by the intrusion of the radically other. We will also frame this literature in terms of theoretical debates around biopolitics and the Anthropocene; however, rather than privileging any single theoretical discourse, our guide here will be the literary texts we explore. Starting from Blanchot?s The Writing of Disaster, and entertaining a broad and flexible conception of `disaster,? that allows us to pass from Defoe?s Journal of the Plague Year to Camus?s The Plague, Duras?s, Ravishment of Lol V. Stein, Pynchon?s Crying of Lot 49, McCarthy?s The Road, and VanderMeer?s Southern Reach Trilogy (to name some possible choices), we will examine some of the common characteristics that draw these texts together.
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