Neo-Victorian Cultures Today: Postmodernist Literary and Filmic Adaptations of the Past
This course explores how contemporary adaptive media appropriate the nineteenth century to address our own preoccupations with gender, sexuality, race, class, science, technologies, religion, imperialism, and consumerism. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the theoretical, social, and political contexts and critical discourses of this neo-Victorian enterprise. The course incorporates a variety of cultural products from postmodern fiction and graphic novels, through films, to exhibition spaces and theme parks. These texts are mainly approached via literary and cultural studies, utilizing further interdisciplinary frameworks of trauma, adaptation and memory studies that draw on a wide range of fields including psychology, film studies, philosophy, and history. This course investigates reasons and trajectories of post-millennial connections to the Victorian age, ways in which different cultural concepts are transposed and transformed, and the critical consciousness of our own investment into the mediation and dissemination of historical narratives.
By the end of the course, students will understand Neo-Victorianism as a dynamic cultural formation, the critical issues it is concerned with, and the scholarly debates that surround it. Students will be able to establish significant connections between literary passages and representations in visual culture, such as films or exhibitions. They will possess the critical apparatus to read and analyze these neo-Victorian (con)texts in an interdisciplinary framework.
Requirements and Assessment
Attendance and Participation in Seminar Discussions 10%
Leading a Group Presentation 30%
Presenting a Reading 20%
Paper Proposal (300-500wds) 10%
Term Paper (2000-2500wds) 30%