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120692 PS Proseminar Cultural and Media Studies (2020W)

ON THE EDGE: Quests for Identity in Institutional Spaces

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 20 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

ON-SITE = PRÄSENZLEHRE
The course works with moodle & online-material, so also possible for students who cannot attend class due to Covid 19- at risk status.

Tuesday 06.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 13.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 20.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 27.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 03.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 10.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 17.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 24.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 01.12. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 15.12. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 12.01. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 19.01. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Tuesday 26.01. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 9 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

In this course we will focus on the meaning of “quests for identity” happening within institutional spaces and the tensions arising in such contexts. Especially Foucault provided a ground-breaking cultural theory of the ways how institutional apparatuses regulate, order, and (re)mould individuals with panoptic modes of surveillance. We will analyse fictional institutional spaces which are highly regulated and where the protagonists find themselves struggling on the edge between ideals of “fitting in” and conformity and the desire to affirm identities which signify disorderliness. Thus the civilizing function of institutional settings is destabilized by patterns of transgression which link identity formation with disruption of repressive control mechanisms and docile bodies next to confrontations with abject conditions.

Our analysis requires a prior exploration concepts of “identity” in cultural theories: here we will see that Identity is conceived as a relational concept emerging out of social signifying practices and power discourses which manifest as sites of exchange and struggle over conflicting claims to “truth”. Various cultural theories will be addressed and applied in order to grasp how institutional power-discourses can be identifies as well as the impact on subject-formation in various historically-specific cultural contexts. (e.g. Foucault, Beauvoir, Butler, Psychoanalysis, Baudrillard)

If we consider identity as constructed then we also must investigate how, from what, by whom and for what identities are made-up in culture and society.
Tracing the origins of the “quest for identity”- theme in the 19th cent genre of the “Bildungsroman” (realism), where the protagonist’s maturation of “identity” is intricately connected to a final internalisation of social norms, we will see how institutional civilising processes and their (in)visible power-dynamics are increasingly doubted, deconstructed and demystified in postmodern representations giving rise to fragmented, destabilised, and often rebellious identities striving for transcendence and overthrow of normative parameters.
We will focus on 3 categories of institutional spaces and in each context we will trace two quests for identity which are at once related but also decisively diverge – thus offer exciting perspectives on the topic from various angles.--> see 3 categories & texts/films below section "Literatur"

Assessment and permitted materials

In ON-SITE Status:
Regular Participation
Oral Presentation (10-15 mins)
Participation in Plenum Discussions
Final Written Paper (3500 words)
Not fixed yet: short reflections (300 words)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

See above

Examination topics

NO final exam but:
final written paper (students can choose a topic related to class)

Reading list

SSpaces of care (the clinic) merging with penal institutional practices
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Kesey, 1962/ Froman,1975)
Girl, Interrupted (Kaysen 1993 /Mangold 1999)
Here we will discuss the struggle with repressive mechanisms of psychiatric institutions in US 1960s through the lens of a masculine & s feminine perspective.

Spaces of discipline / training
Kaye, Toni. American History X. (1998)
del Toro, Gulliermo. Pan's Labyrinth. (2006).
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. (1953)
Here both films have a fascist regime as disciplinary context, but are set in different historical contexts and focus on a child’s as well as adult struggles with institutional settings and family. Trangressive patterns work here in a magic-realist and an educational/subcultural context.We will further also consider the parallels between US 1950s McCarthy era and witch-hunts.

Spaces of entertainment (the theatre / media, TV) representations of Shakespearian theatre to visions of reality TV
Eyre, Richard. Stage Beauty. (2004)
Weir, Peter. The Truman Show. (1998)
Here we will focus on contemporary representations of Shakesperian Theatre & a dystopian vision of Reality-TV – both emphasizing how entertainment can function as oppressive apparatus reflecting social (gender-) power-discourses & aims to regulate identity-formation.

Association in the course directory

Studium: BA 612;
Code/Modul: BA09.1;
Lehrinhalt: 12-4040

Last modified: Mo 28.09.2020 11:29