Graduate Topics in Film – Cinema of Political Depression
240 001 | CCN: 25758
Rizvana G Bradley
Location: Dwinelle 226
Date and Time: W 2:00pm - 4:59pm
How might we begin to approach the affective contours of what Lauren Berlant theorized as the “impassivity” of the historical present, in ways that do not immediately circumscribe the terms of inquiry by demanding they lead to resolution, reparation, or redress? What forms of attunement, accompaniment, and experimentation might be occasioned by inhabiting what the Feel Tank Chicago termed “political depression” as an open question, rather than through predetermined diagnostics? This course takes up such lines of inquiry through explorations of affect theory, its interlocutors, and its critics, with a particular emphasis on what Sianne Ngai terms “minor feelings” and “negative affects,” in their racial and gendered dimensionality. We will pay special attention to films that obliquely take up this constellation of affective themes, investigating how they aesthetically refract, rather than simply reflect, the myriad impasses (economic, ecological, scientific, political, racial, gendered, etc.) of the present.
Thinkers engaged may include Lauren Berlant, Frank B. Wilderson III, Ann Cvetkovich, Christina Sharpe, Sianne Ngai, Slavoj Žižek, Lee Edelman, Sara Ahmed, David Marriott, Fredric Jameson, Fred Moten, and Calvin Warren, among others.